Intercultural Communication in Education

This research study explores the effect of intercultural communication with classmates, teachers, and international office from host universities on the communicative competencies of 10 Filipino Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) grantees.

Literature review revealed that while international students experience cultural differences, their cultural awareness and intercultural competencies were enhanced and resulted in varying acculturation outcomes. Notably, intercultural communication in international education has been explored through various cultural standpoints other than the Filipino perspective. In response, this study probes the Filipino UGRAD scholars’ intercultural experiences; fundamental patterns of cultural differences used for formal/institutional and regular conversations; and attitudes towards the perceived cultural differences.

The framework of this study is grounded on Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) and Michael Byram’s multidimensional model of intercultural competence.

This research study uses an exploratory design where a qualitative approach was employed. Through Focused Interviews, patterns of perceived cultural differences and intercultural communicative competencies surfaced.

Findings revealed that Filipino UGRAD scholars can think and act beyond their particular cultural circumstances. Cultural differences appeared during intercultural conversations and consequently, their preconceptions of American education, society, and culture were reinforced or challenged. In response, the informants asserted their own cultural identities and showed mutual positive support by alternating between identities. They developed and demonstrated critical cultural awareness during intercultural experiences. Moreover, the Filipino UGRAD scholars are aware that their knowledge of and attitudes towards cultural differences are shaped by negotiation skills (interpreting, relating, discovery, interaction) in important ways. Thus, intercultural experiences affect the development of intercultural competences and vice versa.

They became more aware of the people around them and at the same time, went through an internal process of self-knowledge and self-realization. Equipped with enhanced intercultural competencies Filipino UGRAD scholars challenged dominant views on the Filipino and American identities.

Interested readers may contact the author via yr2558@yahoo.com.

Last updated 04 March 2015

Subject Index : Student Exchange Programs--Philippines

Pantoja, C. (2011). Intercultural Communication in Education: The intercultural experiences and communicative competencies of ten Filipino Global Undergraduate Exchange Program grantees, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.