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Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v10 p179-199 Fall 2004

Given the growing emphasis on internationalizing higher education and the rapidly increasing number of students embarking on study abroad programs each year, research on student learning outcomes, especially those related to cultural learning, is assuming greater value and relevance. The author conducted a study that aims to enhance one's understanding of intercultural learning by focusing on the link between the development of intercultural sensitivity and the first of Engle and Engle's (2003) key study abroad components, program duration. The study was designed to measure and describe changes in the intercultural sensitivity of University of Maryland students who would be studying abroad in two different language-based programs of differing lengths: a seven-week summer program in Taxco, Mexico, and a 16-week semester program in Mexico City. The study relied on case study methodology and used both qualitative and quantitative measures. Data gathering techniques included face-to-face interviews with individual students, the administration of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a questionnaire, and a demographic questionnaire designed to collect information about students' previous intercultural experience. The research findings suggest that duration of the programs does indeed significantly impact the development of student intercultural sensitivity. Both quantitative and qualitative data show more development of intercultural sensitivity in the students in the Mexico City program than those in the shorter Taxco program. (Contains 3 tables and 7 notes.)

Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Foreign Countries, Study Abroad, Intercultural Programs, Sensitivity Training, Program Length, Interviews, Questionnaires, Social Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Attitude Change, Cross Cultural Training, Schematic Studies, Interpersonal Competence, Program Descriptions, Attitude Measures

Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:

Autor: Medina-Lopez-Portillo, Adriana


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