‘Living to the rhythm of the city’: internationalisation of universities and tourism discourse in Catalonia
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This paper explores the impact of the tourism discourse on the self-representation strategies that a university in Catalonia adopts towards international students, and the extent to which these strategies connect with the stance of international students towards their study-abroad experience. The data were ethnographically collected during the academic year 2010–2011 and are analysed following a Content Analysis approach to explore how the university and international students project their perspectives on Catalan. The results show that the commodification of the Catalan language and culture is not only a strategy to increase the value of the university and recruit students, but also represents a way of projecting the Catalan national identity in a post-national era. This is not always accepted by the students, especially at the beginning of their stay, as they, like tourists, expect the host community to limit the use of the local language to specific and ritualised events and to adopt Spanish or English in interactions with them.