Assessment of Intercultural Development of College Students in Study Abroad
According to Patterson (2006), the “development of intercultural awareness, sensitivity, and competence is important for a person to compete in today’s workplace”. It falls on higher education to sharpen intercultural skills in college students entering the workforce. Institutions may seek to impart these skills through study abroad programs. A majority of the literature observed intercultural development through implementing quantitative surveys; selected studies compared change over time through pre-test and post-test while some compared perceived intercultural development of study abroad participants to a control group. In an effort to provide a comprehensive inclusion of students in different college campuses, the scope of this literature review looks at traditional, non-traditional, public and private institutions, and community college students. However, the resulting selection of articles primarily surveyed study abroad programs that occurred in Western Europe and Latin America, with the exception of the Dwyer’s retrospective longitudinal study (2004) of the alumni of the Institute for the International Education of Students. In examining literature published within the past ten years, different testing instruments emerged to measure specific values on personal development of study abroad students. This literature review is principally directed to provide insight on methods used to measure intercultural skills that are enhanced while students partake in a study abroad program; such insight may be useful to institution leaders looking to include study abroad programs in course requirements. Additionally, study abroad coordinators seeking to evaluate student development of their participants, may use this literature review to identify instruments available and select one suited for their respective program.
Dauer, Jeanette V.