Post Post-Trip Follow-Up With Postsecondary Students After Short-Term Study Abroad: Transformational Learning and International Experiential Education
Postsecondary students are increasingly participating in short-term study-abroad experiences organized by educational institutions in Canada. There are relatively fewer long-term studies of participants from a variety of international contexts after they have returned home for a year or more. From the view of transformative learning theory, this study investigated if/how the passage of time allows people to reflect on the personal impact of these experiences and if/how other factors that require more time (e.g., subsequent experiences, further education) influence such change. Drawing from one-on-one interviews with 8 participants, this study found that a short-term experience abroad can be the necessarily disorienting experience needed to initiate a transformative trajectory. Experiences during and post-travel that provide evidence of transformative learning are discussed. This research is intended to serve as a guide for those interested in social justice oriented outcomes for their students through international experiential education.