Ronkainen, Noora4; Lee, Sae-Mi2; Serra de Queiroz, Fernanda3
1 Department of Public Health - Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University2 West Virginia University3 independent4 Department of Public Health - Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University
Researchers have suggested that the academic profession has changed considerably in recent years, characterized by a distinct turn towards de-nationalization (Kim, 2009; Jöns, 2011). Nevertheless, not only is research on this current trend of academic mobility in Sport and Exercise Psychology limited, but the experiences of students who pursue transnational careers have also never been addressed. All three authors received the majority of their education in sport psychology abroad; in Australia, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Greece. By reflecting on our experiences through three short stories, we aim to offer insight into how transnational career development shaped (continues to shape) us as young professionals in the field. Our three short stories will illustrate how our transnational education affected us in the past, the present and future. Fernanda’s story will depict her challenges in adapting to both the academic and the national culture of Australia. Noora’s story will explore how her international experiences challenged her approach to research. Sae-Mi’s story will tie these experiences together by reflecting on the future trajectories of transnational careers. Sharing our experiences revealed that we faced similar difficulties as well as similar growth experiences. We found that, being alone in another country for the purpose of education often caused us to bury ourselves in work. Moreover, gaining cultural awareness was imperative to our adaptation, which sometimes meant loss of identity due to acculturation. Finally, organizational support was limited when settling down in a new environment, which causes us to question whether the academic culture is truly becoming a transnational space or whether we are simply minority add-ons to the core culture that continues to stay the same. Developing a transnational career changed how we understood ourselves and the sport and exercise psychology profession. We will end our discussion by offering recommendations to students, faculty and organizations.
transnationalism; academic career; internationalisation; cultural adaptation