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the concept of intercultural competence

Literature review The literature review will cover the following sections: the goals of study abroad, an explanation of the concept of intercultural competence and intercultural sensitivity focusing on an understanding of cultural differences, Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) as the conceptual framework for intercultural competence, Kelley & Meyer’s Cross-cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) as a construct for personal development, and finally an overview of selected research on the impact of study abroad on intercultural competence and personal development. Goals of Study Abroad A study conducted by the American Institute for Foreign Studysurveyed alumni who have studied abroad from 1990 to 2010 to find out about their learning goals and outcomes. They were summarized as follows: “impacted my knowledge of another culture (92%), developing skills and intercultural competencies which contributed to obtaining my first job after graduation (56%), and my ability to adapt in diverse workplace environments (80%)” (p. 6). Additionally, the alumni reported that the study abroad experience highly affected their “selfdevelopment and personal values”. Those were “acceptance of difference in others, tolerance of ambiguity, self-awareness, confidence in new people, and greater independence and selfconfidence. The results show that students have expected goals that they would like to achieve from their study abroad experience. With the rise of students studying abroad, institutions in higher education have established goals and learning objectives for students studying abroad. Specific objectives for study abroad programs might vary from one higher education institution to another, yet academic, personal and intercultural competencies are common to most programs ( Study abroad has been one of the strategies implemented by administrators of higher education for responding to the call for internationalization of higher education and for providing students with opportunities to acquire competence in facing diversity in our global world. Such competence would enable them to have an understanding of their own culture, as well as to develop an appreciation for the backgrounds, interests and points of view of others. Over the last two decades, there have been a number of a number attempts to investigate the goals of study abroad in higher education.