‘You went to Europe and returned different’: Transformative learning experiences of international students in Portugal

Cosmin I Nada, Catherine Montgomery, Helena C Araújo
  • European Educational Research Journal, March 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1474904118765334

Can we learn from the experience of living abroad? Transformative learning in international students

What is it about?

This paper looks at the effects that living and studying abroad can have in our lives, especially in terms of learning. To what extent experiencing cultural diversity and the challenges of living in a foreign country can transform us? The results indicate that living abroad can provide significant opportunities to learn and to effect transformations in our own selves

Why is it important?

This paper is relevant because it applies the theory of transformative learning, developed in the field of adult education, to the experience of international students. This theory provides a suitable analytical lens for understanding the positive effects that living abroad can have in the lives of individuals.


Cosmin Ionut Nada (Author)
Universidade do Porto

This publication provides a very interesting perspective of life abroad. Rather than focusing on the challenges and struggles that people often face when moving to a foreign country, this paper approaches the positive aspects of living abroad, and can provide many ideas to educators/teachers from all fields on how to provide their students with meaningful learning experiences, helping them to become better individuals.

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