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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

For A More Creative Brain

Travel Broadens the Mind, But Can it Alter the Brain?

Studies suggest that taking a gap year or studying abroad can positively influence your brain to make you more outgoing and open to new ideas

Kira Shaw | January 18, 2016

There are lots of opportunities for students to travel: be it to postpone your degree and travel the world after taking your A-levels; to take a placement abroad; or to spend your summer months volunteering. Reports show that over 20,000 UK students spend time abroad for a period of over three months each year.
It’s hardly suprising so many students decide to spend time away from the UK: the benefits of travelling are well documented. You can make new friends, broaden your outlook and gain stories to tell. But that’s not all: you may also improve your brainpower and become more outgoing.

Source: Institute of International Education. (2014). “Top 25 Destinations of U.S. Study Abroad Students, 2011/12 -2012/13.” Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from

<more at; related links: (For a More Creative Brain, Travel. How international experiences can open the mind to new ways of thinking. March 31, 2015) and (When in Rome ... Learn Why the Romans Do What They Do: How Multicultural Learning Experiences Facilitate Creativity. William W. Maddux, Hajo Adam, and Adam D. Galinsiky. Pers Soc Psychol Bull June 2010 vol. 36 no. 6 731-741. doi: 10.1177/0146167210367786. [Abstract: Research suggests that living in and adapting to foreign cultures facilitates creativity. The current research investigated whether one aspect of the adaptation process—multicultural learning—is a critical component of increased creativity. Experiments 1-3 found that recalling a multicultural learning experience: (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), (b) increases awareness of underlying connections and associations, and (c) helps overcome functional fixedness. Importantly, Experiments 2 and 3 specifically demonstrated that functional learning in a multicultural context (i.e., learning about the underlying meaning or function of behaviors in that context) is particularly important for facilitating creativity. Results showed that creativity was enhanced only when participants recalled a functional multicultural learning experience and only when participants had previously lived abroad. Overall, multicultural learning appears to be an important mechanism by which foreign living experiences lead to creative enhancement.])>

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