Abstract

ABSTRACT Places can hold the most significant experiences of peoples’ lives, and place attachment rests in these people-place meaningful connections. Traveling abroad for international students is a mobility where changes and mixed emotions entangle to one another. It represents distancing and loosening ties from a familiar place (home) and creating and connecting new ones with another place (host destination). This voluntary relocation is considered a disruption in place attachment and impacts the overall experience of the international student mobility. Nevertheless, the creation of attachment to a place derived from a place disruption remains scarce within international student mobility literature. This case study explores the production of place attachment in international students in the host destination through the conceptual lens of disruptions to attachment via changes in places. Thirty-three in-depth semi-structured interviews were carried out with international students from different nationalities who have finished a Master’s degree in Tourism at the University of Girona, Spain. This investigation demonstrates the motives and process of place disruption in international student mobility and the power of a host destination to create new emotional bonds and connections, becoming another home for international students.

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