Learning for Change: Transforming International Experience as Identity Work Academic Article uri icon


  • This qualitative study examines how international graduate students have made sense of their experiences and how they have personally changed during their time in the United States. The qualitative methodology aimed to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of these international students and to capture and represent their meaning making and their learning journeys. Data were collected from multiple semistructured, in-depth interviews and analyzed qualitatively following the guidelines of interpretive interactionism ( Denzin, 2001 ). The international students learning and personal change were represented through the emerging learning themes of disjuncture, getting lost, liminality, and redefinition. Conceptually, it is argued that the experience of studying as an international student engenders deeply reflective learning and influences shifting conceptions of self. Transformative learning within an international context is about integration and finding connection (adaptation and perspectival shift) but also about differentiation and reinventing oneself within a new context (identity development).

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Erichsen, E. A.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Erichsen, Elizabeth Anne

publication date

  • April 2011