Travel and personal growth: the value of visits to the country of origin for transnational migrant youth

Sarah Anschütz*, Valentina Mazzucato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Migrant-background youth travel often to their or their parents’ country of origin, yet little is known about how such trips affect their personal growth. These trips have either been ignored or analysed through concepts of belonging or identity. By contrast, studies on international education and travel and tourism, which commonly focus on youth without migration background, highlight positive personal impacts of experiences abroad. This paper applies a personal growth lens to analyse how visits to the origin country impact Ghanaian-background youth living in Belgium. Drawing on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Belgium and Ghana with 25 young people, we show how such trips stimulate self-confidence and aspirations. Self-confidence is strengthened through favourable treatment and access to luxurious spaces that make youth feel special. Young people develop educational and career aspirations after comparing opportunity structures they face in Belgium with their experiences in Ghana and engaging with Ghanaian role models.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalCompare-A Journal of Comparative and International Education
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Belgium
  • Ghana
  • Migration
  • Transnational youth mobility
  • Youth mobility trajectories
  • aspirations
  • personal growth
  • self-confidence
  • MIGRATION
  • THEMES
  • EDUCATION
  • MOBILITIES
  • CHILDREN
  • FAMILY
  • EXPERIENCES
  • THINKING
  • PEOPLE
  • 2ND-GENERATION

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