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Intercultural Competence Development in US Undergraduates: A Comparison of Three Study Abroad Program Models in Spain

Scally, Jayme (2016) Intercultural Competence Development in US Undergraduates: A Comparison of Three Study Abroad Program Models in Spain. PhD thesis, University of York.

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In study abroad it is generally assumed that students will develop intercultural competencies (ICC) in the affective, cognitive, and behavioral domains. These sojourns occur in increasingly varied program types as international education organizations seek to expand opportunities to diverse student types. With this proliferation it is vital to have empirical evidence to support calls for specific program structures to facilitate enhanced ICC development; presently very little research comparing different program types exists. This study begins to fill that gap through a comparison of US undergraduates’ perceptions of their ICC development while studying in Spain in one of three program types, specifically American (Island), Third Party (Hybrid) programs, and Direct Enrollment. This is done employing Deardorff’s Model of Intercultural Competence. Data is collected through a qualitatively driven mixed methods design utilizing pre and post questionnaires modeled on Freed’s Language Contact Profile and extended with interculturally focused questions inspired by Deardorff’s model, one-to-one interviews with students, and semi-structured in person or written interviews with on-site program administrators. Findings show each program offered students a valuable semester though some elements supported an additional level of cultural understanding and ICC development. American program participants cited difficulties due to their lack of interaction with the host environment while challenges faced by Direct Enrollment students, such as matriculation and language barriers, caused difficulty in their development of ICC. However, Third Party students reported stronger ICC gains and confidence, often citing their program facilitated immersion into the Spanish culture. Findings may support program designers in ensuring students are supported to make academic gains while developing a full range of intercultural competencies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Jayme Jayme Scally
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 15:32
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 15:32
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15203

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