Two Countries, One Goal: A Mixed-Methods Study of the Development of Study Abroad Sojourners’ Cultural Identification in Japan and Korea
Keywords:acculturation, cultural identification, orthogonal cultural identification scale, study abroad, cultural competence, mixed-methods study
The number of students expanding their academic programs to include learning experiences abroad had been, prior to the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, steadily increasing over the past two decades. This mixed-method study investigates the cultural identification of short-term study abroad participants and its influence on their acculturation process. Quantitative data from a widely-used acculturation scale were collected from participants before and after the program. In addition, qualitative data from participants’ journals were examined, elucidating the role the study abroad experience played in their cultural identification. This investigation revealed statistically significant effects of cultural experiences on cultural identification, specifically decreases in cultural identification scores. This study supports the concept of cultural identification as a continuum rather than as a dichotomy. Implications suggest that a deeper understanding of students’ cultural identifications can be helpful in developing study abroad programs that promote the goals of student awareness, cultural sensitivity, and global competence.
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