ERIC Number: EJ1096324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Definition of Intercultural Competence According to Undergraduate Students at an International University in Germany
Odag, Özen; Wallin, Hannah R.; Kedzior, Karina K.
Journal of Studies in International Education, v20 n2 p118-139 May 2016
University graduates are required to possess intercultural competence in addition to strong academic skills in today's globalized world. Although such competence has been defined in various theoretical models by intercultural scholars, it remains unknown how the recipients of higher education (the students) define this concept. A total of 130 undergraduate university students (from Western and non-Western cultures), living on a multicultural campus, provided short qualitative responses to a written question on how they define intercultural competence. According to a qualitative content analysis, the students defined intercultural competence in terms of interaction, communication, and cultural harmony. Unlike intercultural scholars, the students placed more emphasis on the understanding and awareness of other cultures rather than focusing on their own culture. It appears that young university students from multicultural backgrounds consider tolerance and collective harmony as the most important components of intercultural competence in their initial stages of intercultural development.
Descriptors: Definitions, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Competence, Undergraduate Students, Qualitative Research, Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Multicultural Education, Questionnaires, Interaction, Cultural Influences, Comparative Education, Racial Relations, Cultural Literacy, Foreign Countries, Likert Scales, Pretesting
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany