, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 177-190

First online:

National or global: The mutable concepts of identity and home for international school students

  • Nigel BagnallAffiliated withFaculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney Email author 

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This article examines a selection of responses about identity and belonging among students in an international school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who must often move from one continent to another because of the nature of their parents’ work. A review of the literature highlights some of the issues these students face within an international school community, including social, psychological, and academic difficulties. The students were interviewed about their nationalities, their sense of belonging, and their thoughts about the future. Their responses were video-recorded and analyzed by thematic groupings. Initial findings indicate three distinct groups of students: those who know exactly which country they come from, those who are not sure, and those who feel an attachment to a global rather than a national identity.


International school Identity Globalization Brazil