In this article, the idea of the ‘colonial signature’ is advanced as a potentially pivotal response to triggers that deepen or act as barriers to intercultural learning. From a postcolonial positioning, empirical data is then examined to consider the responses to intercultural-learning triggers of 14 UK-based student teachers on a study visit to India specifically through an analysis of their reflective writing and interviews.
Participants’ responses to varied triggers became significant colonial signatures to their intercultural learning. The learning deepened where responses were reflexive and articulated with reference to the global powerbase that underpins study visits to the Global South. Where responses to triggers provoked more shallow comparisons with home, the colonial signatures resulted in closed-down discussion, thus acting as a barrier to further learning. This has implications not only for study visits, but also, more widely, for the approach to global learning.