chapter  9
18 Pages

Transformative learning and international students negotiating higher education

ByLY TRAN

The international sojourners who have the courage and determination to move beyond their cultural comfort zone and work through intercultural experiences often possess the potential to be effectively engaged in transformative learning. Brown (2009) states that moving between different life worlds can represent the catalyst for self-discovery and self-reconstruction. Overseas learning indeed entails transformative power. The nature of the sojourn experience in a new intercultural and academic environment involves complex and multidimensional operations. Changes and adaptation to changes underpin the sojourn experience. The specific ways in which individual international students make changes, and their process of adapting to an unfamiliar learning and social environment, are the manifestation of how they exercise personal agency. This process often requires much selfdetermination, investment and strategy. Such a transformative process involves international students viewing their world from a different perspective (Taylor 1994), and in some cases enables them to develop multiple frames to make sense of the world around them.