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The study abroad experience: Self-reflecting on the development of intercultural competence and identity after one semester abroad
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Study abroad programmes have become popular among students around the world nowadays. Thanks to the participation in the exchange, students are able to improve their intercultural skills, which may be beneficial for them in their future careers. This study investigates students’ development of intercultural competence and identity after spending one semester at the university in Hong Kong. Its main focus is to analyse how study abroad programmes impact students’ abilities in intercultural communication by analysing their self-reflections towards their re-invented identities as well as the overall experience of living and studying in a different country. The whole study is also based on the concept of linguistic repertoire, which is here being updated in the context of globalisation. In order to collect the data, four participants from the Netherlands, Germany and Canada were asked to fill in initial contact forms by providing information about one specific intercultural encounter that they have experienced during the study abroad period. This information then acted as the background knowledge used in the following interviews with each participant, where their opinions have been further developed in more detail. The results show that the participants further developed their skills in intercultural competence as well as enhanced their already interculturally-oriented identities. As for the impact on their linguistic repertoires, the interesting finding shows that the linguistic repertoires of the participants with English as a second language might have been affected slightly more than those of the native speakers. In the end, these results agree with the previous research on the development of intercultural skills after the study abroad period and highlight the importance of participating in study abroad programmes as students become prepared for their future careers in the highly globalised world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 40
Keyword [en]
intercultural communication, intercultural competence, intercultural identity, linguistic repertoire, study abroad
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144379DiVA, id: diva2:1111935
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Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-22 Created: 2017-06-19 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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