Edited By Fred Dervin and Regis Machart
“Talking Just About Learning Languages and Getting To Know Cultures is Something That’s Mentioned in Very Many Applications”: Student and Staff Imaginaries About Study Abroad
It has become a cliché to say that student mobility is now “systematic, dense, multiple and trans-national” (Kim, 2010), especially as researchers are increasingly critical as to who is allowed to move and where. Yet every institution of higher education has to play the internationalisation card today, with more or less success (Dervin & Machart, 2014). It is also a truism to claim that it is not a new phenomenon and that it has crossed the centuries. When one of the authors of this article was actively researching Erasmus students’ experiences in Finland, he checked the archives of the oldest university in this Nordic country and found at least 10 doctoral dissertations that had been written on the positive effects of student mobility in the 17th and 18th centuries (Dervin, 2008). Interestingly these dissertations, which were written in Latin, seemed to share a lot in common with the current discourses on student mobility. Though the words used differed (for example the notion of the ‘intercultural’ did not exist at the time), students are described as becoming more open-minded, being able to interact with the ‘culture’ of their hosts and to learn to speak the local language like a ‘native-speaker’. In current research on student mobility but also in the fields of applied linguistics and intercultural communication/education most of these elements are often questioned – though not coherently or systematically.
In this article we shall refer to these ideas as being imaginaries about study abroad....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.