Examining study abroad alumni's perceived levels of intercultural communication competency and its origins
Tuck, Sarah Mink
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This paper examines how study abroad alumni understand and exhibit intercultural communication competency development upon reentry to their home culture. Seventeen study abroad alumni from four selected programs (two communication-based programs and two non-communication-based programs) at a southeastern university participated in in-depth interviews to discuss their intercultural communication behaviors post-study abroad. Results indicated that study abroad alumni perceive and exhibit varying degrees of development. Further, these participants identified several sources of development, including cultural immersion, education, and group dynamics. Additionally, results supported the notion that intercultural communication competency is culture-specific, meaning that participants understand their behavior development in specific cultural contexts that do not necessarily translate to a myriad of cultural experiences. Implications for intercultural communication and international education scholarship are discussed.