Rethinking study abroad and intercultural competence
Due to competing demands of university students, short-term study abroad trips are on the rise. The present study is the only study that has explored a trip of less than one week and the ways in which L2 participants have developed their intercultural competence daily. This study was small in scale, since only two second language (L2) learners of Spanish studied abroad. In addition, this study used Merriam’s (1998) case study framework to illuminate the case of two L2 learners and their short-term fiveday study abroad experience. Analyses of surveys and Deardorff’s (2012) Intercultural Competence (IC) self-reflection, coupled with field notes, revealed that participants’ daily fluctuations of up to 18.7% did occur, thus demonstrating IC’s dynamicity (Deardorff, 2012). Not only is a short-term study abroad of less than one week practical for university students, but this study also suggested that a non-traditional short-term study abroad can be a valuable tool to an L2 learner’s IC development.
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