International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

International Student Mobility: An Identity Development Task?
Sergio Severino, Roberta Messina, Vicente J. Llorent

Based on the review of literature on internationalization of education and on identity formation processes in young adults, this cross-sectional study aims to investigate to which extent self-perceived dimensions of identity are associated to the main motivations to study abroad. The participants in this study were 429 international university students of different nationalities. Findings revealed that the motivation to study abroad for personal growth is strongly associated to the commitment and in-depth exploration identity processes, whereas the motivation to study abroad with the aim of changing life style and enlarging job opportunities is positively associated with reconsideration of commitment and in-depth exploration. Furthermore, identity achieved students showed the highest motivation to study abroad for personal growth, while the motivation to study abroad to positively change life-styles and work conditions is strongly associated with the positive facet of identity crisis, which is otherwise called searching-moratorium status. Based on these results, the present survey provides useful questions and hypothesis for future research.

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