Does studying in an international program make you a better intercultural communicator?

ESHCC researcher Joep Hofhuis is working on a multi-year research project to answer this question, funded by the Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI). The first step was to find a reliable way to measure intercultural communication competences across time.

In their recent open access publication in the journal PLoS One, Joep Hofhuis and Jeroen Jansz (ESHCC), together with Joran Jongerling (ESSB) and Karen van der Zee (VU Amsterdam), describe the validation of the questionnaire that will be used. Students complete the questionnaire right after they start studying, as well as at key moments in the program, such as during their internship, and before and after going on international exchange.

The instrument is shown to be very reliable among both male and female students, and – importantly – to work equally well among students with different cultural backgrounds. This is great news, it means we can proceed with the next step of the project: examining how and when intercultural communication competences develop. These results are expected later this year.

Additionally, the results reported in this publication contribute to the new PhD project by Leonor Gaitan Aguilar, which is also supported by the CLI. She will examine in greater detail how we can encourage our students to become global citizens, and to develop expertise in intercultural communication through studying at EUR.