Title

"Who Talks to Whom in Schools and Cafes? Adult Student Inquiry for Intercultural Competence" in Intercultural Education and Competences: Challenges and Answers for the Global World

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

Who talks to whom in schools and cafes in different cultures, and how do the interactions differ? This was the question behind a travel course designed to develop intercultural competence through an inquiry approach. Driven by curiosity, adult students from a U.S. Midwestern university investigated public spaces in Italy and Estonia and compared intercultural variables, such as non-verbal interactions, power distance, and technology use. The course fostered intercultural competence by engaging students, while abroad, with resident scholars who probed their assumptions and opened their eyes to different perspectives, an essential element of intercultural competence (Bennett, 2009; Deardoff, 2006). Students applied these insights and attitudes when practicing intercultural skills in the day-to-day interactions within the diverse travel group.

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