Identity Construction through Tourism Education: Voice from International Students

Xiaoqing Chen, Carol Xiaoyue Zhang

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Although tourism and hospitality (T&H) as HE programmes have achieved the “remarkable growth in numbers” (Airey, 2015: 13), their maturity “is still highly debatable” (Hsu, Xiao & Chen, 2015: 142). The downplaying of liberal education and the high reliance on a vocational approach are believed as an inherent challenge that prevents T&H HE from developing “well-rounded, knowledgeable and thoughtful individuals (Tight, 2015: 95)” and instead is seen as a specialist incubator for the industry (Airey, 2013; Tribe, 2002). Upholding the liberal education approach, this research conducts a multimode exploration of international student’s self-identity (re)construction. Specifically, we focus on how Chinese international students understand their self-development through their overseas education on a daily base, looking specifically at tourism and hospitality programmes. Data were collected through the combination with self-portrait and collage-making, being supported with semi-structured in-depth interview. Unlike previous research which has studied international students as homogeneous groups, this research prioritizes the individual heterogeneities—studying individual experiences as integrally embedded in students’ everyday lives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Event8th Critical Tourism Studies Conference 2019 - Ibiza, Spain, Ibiza, SPAIN
Duration: 24 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 8TH


Conference8th Critical Tourism Studies Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleCTS
Internet address


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