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The Cult of Personality Testing

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of a semester-long study abroad program on the intercultural competence and personal development of students at a researchintensive university. For the purpose of this study, intercultural competence refers to the ability to develop an understanding of one’s own and host culture, cultural differences, and one’s own personal changes after a study abroad experience. This qualitative study is an extension of the researcher’s doctoral dissertation, a quantitative study that investigated the impact of a semester long study abroad program on the intercultural sensitivity and cross-cultural adaptability skills of students at the same university. The results of pre and post quantitative study indicated that the study abroad experience had a positive impact on the participants’ intercultural competence and personal development. The rationale behind this qualitative study is to supplement the quantitative results with in-depth and rich data from reflective self-reports of the same students on their intercultural competence and personal development using the same conceptual frameworks as the quantitative study. It aims at providing insight of how the students viewed their host and own culture, cultural differences and personal growth.