Summer Study-Abroad Program as Experiential Learning: Examining Similarities and Differences in International Communication

  • Kenneth J. Levine University of Tennessee, United States
  • Michelle E. Garland University of Tennessee, United States
Keywords: study abroad, experiental learning, intercultural sensitivity, international communication, assessment

Abstract

This paper examines how the study-abroad experience enhances intercultural communication competence. This study used Bennett’s (1986, 1993) model of ethnorelative typology of acceptance, adaptation, and integration to explore intercultural communication competency. Central to intercultural communication competency is intercultural sensitivity and modified perceptions of cultural differences. A pre-test/post-test open-ended questionnaire design was utilized to uncover what was learned by students while participating in a four-week summer study-abroad program in Paris and Brussels. Based on 110 participants over 16 years, results indicated that both sensitivity to and understanding of cultural differences are heightened as a result of the study-abroad experience. Further, these findings provided support for outcomes showing attainment of intercultural communication competency learning objectives.

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Author Biographies

Kenneth J. Levine, University of Tennessee, United States

KENNETH J. LEVINE is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Levine’s research agenda concentrates on international communication, organizational communication, small group communication and leadership. Dr. Levine is an advocate for the inclusion of international and intercultural material in the classroom and has organized and taught a summer study-abroad program in Paris and Brussels since 1998. 

Michelle E. Garland, University of Tennessee, United States

MICHELLE EPSTEIN GARLAND is a doctoral student and Graduate Teaching Associate in the School of Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee. Prior to entering the doctoral program, she taught Business and Professional Communication as a Lecturer for the School of Communication Studies for six years. Her research agenda concentrates on instructional communication, student learning, and higher education assessment and evaluation.

Published
2015-04-01
How to Cite
Levine, K. J., & Garland, M. E. (2015). Summer Study-Abroad Program as Experiential Learning: Examining Similarities and Differences in International Communication. Journal of International Students, 5(2), 175-187. Retrieved from https://www.ojed.org/index.php/jis/article/view/433
Section
Research Articles