Challenging the comfort zone: self-discovery, everyday practices and international student mobility to the Global South

Laura Prazeres

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper scrutinises the underlying motivations of short-term international students by unpacking the notion of ‘leaving the comfort zone’ for self-discovery and self-change. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with Canadian exchange students volunteering and studying in the Global South, the paper contributes to scholarship on everyday and emotional geographies of international student mobility and wider debates in mobility by examining how emotions of comfort and discomfort as well as everyday practices are productive for self-discovery, belonging, home-making and distinction. It reveals how students align the boundaries of their comfort zone and an un/reflexive self along the international and imaginative borders of the Global North/South. Contrary to tourism and mobility studies, I argue that students view everyday life and their relative immobility while abroad as both a distinctive and reflexive exercise. I suggest that students want to extend the boundaries of their comfort zone and their sense of ‘home’ to the Global South.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)908-923
    Number of pages16
    JournalMobilities
    Volume12
    Issue number6
    Early online date7 Nov 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • International student mobility
    • Comfort
    • Sense of self
    • Everyday practices
    • Home
    • Emotions
    • Self-discovery

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