Participation in a service-learning (SL) study abroad (SA) program has been shown to enhance cultural competence (Krishnan, Richards & Simpson, 2016) as measured via the Public Affairs Scale (PAS; Levesque-Bristol & Cornelius-White, 2012). The purpose of this study was 1) to evaluate students’ development of intercultural competence using the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®), a tool specifically designed for this purpose, and 2) to evaluate whether intentionally escalating culturally focused developmental experiential learning together with existing course content would increase cultural competence more than program participation alone. Thirty female and one male student participated over three years of the SL SA program. Quantitative data collected included a pre- and post-program administration of the IDI®. Qualitative data included student reflection papers regarding the intentional cultural intervention activities they completed. Comparison of the pre- and post-IDI® showed mixed results with program participation alone, but showed a significant increase in intercultural competence when intentional cultural interventions were included in course content. Results indicate that a short-term SA program with a SL component can be a mechanism for students to enhance intercultural competence when intentional and targeted cultural interventions are included in course activities.
Krishnan, L. A., Masters, C., Holgate, H., Wang, C., & Calahan, C. A. (2017). Structured Study Abroad Enhances Intercultural Competence. Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders, 1(1).