The impact of transculturality on student experience of higher education

Heidi A. Smith, Teresa Segbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Higher education outdoor studies programs retain a critical interest in student experiences as they seek to prepare citizens in a globalized, yet simultaneously neo-nationalist, world.

Purpose: This research explored the impact of transculturality on the student experience of outdoor studies in the Transcultural European Outdoor Studies (TEOS) Masters, a course hosted by three universities in three countries.

Methodology/Approach: A longitudinal study of the student experience, using a conceptual framework of self, place, transculturality, and outdoor learning theory underpins the research. Semistructured online interviews and one face-to-face retrospective interview were conducted with four participants throughout the course (Semesters 1, 2, 3), plus an additional five participants prior to the end of Semester 3.

Findings/Conclusions: The findings elucidate students? transcultural self-growth and transcultural capabilities, including resilience, intelligence, and fatigue.

Implications: Although challenges exist for course design, considerations of transcultural pedagogy and curricula, reflective practices, support for students and teaching staff, cultural learning experiences (including language acquisition), and a willingness to move beyond traditional models of curricula at the university level are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experiential Education
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • outdoor studies
  • transculturality
  • higher education
  • internationalization
  • study abroad


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