An Analysis of Contact Types of Study Abroad Students: The Peer Cohort, the Host Culture and the Electronic Presence of the Home Culture in Relation to Readiness and Outcomes

  • Victor Savicki
Keywords: Student contact, Culture contact, Study abroad, Education abroad, Electronic contact

Abstract

International educators have accepted the “contact hypothesis,” the premise that more student contact with a foreign culture is better. The current study examines this premise in more detail especially in regard to the “third culture” of American student peer cohorts, and the impact of continued electronic contact with student’s home culture.  In general, study abroad students spend approximately twice as much time in contact with each other than they do with individuals from the host culture.  Higher percentages of contact with other American student peers is related to lower readiness for study abroad, worse affective and behavioral outcomes, and different acculturative strategies. However, higher percentages of contact with the host culture is not necessarily related to better outcomes. Higher host culture contact is, however, related to better readiness, more functional coping strategies, and more active encounters with the host culture.  Electronic contact with the home culture is not negatively related to study abroad outcomes, and may support a more effective appraisal of the study abroad environment.  Higher percentages of contact with other American student peers by itself may not be the mechanism for difficulties that some students encounter; rather it may be a symptom of anxiety, negative expectations, and an imbalance of challenge over support.  Implications for program design are discussed.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Victor Savicki

Victor Savicki, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, at Western Oregon University. His recent research has focused on stress, coping and adjustment in cross-cultural settings. He has participated in a variety of study abroad programs both as an instructor and a researcher. 

References

Allport, G. W. (1954). The Nature of Prejudice. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Arrúe, C. (2008). The eye of the beholder: Study abroad in Spain viewed through multicultural lenses. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 236–258). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Bennett, J. M. (2008). On becoming a global soul: A path to engagement on study abroad. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp.13–31). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Berry, J. W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation and adaptation. Applied Psychology: A international review, 46. 5–34.

Berry, J. W. (2005). Acculturation. In W. Friedlmeier, P. Chakkarath, & B. Schwarz (Eds.) Culture and Human Development (pp. 291–302). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Binder, F. (2008). Case studies for integration of experience and understanding while studying in Vienna. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 259–275). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Block, J. & Kremen, A. M. (1996). IQ and ego-resiliency: Conceptual and empirical connections and separateness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 70, 349–361.

Carver, C.S., Scheier, M.F., & Weintraub, J.K. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267–283.3.

Citron, J. L. (2002). U. S. students abroad: Host culture integration or third culture formation. In W. Grünsweig & N. Rinehart, (Eds.). Rockin’ in Red Square: Critical Approaches to International Education in the Age of Cyberculture (pp. 41–56). Münster: LIT Verlag.

Deardorff, D. K., Paige, R. M., & Vande Berg, M.(2008). Supporting Student Learning Abroad. Presentation at the Forum on Education Abroad. Boston, MA.

Derogatis, L. R. & Melisaratos, N. (1983). The brief symptom inventory: An introductory report. Psychological Medicine, 13, 595–605.

Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71–75.

Dwyer, M. M. (2004). More is better: The impact of study abroad duration. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, X, 151–163.3.

Engle, J. & Engle, L. (2002). Neither international nor educative: Study abroad in the time of globalization. In W. Grünsweig & N. Rinehart, (Eds.). Rockin’ in Red Square: Critical Approaches to International Education in the Age of Cyberculture (pp. 25–39). Münster: LIT Verlag.

Engle, L. & Engle, J. (2003). Study abroad levels: Toward a classification of program types. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, IX, 1–20.

Evanoff, R. (2006). Integration in intercultural ethics. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30, 421–437.

Fossum, T.A., Weyant, S.A., Etter, L., Feldman Barrett, L. (1998, May). A short and simple alternative to long personality questionnaires. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Washington, DC.

Frey, F. E. & Tropp, L. R. (2006). Being seen as individuals versus as group members: Extending research on metaperception to intergroup contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 265–280.

Holzmüller, H. H. Stöttinger, B. & Wittkop, T. (2002). Information and communication technologies in internationalized business education: Technical opportunities and interpersonal threats. In W. Grünsweig & N. Rinehart, (Eds.). Rockin’ in Red Square: Critical Approaches to International Education in the Age of Cyberculture (pp. 127–146). Münster: LIT Verlag.

Kogut, B., & Singh, H. (2001). The effect of national culture on the choice of entry mode. Journal of International Business Studies, 19, 411–432.

Matsumoto, D., LeRoux, J. A., Iwamoto, M., Choi, J. W., Rogers, D., Tatani, H., & Uchida, H. (2003). The robustness of the Intercultural Adjustment Potential Scale (ICAPS): The search for a universal psychological engine of adjustment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27, 543–56.

Minucci, S. (2008). Italy: Every day another soulful experience to bring back home. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 215–235). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Pettigrew, R. F. & Tropp, L. R. (2006). A meta-analytic test of intergroup contact theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 751–783.3.

Plant, E. A. (2004). Responses to interracial interactions over time. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1458–1471.

Pusch, M. D. & Merrill, M. (2008). Reflection, reciprocity, responsibility and committed relativism. In V. Savicki, (Ed.). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 297–321). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Savicki, V. (2008). Preface. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 259–275). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Savicki, V., Cooley, E., & Donnelly, R. (2008). Acculturative stress, appraisal, coping and intercultural adjustment. In V. Savicki, (Ed.). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 173–192). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Savicki, V., Downing-Burnette, R., Heller, L., Binder, F., & Suntinger, W. (2004). Contrasts, changes, and correlates in actual and potential intercultural adjustment. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 28, 311–329.

Savicki, V. & Selby, R. (2008). Synthesis and conclusions. In V. Savicki, (Ed.). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 342–352). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Selby, R. (2008). Designing transformation in international education. In V. Savicki, (Ed). Developing Intercultural Competence and Transformation: Theory, Research, and Application in International Education (pp. 1–10). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Stephan, W. G., Diaz-Loving, R., & Duran, A. (2000). Integrated threat theory and intercultural attitudes: Mexico and the United States. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 31, 240–249.

Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (1985). Intergroup anxiety. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 157–176.

Voci, A. (2006). The link between identification and in-group favouritism: Effects of threat to social identity and trust-related emotions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 265–284.

Voci, A. & Hewstone, M. (2003). Intergroup contact and prejudice toward immigrants in Italy: The mediational role of anxiety and the moderational role of group salience. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 6, 37–54.

Ward, C. (2001). The A, B, Cs of acculturation. In D. Matsumoto (Ed.), Handbook of Culture and Psychology. (pp. 411–446). NY: Oxford University Press.

Ward, C., Bochner, S., & Furnham, A. (2001). The Psychology of Culture Shock 2nd Ed. London: Routledge.

Ward, C. & Kennedy, A. (1999). The measurement of sociocultural adaptation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 23. 659–677.

Ward, C., & Rana-Deuba, A. (1999). Acculturation and adaptation revisited. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 30, 422–442.

Watson, D, Clark L.A., Tellegen, A, (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.

Werbner, P. & Modood, T. (Eds.), (1997). Debating culture hybridity. London: Zed Books.

Yoshikawa, M. J. (1987). The double-swing model of intercultural communication between the East and the West. In L. D. Kincaid (Ed.), Communication Theory: Eastern and Western Perspectives (pp. 319–329). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Published
2010-11-15
How to Cite
Savicki, V. (2010). An Analysis of Contact Types of Study Abroad Students: The Peer Cohort, the Host Culture and the Electronic Presence of the Home Culture in Relation to Readiness and Outcomes. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 19(1), 61-86. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v19i1.274