Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Eric S. Dwyer

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Teresa Lucas

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


learning through travel, foreign study, self-directed learning, international education, intercultural education

Date of Defense



In the broad field of education, studies have been done to understand the ways in which adult learning, development, and transformation are fostered in travel contexts. Such studies mainly used the experiential learning and transformational learning theoretical frameworks to look at participants’ lived learning experiences from travel. However, there is a void when one searches for studies that examine the intersection of self-directed learning and travel. This study used self-directed learning theory to explore the essence of learning from foreign travel experiences. The aim of this study was to understand the role of self-directed learning as a learning process that adults use to design and pursue learning and personal enrichment experiences in foreign travel contexts. This was about understanding the ways in which adults find joy in travel through creating their own learning environments. Qualitative interviews were gathered from participants who wished to share their experiences and conclusions were reported following a phenomenological framework.

Today, becoming a self-directed learner is more important and prevalent than ever. Especially with the improved ease of use with technology to find and/or create learning opportunities and the availability of a multitude of travel options, information and experience-seekers have today a variety of ways to satisfy their hunger for personal enrichment. In an age when more adult learners are taking learning experiences into their own hands and looking to explore the foreign destinations that they might have only read about in books, or searched for online, it is important for travel-related providers and academic thought-leaders to understand the self-directed learning process as it relates to adult learners in foreign travel contexts. The findings of this study show that Knowles’ self-directed learning theory can be an applicable and advantageous learning framework to be utilized during foreign travel experiences and that traveling with learning goals and strategies enhances such experiences. My personal goal with this project was to give readers a better understanding of how self-directed individuals learn through travel and an applicable construct with which to do so.





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