Chapter 3 in Miller, R., Day, G., (eds.), The Evolution of European Identities, pp 45-60

Using data from the educationally mobile (EM) ‘sensitised group’ interviews1 this chapter responds to the question: do experiences of European educational exchange programmes or study abroad make the participants more ‘European’? The biographical approach allows experiences of international educational mobility to be interpreted within the life course as a whole and is designed to reveal the extent to which intra-European educational mobility has a lasting impact on biographical development. The next chapter is devoted to a detailed analysis of one EM interview, Majka, while here we present the broader analytical framework supported by brief examples and illustrations drawn mainly from three biographies: Maria, Reni and Joanna. The chapter’s sections build on some typical sequential patterns which appear in the biographies of the EM group. First, the narrative openings typically include the early stages of a person’s life, including those experiences and relationships which are used to make sense of later stages in formal education. The stories reveal the accumulation and circulation of educational and other types of ‘capital’. Second, there is the story of educational mobility to other countries, which can involve a variety of different institutions and programmes. Experiences of mobility are often connected to the third general theme, awareness of Europe as a common framework of reference within which multiple experiences, structures, influences and actions are linked to identifications which are supranational.2