Couch, J. & Georgeou, N. (1905). Do immersion tours have long term transformational impacts on students? A study of Australian university students in a Tibetan host community in India. Journal of Applied Youth Studies (print),2(2), R. White. 18-35. Australia: Centre for Appplied Youth Research.
Immersion tours place a student in an unfamiliar context with the purpose of inducing a change in their worldview. While the literature on immersion tours indicates that, on the whole, students have a beneficial experience, the claims that such experiences are ‘life changing’ are untested. This article examines one cohort of Australian university students who visited the Tibetan community of Dharamsala in India in 2008 and whether the immersion was a transformative experience for them in the long term. While initially most students claimed to have been greatly changed by the experience, five years later none felt that the experience had been truly transformative. This conclusion highlights the need to be sceptical of claims that outbound mobility will transform all students’ lives.
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