The notion of global citizenship appears to be a commonly featured element in graduate attributes outcomes at Australian universities. Global citizens are expected to be able to successfully function in diverse environments within multi-cultural teams, and thus make a positive contribution to the communities in which they work and serve. Intercultural competency is, therefore, an essential element of being a global citizen and an issue of relevance in a modern society with globalised economies and increasing labour mobility opportunities. This paper argues that intercultural competency is best acquired ‘in the field’, that is, through first hand experience gained by being on location in a foreign land. Whilst student exchange programs provide this opportunity, this is not possible for every individual, due to personal matters, work commitments and financial issues. An alternative approach is offered through an international study tour that provides students with a short term cultural immersion experience. This paper reports on the results of such an experience that was shared within both business and social contexts, for a small cohort of business studies students enrolled at an Australian university. These students participated in a two week international study tour to Malaysia during the later part of 2010. Based on data from voluntary surveys, the paper concludes that that the study tour experience improved aspects of the students’ intercultural competency, such as dissimilarity openness, self-monitoring and intercultural communication.
|Keywords:||Intercultural Competency, Multicultural Teams, International Study Tours, Cultural Immersion|
Senior Lecturer (Practice of International Trade) and Associate Researcher, Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, School of International Business, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review