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EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF AN ON-CAMPUS CULTURAL TRAINING COURSE COMBINED WITH FACULTY-LED, SHORT-TERM STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCES ON UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS’ CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE
thesisposted on 07.01.2021, 19:42 by Lukas T Ingersoll
As globalization continues to increase, the demand for culturally intelligent employees is central for navigating everyday intercultural business interactions. For college students preparing to enter the workforce, cultural intelligence is trained at universities through cultural training courses and study abroad experiences. Although cultural training courses and study abroad experiences are recognized as important factors in developing cultural intelligence, their effects are often assumed. Additionally, research indicates that international travel alone does not enhance a person’s overall cultural intelligence. This research examined a university program designed using Bandura’s Social Learning Theory to increase undergraduate students’ cultural intelligence through an on-campus cultural training course followed by a study abroad experience. Study 1 compared the effectiveness of a university program consisting of a cultural training course with a study abroad experience against a comparison control group. Multi-level modeling analyses suggest that students who participated in the cultural training course followed by a study abroad experience significantly increase in motivation, cognitive, metacognitive, and behavior CQ. Furthermore, interaction analyses examined the relationship between the two study groups, students’ self-assigned cultural development goals, the quality of their reflective journal entries, and an examination of any potential cultural mentor effects. None of these variables was associated with CQ growth. Study 2 compared two study abroad groups who either spent 3- or 6-weeks abroad after completing a shared cultural training course. Both groups experienced a statistically significant increase in all four CQ domains relative to a comparison group. When comparing the 3- and 6-week study abroad groups, there were no differences in motivation, cognitive, or behavior CQ; however, in metacognitive CQ, the 3-week group experienced a statistically significant increase compared to the 6-week group. No student-level predictors (age, gender identity, ethnicity, year in school, previous overseas experience, and grade point average) or program-level predictors (cultural mentor, number of countries visited) had a significant relationship with CQ development. These results demonstrate that a university intercultural development program that combines a cultural development training course with an instructor-led study abroad experience can help students improve their cultural intelligence, regardless of a student’s background, and that students can experience significant CQ growth in as little as 3-week abroad.