Publication Date

Summer 8-8-2017

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Karla Sarr

Abstract

Today’s society is becoming more interconnected and globalized, making intercultural communication competence (ICC) a necessary competence. Universities are responding to this demand through study away programs. Many students are encouraged to study away during their undergrad years. However, as Alfred and Bryarm (2002) found there is no guarantee a student will enhance their ICC through a study away experience. This capstone project outlines an ICC learning opportunity for students while on the Italy study away program, run through Lorenzo de Medici (LdM) International Institute in Florence, Italy. Lorenzo de Medici is a study abroad institute at which Keene State College (KSC) students are directly enrolled in Florence, Italy.

The capstone project proposes the one credit Intercultural Communication through Study Away (ICTSA) course designed as a co-curriculum to the student’s Italy study away program. The course will be a foundation for ICC learning that will consist of intercultural communication, culture, identity and forms of communication theories and topics. Milton Bennett’s (1986, 1993, 2004, 2013) developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS) is a key theory which will be used throughout the course. The course will draw upon lecture, dialogue, cross-cultural experiences and guest speakers to deliver key concepts. The foundation students receive through this session will provide guidance in understanding their interactions, their new culture and their own culture. This will create movement across Bennett’s (1986) developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. This movement will also allow students to communicate more effectively across cultures, allowing them to have a better quality experience. The objective of this course is to develop a deeper understanding of ICC through the use of each student’s everyday study away experiences, theory and intentional reflection. To meet course objectives, Kolb’s experiential learning theory (1984) and a learner-centered learning environment will provide necessary framework.

Keywords: Intercultural communication competence, study away, study abroad, higher education, curriculum

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication