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Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity of International and Domestic College Students

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021239/00001

Material Information

Title: Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity of International and Domestic College Students The Impact of International Travel
Physical Description: 1 online resource (80 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Mcmurray, Alison A
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: awareness, communications, culture, intercultural, measuring, scale
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies continue to develop long-term economic relationships with other cultures, the need for increased competency in developing widespread, interculturally sensitive communication skills becomes more essential. The purpose of this inquiry is to closely examine potential disparities between levels of intercultural sensitivity among three groups of participants: international students, domestic students with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience. The study will focus in on particular characteristics or experiences that may affect an individual?s level of intercultural sensitivity. The benefits of positive intercultural interactions, and intercultural sensitivity are numerous. They allow for beneficial experiences to occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare future global citizens for successful intercultural interactions as they take their place in the age of globalization.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Alison A Mcmurray.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Molleda, Juan Carlos.
Local: Co-adviser: Leslie, Michael.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021239:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021239/00001

Material Information

Title: Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity of International and Domestic College Students The Impact of International Travel
Physical Description: 1 online resource (80 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Mcmurray, Alison A
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: awareness, communications, culture, intercultural, measuring, scale
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies continue to develop long-term economic relationships with other cultures, the need for increased competency in developing widespread, interculturally sensitive communication skills becomes more essential. The purpose of this inquiry is to closely examine potential disparities between levels of intercultural sensitivity among three groups of participants: international students, domestic students with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience. The study will focus in on particular characteristics or experiences that may affect an individual?s level of intercultural sensitivity. The benefits of positive intercultural interactions, and intercultural sensitivity are numerous. They allow for beneficial experiences to occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare future global citizens for successful intercultural interactions as they take their place in the age of globalization.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Alison A Mcmurray.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Molleda, Juan Carlos.
Local: Co-adviser: Leslie, Michael.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021239:00001


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552578aff42fc87214a72f8449c89baf
a4645df406d4e97a8ca74b904866b66ff62a2b84







MEASURING INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC
COLLEGE STUDENTS: THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL





















By

ALISON A. McMUJRRAY


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS INT MASS
COMMUNICATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007


































O 2007 Alison A. McMurray



































To my Mom, for breaking the emic grid.










ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda, for his

guidance and encouragement throughout the writing process. I would also like to thank Dr.

Michael Leslie, for his direction through the process of inquiry. I also extend my gratitude to

Dean Dennis Jett of the University of Florida International Center, for his rich intercultural

perspectives. I am also thankful to Jody Hedge, with the Division of Graduate Studies and

Research, at the College of Journalism and Communications, for always helping me find the

answers.

I am grateful to my loving and wonderful family, for always supporting and encouraging

me. Thank you to my friends for their heartening words: muito obrigada. I am also thankful to

Syraj, for his love and understanding, his reassurance, and for bringing me chocolate when I

needed it most.











TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ................ ...............7............ ....

LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9

CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............10.......... ......


Intercultural Sensitivity: Higher Education ................. ...............14................
Understanding Culture............... ...............17

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............19................


Definitions of Intercultural Sensitivity ................ ................ ......... ........ ...._19
A History of Intercultural Sensitivity ......_.._............_. ........__......__............21
Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity .................. ...............24..
Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) ................ ...............24................
Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) ................. ...............................26
Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ISCI) .............. ...............28....
Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) .............. ...............29....
Intercultural Sensitivity in a Post 9-11 World ........._._. ...._.__. ... ............ ...32
Intercultural Sensitivity: Corporate Sector .............. ...............33....
Study Abroad and Intercultural Sensitivity .............. ...............36....
Hypotheses of the study ................. ...............37.......... .....

3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............41....


Population and sample ........._._.. .....__.. ...............41.....
Research Instrument Construction................ .............4
The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) .............. ...............42....
Procedure and Data Analysis............... ...............43

4 FINDINGS ................. ...............45.................


International Travel Experience of Participants ......... ........ ................ ...............45
Reliability A analysis ................. .... .. ... .......................4
Descriptive Statistics of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale' s Items..........._._... .........._._... .46
Composite of the Five Constructs. .........._.... ...............48.._._._ ....
Hypotheses Testing............... ...............48
Other analysis performed............... ...............5












5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION .............. ...............61....


International Travel Experience .............. ...............61...
International students vs. domestic students ................. ...............62........... ...
Undergraduate students vs. graduate students ................ ...............65........... ...

Study Abroad ................. ...............66.......... ......
Male vs. female............... ...............67.

Importance of findings ................. ...............68........... ....
Limitations of the study ................. ........... ...............69.....
Recommendations for further research............... ...............70
Conclusion ................ ...............72.................


APPENDIX INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY SCALE. ......___ ..... ...... ........._.......73


WORKS CITED .............. ...............74....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............80....











LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1 Travel length collapsed ........... ..... .._.. ...............55...

4-2 Reliability statistics for the 5 constructs of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale .................55

4-3 Descriptive statistics .............. ...............56....

4-4 Descriptive statistics .............. ...............57....

4-5 Hypothesis 1: Int'1 students X Domestic students ................ ...............57........... .

4-6 Hypothesis 2: Domestic no travel x domestic yes travel ................... ............... 5

4-7 Hypothesis 3: Graduate students x undergraduate students ......_.._............. ...... .........58

4-8 Group statistics............... ...............5

4-9 Participant sex x 5 composite variables .....___.....__.___ .......____ ..........5










LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

4-1 Reasons for traveling abroad .............. ...............60....










Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

MEASURING INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC
COLLEGE STUDENTS: THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

By

Alison A. McMurray

August 2007

Chair: Juan Carlos Molleda
Cochair: Michael Leslie
Major: Mass Communication

As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies continue to develop long-

term economic relationships with other cultures, the need for increased competency in

developing widespread, interculturally- sensitive communication skills becomes more essential.

The purpose of this inquiry is to closely examine potential disparities between levels of

intercultural sensitivity among three groups of participants: international students, domestic

students with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel

experience. The study will focus in on particular characteristics or experiences that may affect

an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity. The benefits of positive intercultural

interactions, and intercultural sensitivity are numerous. They allow for beneficial experiences to

occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare future global citizens for

successful intercultural interactions as they take their place in the age of globalization.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies continue to develop long-

term economic relationships with other cultures, the need for increased competency in

developing widespread, interculturally- sensitive communication skills becomes more essential.

As these societies are continually becoming more intertwined and more dependent on modern

technology, Gergen (1991) identifies seven technologies that make up this trend of

interdependence: railroad, mail, automobile, telephone, radio, motion pictures, and commercial

publishing. Zhong (2000) adds that "television and computer, Internet in particular" can be

placed on the list "because both are revolutionary in terms of their influence on modern society

and human communication behaviors" (p. 35). As Gergen (1991) further states "each of these

technologies brought people into increasingly close proximity, exposed them to an increasing

range of others, and fostered a range of relationships that could never have occurred before" (p.

53).

The Internet plays a massive role in today's world of globalization, allowing people to

communicate via email, internet telephone and instant messaging in real time, as well as

experience things they otherwise could not. However, one thing the Internet cannot provide is

the authenticity and experience of a face-to-face intercultural interaction; now a daily occurrence

throughout most of the world. In order to be successful in these communications, it is necessary

to have knowledge of and respect for cultural differences, and understand how they affect one's

interaction skills and behavior. With immigration into the United States on a continuous upward

climb since the 1970s (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000), it is not hard to encounter individuals from

cultural backgrounds different from our own.









The foreign-born population of the United States currently totals 33.1 million, which is

equal to 1 1.5% of the total U. S. population, the highest percentage in 70 years. (Camarota,

2002). "The top ten countries of birth for immigrants in 2005 were Mexico (161,445), India

(84,681), China (69,967), the Philippines (60,748), Cuba (36,261), Vietnam (32,784), the

Dominican Republic (27,504), Korea (26,562), Columbia (25,571), and Ukraine (22,761).

(Migration Policy Institute, 2006, p. 2). The Center for Immigration Studies (2005) states,

according to the U. S. Census Bureau, the population of the United States will increase to more

than 400 million in less than 50 years, a proj section made based on immigration data. These

immigrants come from all over the world, and for a variety of reasons.

The education system of the United States will feel this impact in the changes that must

be made to accommodate these incoming children, who, for the most part, do not speak English

as a first language. This also holds true for the number of school-aged immigrants and school-

aged children of immigrants, which account for 9.7 million, or 18.3% of all school-aged children

in the United States (Camarota, 2002). An interesting characteristic of these younger immigrants

is that they learn and use English quickly, and it usually replaces their native language.

According to Ruben G. Rumbaut, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for

Research on Immigration, Population, and Public Policy at the University of California-Irvine,

"young immigrants (those ages 5 to 17) almost always are speaking English over their native

tongues by adulthood." (Kent and Lalasz, 2006, n.p.). Though there are young immigrants who

are speaking English over their native tongues by adulthood; there are, however, millions who

still speak a language other than English at home. Kent and Lalaz (2006) purport that "the

number of Americans speaking a language at home other than English has more than doubled









since 1980, reflecting the influx of millions of immigrants to the United States in recent decades,

particularly Spanish-speaking immigrants from Latin America." (n.p.).

Although English speakers account for 82. 1% of the U. S. population, the second most

spoken language in the United States is Spanish, with 10.7% of the population speaking it at

home. (mla.org, 2005). Following English and Spanish, the third most spoken language in the

U. S. is French, with .61% of the population speaking, followed by Chinese, with a speaking

population of .57%. The fifth most spoken language in the United States is German, with .52%

of the population speaking German as their primary language at home. (mla.org, 2005). This

means that the large number of people in the United States who are speaking languages other

than English at home, are utilizing their cultural cues and values when interacting with primarily

English speaking citizens.

Parallel to the phenomenon of immigration, countries are also experiencing an increase in

international travel, exposing more people to various cultures and traditions. According to

preliminary findings presented by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) in January 2007,

international tourist arrivals reached an all-time record of 842 million in 2006--an increase of 4.5

percent over 2005. Tourism growth occurred in all world regions, but was strongest in Africa

(+8.1%) and the Asia-Pacific region (+7.6%). However, growth in continually strong tourist

markets like the Americas (+2. 1%) and Europe (+3.9%) slowed down somewhat, registering

slightly below the world average. (Travel Industry Association, 2007). According to Mowana

(1997), "tourists travel for a variety of reasons, including enhancement of social status,

transcending feelings of isolation, a search for reality and authenticity, escape, and pleasure."

(pg. 133). Likewise, some of the more common reasons why people travel abroad are to attend

school, whether through a study abroad program or independently, for business purposes, to visit









family, as part of a missionary trip, for leisure, or possibly to live and work abroad. Whatever

the reason, with 842 million international travelers from all around the globe, it is apparent that

vast numbers of the world' s citizens are now, more than ever, coming into contact on a daily

basis with varied individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. The global marketplace of

today's society is promoting this manner of travel and interaction, requiring more and more

individuals to become less ethnocentric and more interculturally sensitivity.

According to Anderson, Lawton, Rexeisen, and Hubard (2005), "Our ability to function

effectively in an environment depends upon our skill in recognizing and responding

appropriately to the values and expectations of those around us" (p. 47). To be effective,

interculturally sensitive people must be interested in other cultures, have an awareness of cultural

differences, and be willing to modify their behavior as an indication of respect for the people of

other cultures. Greenholtz (2000) expresses these interpersonal qualities via the term

"intercultural sensitivity." According to Lambert (1993), an individual with knowledge of the

ways in which their culture and other cultures differ, who respects and values those differences,

is motivated and wants to communicate appropriately, and who has mastered the skills to do so,

is considered interculturally competent.

Though it may seem intuitive to discern the different ways in which various societies can

benefit from positive intercultural interactions, it can be very difficult to understand exactly what

this process of gaining intercultural perspectives necessitates and what it means for the future of

the global community. In an attempt to clarify the ambiguous definitions of intercultural

competence, and arrive at a more precise and collective definition, researcher Darla Deardorff

(2006) conducted a study among intercultural scholars in the field of intercultural

communication, as well as with administrators from different colleges and universities across









the United States. While they were not able to agree on one single definition in the end, the

study was still insightful as it gave a deeper understanding and showed the different perspectives

of definitions between the researchers and the administrators. The definitions used by the

intercultural scholars compared to the definitions used by the administrators were very different,

meaning the understanding of these ideas and concepts are not the same amongst the two groups.

It is important to look upon this study as it shows the complexity and variance in the

understanding and interpretation of intercultural competence even among researchers within the

Hield.

The purpose of this study is to focus in on particular characteristics or experiences that

may affect an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity. This study will closely examine

potential disparities between levels of intercultural sensitivity among three groups of

participants: international students, domestic students with international travel experience, and

domestic students without international travel experience. More specifically, the research

question that drives this inquiry is as follows: Are there differences between the levels of

intercultural sensitivity between international students, domestic students with international

travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience?

Intercultural Sensitivity: Higher Education

One of the key areas in which intercultural interactions take place is in the higher

education setting. The need for awareness, respect, and acknowledgement of cultural differences

in higher education may not be as apparent as in other situations, but the fact remains: no matter

what or where the setting, there is a constant need for awareness of cultural similarities and

differences. As the number of international students coming to the United States to pursue their

secondary education continues to rise, so too does the likelihood of domestic students of coming

into contact with their culturally distinct counterparts. With specific regard to the numbers of










international students enrolled on U.S. campuses for the year 2005-2006, that number was

564,766 out of a total enrollment of U. S. universities of 14,528,728 students (Open doors online,

2006). This is about four percent of the total enrollment of all students on U.S. campuses. The

University of Florida, for example, ranks 12th on the list of high international students

enrollment, with a total of 3,749 students out of the whole population of 49,650 students (Open

doors online, 2006).

This data suggests many students attending a university in the United States are likely to

come in contact with students from different cultural backgrounds. Whether these individuals

meet through a class proj ect, a student group, or a chance meeting, in order for these students to

have successful interactions, they require some level of awareness and understanding of each

other' s cultural backgrounds and differences. Such awareness may influence their behavior,

interaction style and their manner of speech, and produce positive outcomes for all culturally

distinct individuals.

In today's world, the increasing number of university graduates signifies that these

graduates comprise an increasing impact on the future of our global society. According to

Achieve.org (2006), "Every year, about a million U.S. Americans enroll as first-time, full-time

freshmen in the nation's four-year colleges and universities." This is in addition to the

international students who also graduate from U.S. universities. As these people will lead our

societies in the future, they, more than anyone else, should be educated and trained in the

ideology of intercultural sensitivity. It is important that as our global societies become more

intertwined, that we all have the necessary skills and knowledge to make the most of our j oint

efforts .









Within the higher education setting, one way of making the assimilation easier for

international students, to a new culture, is by providing a support system, and "the university that

hosts them should take responsibility." (Owen, 2007). Not only do international students need a

place where they can interact positively with domestic students, but also they most certainly need

a place where they can interact with people from their own countries or cultural backgrounds.

Likewise, in order to create an environment for domestic student populations to be successful

during these intercultural interactions, there should be training in cross-cultural communication,

as well as opportunities for interaction with international students. According to Heikinheimo

and Shute, (1986), the literature indicates that there is a positive relationship between time spent

with the host culture and successful cultural adaptation for international students. This creates a

positive outcome for both groups, in that helping the domestic student population effectively and

confidently communicate with the international student population, in turn helps the international

students adjust to the new culture, as well as to ensure opportunities for interaction for both

groups. (Owen, 2007).

It is important to foresee challenges that can occur during intercultural interactions, as it

is becoming more commonplace in today's world to come into contact with culturally diverse

individuals. It is even more important to be equipped with the necessary tools to be successful,

while working to overcome the obstacles that are present, as well as to understand the cultural

differences that make us who we are, and influence the ways in which we interact with others,

whether it be someone of the same culture, or people from different cultural backgrounds. In

short, it is imperative that we develop our intercultural sensitivity. In order to further a deeper

understanding of intercultural sensitivity, it is important to first clarify the concept of culture.









Understanding Culture

Culture has been defined in many ways and these definitions have been adapted to

accommodate the lexicons of multiple research disciplines. Geert Hofstede, a social

psychologist, defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the

members of one category of people from another" (1984, p.21). Parsons, a sociologist (1949),

states, "culture ... consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action

which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the

biological genes" (, p. 8).

Kluchohn, an anthropologist (1951 ), purports the following definition:

Culture consists in patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, acquired and
transmitted mainly by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups,
including their embodiments in artifacts: the essential core of culture consists of traditional
(i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values (p. 86).

Amidst the multitude of definitions, one general and comprehensive description of

culture is offered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

(UNESCO). UNESCO (2001) suggests, "culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive

spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it

encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems,

traditions and beliefs." (n.p.). Or, as Edward T. Hall (1959), an anthropologist and the founding

father of intercultural communications research simply put it "culture is communication and

communication is culture" (p. 186).

While many people may be aware of, and acknowledge that someone is from a different

country when interacting with them; by noticing a different style of clothing or accented speech,

most people are unaware that these cultural differences carry over into other aspects such as

decision-making, thought processes, friendships, behavior, and interaction styles. It is crucial for









successful intercultural communication that people become aware of not only physical or

surface-level cultural differences, such as skin-color, facial features, accented speech, or a

special piece or type of clothing, but also to understand the human side of these differences and

how these factors influence each person as they communicate with others. If individuals

increase their levels of intercultural sensitivity, then their interactions with people from different

cultural backgrounds can be more meaningful through greater depth of understanding and

subsequently of greater benefit to all parties involved.

This study is an attempt to contribute to the body of research on intercultural sensitivity;

specifically regarding how factors such as international travel experience, length of time abroad,

reason for going abroad, ethnic background, age, and level of education affect intercultural

sensitivity. This study is significant in that it can fill an existing gap in the research through

increased understanding of what factors may affect an individual's level of intercultural

sensitivity. The dependent variable in this study is intercultural sensitivity. The independent

variables being examined that may impact the dependent variable are the characteristics of

international students, domestic students with international travel experience, and domestic

students without international travel experience.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Definitions of Intercultural Sensitivity

There is a continuing debate among researchers regarding a precise definition for

intercultural sensitivity. The definition is continually changing and undergoing revisions in

order to address social change, as well as ongoing developments in scholarship. Several studies

have been conducted attempting to measure an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity, and

although there are many researchers leading the field in this area of study, there really is no

single leading authority.

As Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, and Drager (2000) write, "the term intercultural sensitivity has

been used frequently in the discussion of cross cultural adjustment, task effectiveness during

assignments abroad, and the development and maintenance of good interpersonal relationships

with culturally diverse others" (p. 65). Although the definition ofintercultural sensitivity is still

finding its place in the research world, several researchers within the field of intercultural

communications have made what they believe to be essential progress toward a deeper

understanding of intercultural sensitivity.

Some of the early researchers "Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, and Tipton (1985)

point out that we need to seek out commonalities because 'with a more explicit understanding of

what we have in common and the goals we seek to attain together, the differences between us

that remain would be less threatening' (p. 287).

As Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) suggest, intercultural sensitivity is an individual's reaction

to people from other cultures, which can predetermine that individual's ability to work

successfully with those people. The authors further suggest it is obvious that in an age of

technology and rapid expanse of products, commodities and more importantly culture, the ability









to communicate interculturally and achieve a high level of intercultural sensitivity will become

not only necessary, but also a sought after skill by universities, companies, and employers

everywhere .

Intercultural communications researcher Milton J. Bennett (1986) defines intercultural

sensitivity as the interactants ability to transform themselves not only effectively but also

cognitively and behaviorally from denial stage to integration stage in the development process of

intercultural communication. "That is to say, interculturally- sensitive persons are able to reach

the level of dual identity and enj oy cultural differences by gradually overcoming the problems of

denying or concealing the existence of cultural differences and attempting to defend their own

world views, and moving to develop empathic ability to accept and adapt cultural differences"

(Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 4).

Similarly, researchers Dharm Bhawuk and Richard Brislin (1992) perceived intercultural

sensitivity from the perspective of individualism and collectivism and proposed a measure by

arguing that intercultural sensitivity consists of three elements, including the understanding of

cultural behaviors, open-mindedness towards cultural differences, and behavioral flexibility in

host culture. The authors describe it as being "a sensitivity to the importance of cultural

differences and to the points of view of people in other cultures" (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992, p.

346).

Intercultural communication researcher Guo-Ming Chen (1997) asserts:

Intercultural sensitivity can be conceptualized as an individual's ability to develop a
positive emotion towards understanding and appreciating cultural differences that
promotes an appropriate and effective behavior in intercultural communication. This
definition shows that intercultural sensitivity is a dynamic concept. It reveals that
interculturally sensitive persons must have a desire to motivate themselves to understand,
appreciate, and accept differences among cultures, and to produce a positive outcome from
intercultural interactions. (p. 6)









While the key definitions of intercultural sensitivity are not all identical, they do have a

maj or trait in common, and that is the notion of success in dealing with people from different

cultural backgrounds. Researchers agree that the individual must be responsible for self-

motivation, as well as for understanding that cultural differences do exist. It requires positive

emotions toward all things related to intercultural interactions, such as learning, understanding,

recognizing, and respecting the cultural similarities and differences, otherwise such harmony is

unattainable (Chen, 1997). This is increasingly true in the world as it is today. For the purpose

of this study, the definition composed by researcher Guo-Ming Chen (1997) will be utilized, due

to its encompassing explanation of intercultural sensitivity.

A History of Intercultural Sensitivity

The beginnings of intercultural sensitivity awareness were born out of necessity, after the

end of the World War II. Many government workers overseas often found themselves at a loss

to interact within and understand new cultures, based solely on the language training they

received before going abroad. In other words, the training received in the new language they

were expected to use and be proficient in left them under-prepared for the many cultural barriers

they were to face (Martin & Nakayama, 2004). In order to respond to these hurdles, the U.S.

government passed the Foreign Service Act in 1946, as well as establishing the Foreign Service

Institute (FSI). As Martin and Nakayama (2004) report: "the FSI in turn, hired Edward T. Hall

and other prominent anthropologists and linguists (including Ray Birdwhistell and George

Trager) to develop 'predeparture' courses for overseas workers" (p. 42). As it turned out, the

workers traveling abroad wished to have very specific and relevant cultural clues and

information, based on the country to which they had been assigned. This caused a change in

pedagogy by Hall, who had been teaching about culture from a broad perspective, and called










upon him to create a way of training these overseas workers how to understand and assimilate to

a new host culture. Thus, the first intercultural training regime was born.

These days, businesses are employing these similar concepts for intercultural sensitivity

training to teach their employees how to interact within different cultural contexts, with regard to

social mores, customs, and respect for differences. Brislin and Yoshida (1994) argue

convincingly that a comprehensive intercultural sensitivity training plan should include the

following four components:

* Awareness of oneself and one's own cultural influences,
* Knowledge of other cultures,
* Recognition of emotional challenges involved, and
* Basic skills that can be applied to most intercultural encounters.

They also claim that training effectiveness is weakened if any of these four progressive

steps is missing. With respect to multicultural skills development, two basic approaches exist:

(1) culture-specific and (2) culture-general (Brislin & Yoshida, 1994; Samovar et al., 1998). The

culture-specific approach focuses on the practices of a particular culture (e.g., rules regarding

whether direct or indirect eye contact is appropriate vary from culture to culture) (Cornett-

DeVitto & McGlone, 2000). Trainers are warned that if these skills are not used with sufficient

foresight and cultural knowledge, negative outcomes can occur. For example, trainees may

assume that their newfound skill is appropriate and applicable in all situations involving the

culture in question. Consequently, trainers who use this approach are cautioned to clearly

identify the skills or skill set; understand the cultural values associated with the skill; understand

that individual differences within cultures exist; and recognize that practicing and interacting

with those from the specific culture will provide more information regarding the nuances of

when, where, and how the skill is appropriately used (Brislin & Yoshida, 1994).









Just as much as culture-specific training provides specific knowledge about a particular

culture, culture-general training helps develop a broad understanding of cultural differences.

Culture-general training is designed to increase awareness of how cultures affect values and

behavior; as such, affective measures including cross-cultural attitude, self-efficacy, and trainee

reaction would be appropriate indicators of training effectiveness (Poon, Stevens, and Gannon,

2000).

Brislin et al (2006) suggest that cultural intelligence, the skillful recognition of behaviors

that are influenced by culture, is an important factor in preparing individuals for life in another

culture. Such preparation requires concerted training efforts that are designed according to

specific concepts and pedagogies. The authors maintain that knowledge and acceptance of

cultural differences are not qualities that are limited to only a few people. An individual's

cultural intelligence can be increased with experience, practice, and a positive attitude toward

lifelong learning.

Bhawuk and Brislin (2000) suggest that the evolution of cross-cultural training methods

has, over the past fifty years, demonstrated encouraging signs of growth and expansion toward

more theoretically meaningful methodologies and tools. For example, the authors suggest that

cultural assimilators, theory-based exercises and simulations based on behavior modeling, are

one method for cross-cultural training that have been noticeably emergent in the past decade.

Such methods provide cognitive validity to cross-cultural training and evaluative measures are

also being developed to consequently measure the impact of cross-cultural training on

intercultural interactions.

According to Leeds-Hurwitz (1990), "intercultural communication continues to serve the

function of training Americans to go abroad, although it has grown substantially past this initial









mission to include such areas as the training of foreign students, recent immigrants, and teachers

who work with students of different cultural backgrounds" (p. 264). This style of preparing

soj ourners for their host culture continues today. One group that benefits from such preparations

are study abroad students at the University of Florida. These students receive a version of a

"pre-departure" session, in order to partially prepare them for what lie ahead in their host

country. These sessions talk about safety abroad, language, customs, food habits, interacting in

the host culture, as well as to stress the importance of studying about the new culture and all its

characteristics before going abroad, to be well prepared and successful in intercultural

interactions abroad.

Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is a 50-item paper-and-pencil instrument,

which is designed to measure an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity. It was developed

by Mitchell R. Hammer and Milton Bennett, and is based on Bennett' s Development Model of

Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The IDI can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including

for individuals, groups, training for organizations, evaluation and assessment and for research.

"In addition to providing an overall score, the IDI also yields scores for the different scales,

clusters, and sub-stages of the DMIS. An individual's overall score is used to determine his or

her sate of development (again, as defined by the DMIS)" (Medina-Lopez-Portillo, 2004, p.

183).

Paige, Jacobs-Cassuto, Yershova, and DeJaeghere (2003) state that the results of their

study "demonstrate that the IDI is a reliable measure that has little or no social desirability bias

and reasonably, although not exactly, approximates the developmental model of intercultural

sensitivity upon which it is based" (p. 215). Similarly, Greenholtz (2000) found during his study









that the "Intercultural Development Inventory provides a psychometrically valid and reliable

empirical tool which administrators of transnational educational programs can use to make

informed decisions related to human resource management of faculty and support staff, to assess

training needs and the effectiveness of training programs, and to maximize the quality of student

experiences" (p. 13).

A study conducted by one research team made up of Philip Anderson, Leigh Lawton,

Richard Rexeisen, and Ann Hubbard (2005) discovered that based on their study of short-term

study abroad programs, which used the IDI to measure intercultural sensitivity, that "there is

weak support (p = 0.069) for the hypothesis that the students who participated in the four-week

study abroad experience significantly improved their level ofintercultural sensitivity as

measured by the IDI's development scale. Stronger statistical support was found for two other

hypotheses: As a group, the students lessened their tendency to see other cultures as better than

their own and improved their ability to accept and adapt to cultural differences" (p. 8).

Positive results were also obtained by researcher Adriana Medina-Lopez-Portillo (2004),

whose study conducted on program length of study abroad courses and intercultural sensitivity,

shows that the students in the longer duration program "returned home showing 1) significant

development ofintercultural sensitivity as defined by the IDI; (2) broader vocabulary and

examples with which to talk about cultural differences; (3) a deeper understanding of Mexican

culture and its people; and (4) a critical and informed point of view regarding the United

States, its culture, and its international politics. These results suggest that the longer students

stay immersed in a target culture, the more they learn and grow, and the more their intercultural

sensitivity develops (Medina-Lopez-Portillo, 2004).









In conclusion, the IDI provides a valid and reliable measure of those cognitive states

associated with certain stable orientations toward cultural difference and can be useful for

"assessing training needs, guiding interventions for individual and group development of

intercultural competence, contributing to personnel selection, and evaluating programs"

(Hammer, Bennett, & Wiseman, 2003, p. 119). Although the IDI is an internationally

recognized and validated scale, adept at measuring intercultural sensitivity, it was not possible

for it to be employed by the present study due to time and financial constraints. Each

participant' s answers to the IDI must be analyzed by trained professionals, thus the process is

lengthier and requires a greater financial commitment; one that is not always afforded in every

research situation.

The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI)

"The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) was developed to provide a tool for

self-assessment of cross-cultural effectiveness. This instrument, which was originally created in

1987, was revised in both 1989 and 1992. The instrument' s authors, Colleen Kelley and Judith

Meyers, created both the original and the revised versions of the instrument. Designed to be

used as a single assessment or as part of a multi-assessment training program, the CCAI was

developed in response to the need for a self-assessment instrument designed to measure cross-

cultural adaptability (Kelley & Meyers, 1995). The authors stated that this instrument is

applicable to all cultures assuming that anyone who was adapting to a new culture would share

the same types of feelings and experiences (Kelley & Meyers, 1995a)" (as cited in Davis &

Finney, 2006).

"The authors proposed that cross-cultural adaptability has four dimensions: (1)

flexibility/openness, (2) emotional resilience, (3) perceptual acuity, and (4) personal autonomy"

(Davis & Finney, 2006). "Flexibility/openness reflects an individual's tendency to be broad-









minded and open toward others. The ability to be flexible and possess a non-judgmental

perspective is commonly associated with cross-cultural effectiveness. Emotional resilience is

defined as being able to maintain positive emotions while being surrounded by the unfamiliar

with respect to cultural cues and environmental influences. Individuals immersed in a new

culture often experience negative emotional reactions (i.e., culture shock). The emotional

resilience scale was created to represent an individual's ability to cope with these feelings.

Perceptual acuity represents how effective and comfortable a person is when communicating

with individuals of another culture. The perceptual acuity scale focuses on one's ability to detect

both verbal and nonverbal cues from individuals from another culture in addition to general

communication skills. Finally, personal autonomy refers to an individual's ability to posses and

maintain a strong personal identity in a new culture despite negative reactions to his other unique

identity due to cross-cultural differences. The personal autonomy scale was created to assess

how well one will be able to appreciate cultural differences while maintaining his or her personal

sense of self (Davis & Finney, 2006).

There is conflicting data in existence about the validity of this measurement tool. While

several studies using the CCAI have been conducted to test the "effectiveness of programs or

experiences on increasing cross-cultural adaptability" (Kitsantas & Meyers, 2001, Shim &

Paprock, 2002), there was a maj or study completed by Davis and Finney (2006) that finds flaws

with the four-factor structure of the tool. "The research was designed to examine the plausibility

of the four-factor model of cross-cultural adaptability as measured by the CCAI (Kelley &

Meyers, 1995b). Unfortunately, the four-factor model hypothesized to underlie the responses to

these items did not fit adequately. In addition, the exploratory analyses failed to produce a

solution that was interpretable" (Davis & Finney, 2006). The authors further suggest that any










improvements or development of this measurement tool should be "clearly tied to theory and

supported by empirical evidence" (p. 78) before being used to effectively measure intercultural

sensitivity .

One study conducted by Cornett-DeVito and McGlone (2000) showed positive results

using the CCAI as the measurement tool. "A matched sample t-test was performed on the CCAI

pre- and post-scores for each of the four culture-general competencies (emotional resilience,

flexibility and openness, perceptual acuity, and personal autonomy) to note differences between

the two measurements from the same group of trainees (Frey, Botan, Friedman, & Kreps, 1991).

Of the four culture-general skills measured in the CCAI, three produced significant mean

differences between the pre- and posttest for the 40 paired sets of test scores: perceptual acuity,

emotional resilience, and personal autonomy. There was no significant mean difference for

flexibility and openness" (Cornett-DeVito & McGlone, 2000, p. 247).

Another research team, Goldstein and Smith (1999) also concluded positive results from

the CCAI as a measurement tool. "Student soj ourners who attend the weeklong Discover the

United States program provided by the Meridian International Center (Meridian) upon arrival to

this country exhibit greater cross-cultural adaptability than a similar group of students who did

not attend the training. This relationship is demonstrated by the significantly higher scores on

the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) of the program's graduates in every dimension

of cross-cultural adaptability, including emotional resilience, flexibility/openness, perceptual

acuity and personal autonomy" (Goldstein & Smith, 1999, p. 167).

The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ISCI)

"The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ICSI; Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992) is a 46-item

self-report instrument in which people give their response on a Likert-type seven-point scale

ranging from very strongly agree to very strongly disagree" (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992, p. 420). It









was designed "to measure intercultural sensitivity by examining subj ects' responses to items

reflecting individual st-collectivist orientations (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, & Drager, 2000, p. 215).

"The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory was developed to address a need in the scholarly

literature for a reliable and valid measure of the intercultural sensitivity construct. In developing

their instrument, Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) evaluated various predictors used to estimate

intercultural effectiveness of overseas personnel" (Kapoor & Comadena, 1996, p. 169). They

found several factors which they equated with success overseas: empathy, respect, interest in

local culture, flexibility, tolerance and technical skill (Kapoor & Comadena, 1996).

However, as other researchers delved further into the measurement tool, they found slight

flaws with the methods used. "Kapoor and Comadena tested the construct validity of the

Bhawuk and Brislin measure and concluded that, due to ambiguity in the tone and direction of

the items used, the measure was relatively unreliable" (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, & Drager, 2000,

p. 215). "One problem with the Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) instrument is consistent that the

items used to measure behavior patterns are rather abstract in tone and substance. Kapoor &

Comadena (1996) argued that the items used in the measure were rather ineffective in assessing

everyday conduct peculiarities unless the subj ects had an opportunity to study a specific culture

from close quarters (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky & Drager, 2000).

Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)

A comparatively new and upcoming measurement tool called the Intercultural Sensitivity

Scale, was developed by Guo-Ming Chen and William Starosta, and designed to "integrate

features of both cross-cultural attitude and behavioral skills models" (Fritz & Mollenberg, 2001,

p. 54). This scale is a 24-item questionnaire aimed at measuring intercultural sensitivity. The

sensitivity scale has five factors on which its statements are based: (1) interaction engagement

(e.g., "I enj oy interacting with people from different cultures"), (2) respect for cultural









differences (e.g., "I think people from other cultures are narrow-minded"), (3) interaction

confidence (e.g., "I am pretty sure of myself in interacting wit people from different cultures"),

(4) interaction enj oyment (e.g., "I get upset easily when interacting with people from different

cultures"), and (5) interaction attentiveness (e.g., "I am very observant when interacting with

people from different cultures") (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 98).

As Fritz and Mollenberg (2001) note, "The model is comprised of three conceptual

dimensions of intercultural communication competence, including intercultural awareness,

intercultural sensitivity, and intercultural adroitness" ( p. 60). According to Chen and Starosta

(1996), the three are closely related but separate concepts. They also postulate that the concept

of intercultural communication competence is comprised of three facets: cognitive, affective, and

behavioral ability of interactants in the process of intercultural communication" (Chen and

Starosta, 2000, p. 70).

Intercultural awareness is the concept that represents the cognitive aspect of intercultural

communication competence in demonstrating the understanding of culture conventions that

affect how we think and behave (Chen, in press). Intercultural sensitivity is the concept that

represents the affective aspect of intercultural communication competence by referring to the

subjects' "active desire to motivate themselves to understand, appreciate, and accept differences

among cultures" (Chen & Starosta, 1998). Intercultural adroitness is the behavioral aspect of

intercultural communication competence in that it refers to "the ability to get the j ob done and

attain communication goals in intercultural interactions" (Chen & Starosta, 1996, p. 76).

"Moreover, the authors proposed that individuals must possess six affective elements to be

interculturally sensitive: self-esteem, self-monitoring, open-mindedness, empathy, interaction

involvement, and suspending judgment" (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 80).










"Empathy, also called telepathic or intuition sensitivity (Gardner, 1962), refers to the

ability to step into one's culturally-different counterparts' mind to develop the same thoughts and

emotions in interaction. The concept has been considered a core component of intercultural

sensitivity by scholars (e.g., Bennett, 1986; Chen & Starosta, 1997; Yum, 1989). Empathic

persons have been found to be more concerned for others' feelings and reactions, more accurate

in observing the internal states of their counterparts, and more able to show affect displays,

active listening, and understanding in intercultural communication situation ( Parks, 1994). In

other words, the more empathic one is, the more interculturally sensitive one will be" (Chen &

Starosta, 2000, p. 112).

Several studies have been done to test the validity and reliability of the Intercultural

Sensitivity Scale, all with positive results. Chen and Starosta (2000) found in their study to

validate and test their Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, that the "ISS has demonstrated strong

reliability and appropriate concurrent and predictive validity. While further research is needed to

replicate the properties of the ISS, the scale shows promise for use as a measure of intercultural

sensitivity." Fritz and Mollenberg (2001) used the ISS on German students in Germany, to see if

the scale could be used among different cultural groups. According to Fritz and Mollenberg

(2001) "The results of confirmatory factor analysis in this study by using a German sample

confirmed the validity of the overall structure of Chen and Starosta' s instrument on the

measurement of intercultural sensitivity" (p. 57).

As stated earlier, this study will employ the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), the

measurement tool created by Chen and Starosta. This model was chosen because it takes into

consideration all of the dimensions of intercultural communication competence, and has specific

intentions to measure intercultural sensitivity of different groups of people. This scale has been









tested by other researchers, and found to be valid and reliable. Fritz & Mollenburg tested the

validity on a group of German students, and the results were quite good. Similarly, Peng,

Rangisipaht, and Thaipakdee (2005) measured the intercultural sensitivity levels of Thai and

Chinese nationals, and again, the results were found to be quite reliable.

Intercultural Sensitivity in a Post 9-11 World

Intercultural sensitivity around the world suffered after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, as many

in the United States became fearful or suspicious of anyone from a different country or cultural

background (Kondrasuk, 2004). In addition to the news stories reporting on the likelihood of

other terrorist attacks by way of nuclear fire, a poisoned food or water supply, and mail bombs;

the endless repetition of video of jets bombing Afghanistan, which filled the television screens of

homes in the United States, kept the fear of terrorism alive. The increased fear and insecurity

created by such stories was amplified by "a growing sentiment on the part of the American

public that people who suggest that terrorism should be analyzed, in part, within the context of

American foreign policy should not be allowed "to teach in the public schools, work in the

government, and even make a speech at a college" (Giroux, 2002, p. 178).

Kondrasuk (2004) suggests that 9/11 attacks had a number of immediate impacts on the

United States in general. The initial outrage of the population of the United States was followed

by an aftermath of shock and sorrow. Peoples' world-views changed. There was both hatred

and acts of discrimination against Muslims and Arabs, as well as a new national inquisitiveness

to learn more about Islam. The citizens of the United States drew closer together; just as there

was a significant increase in national solidarity, there was, likewise, a decrease in the sensitivity

people had toward the interactions with people of divergent cultural contexts.

While there has been some resistance in both the media and among diverse groups to the

accelerated practice of racial profiling, the American public largely supports the indefinite









detention by federal authorities of over 1 1,000 immigrants, only four of whom, according to

Davis, have direct links to terrorist organizations (Giroux, 2002). Another type of retaliation and

revenge was exemplified by the many games which surfaced on the internet, to be played by

gamers across socioeconomic and age spectrums, in which the goal of the game was to find

Osama bin-Laden, and "blow him up" (Varisco, 2002).

Evans and Elphick (2005) describe efforts by the post-9-1 1 tourism industry to establish

crisis management policies that utilized foundational principles of intercultural communication

and cross-cultural training to establish methodologies for mitigating the effects of further

terrorism-related occurrences, as well as ongoing the reactions and stigmas tourists maintained as

a result of post-9-1 1 social trauma. One such policy examined by the authors featured the crisis

and incident management structure, notification and activation criteria, information flows and

response to the media, response plans and training. The training includes general training,

tabletop exercises and real time and live exercises with the aim to test the organization,

communications and the teamwork of those concerned and the ability of individual actions. The

policy describes communication and decision processes that are predicated on clear role

descriptions to ensure that crises are handled swiftly and effectively at an appropriate level.

Training is included as part of the policy to test the organization, the communication and

individual roles, as it increases familiarity and capability among those being trained and makes

the organization aware of potential crisis situations.

Intercultural Sensitivity: Corporate Sector

"Landis and Bhagat (1996) argue that intercultural sensitivity is crucial to enabling

people to live and work with others from different globalization of business intensities, an

individual's sensitivity to cultural differences combined with an ability to adapt his or her

behavior to those differences will become increasingly valuable" (Anderson et al., 2005, p. 46).










In other words, the increase in travel and international business ventures, necessitates that an

increasing number of people will need to be aware of cultural differences and will need to

increase their level of intercultural sensitivity in order to stay current within their market area.

"Globalization continues to redefine our identity in the workplace, at home, and other

arenas of our life by breaking down the stereotypical roles we played at previous weeks or years.

Moreover, globalization demands a community where people of different cultural backgrounds

must learn to be interdependent in order to survive. As a result, the need for intercultural

communication competence in the globalizing society becomes indispensable for a peaceful and

successful life in the new millennium" (Chen 2000, p. 78).

Without this knowledge of culture and customs, international business could not be a

successful enterprise. There must be a level of established cultural harmony before any business

venture or any sort of discussion can be deemed successful. In the business world, language and

cultural knowledge are very important. In some countries, business dealings will not be

successful unless certain activities and interactions are conducted according to the host-country's

custom, so those who are unaware of the customs cannot do business successfully in those

countries. For example, in Japan, the exchange of business cards is ceremonial and very

important. Strict adherence to the rules of this ceremony must be followed for successful

business in Japan.

As one specialist at a Language and Culture consulting firm states, "very few businesses

can escape the need to at some point in time deal with foreign colleagues, clients or customers.

Business is international and if an organization wants to develop and grow, it needs to harness

the potential an international stage offers" (Cultural Services online, 2007). It is important for

people to have knowledge of other cultures, including their language, in order to make a










connection with the people with whom they are making a business venture. Many businesses are

turning to consulting firms to teach classes to their employees so that they will have an

understanding of cultural differences, as well as to learn the necessary skills to interact

successfully with potential clients from other cultural backgrounds.

At a corporate level, intercultural skills are required in every line of business and during

every interaction. Cultural differences influence everything from the design of an organization's

mission statement and the way international subsidiaries are managed, to the rules and

regulations set out for employees, the processes for negotiation of business deals or the

preparation of marketing strategies. Global managers and workforces need intercultural skills

both in face-to-face interaction and in virtual communication with partners from other cultures,

in their own country, abroad and in international teams. Intercultural skills are indispensable for

effective management of a diverse workforce.

Varner (2000) writes that prior to Hall's 1959 examination of intercultural business

communication with relation to cultural attitudes that can serve as inhibitive or contributive

factors in the communication process; most researchers did not focus on the process of

communication in intercultural contexts. Intercultural business literature prior to Hall's work

focused more on functional business issues, rather than communications frameworks;

intercultural communication literature focused more on general contexts rather than business-

specific contexts. However, with the cold war in bloom, Hall's work presented significant

considerations for business leaders attempting to overcome tenuous communication barriers in

order to build business relations in an untrusting global context.

Varner (2000) further suggests that the growth of international business agreements,

outsourced production and customer service, and shrinking international boundaries have









increased the need for intercultural sensitivity and competency in business. Necessary insights

into social behavior, attitudes toward morality, self-perception, and the role of cultural

hierarchies provide the business agent the requisite tools to function beyond his or her cultural

comfort zones. The author mentions that the increasing educational interchange of students

across international boundaries places higher education in this framework of consideration, as

well.

Study Abroad and Intercultural Sensitivity

With more than 200,000 American college students going abroad each year, Richard C.

Sutton, senior advisor for academic affairs and director of international programs for the

University System of Georgia Board of Regents, purports that "[study abroad] is no longer a

fringe activity" (Redden, 2007, n.p.). A small number of studies have been conducted regarding

the outcomes of studying abroad, to discern whether or not it has an effect on the level of an

individual's intercultural awareness or sensitivity. The difficult part of measuring the potential

effects of study abroad on intercultural sensitivity is that there are often many factors which

cannot be controlled for each particular student, such as ethnic background, upbringing, travel

experience, second-language acquisition, previous exposure to cultural differences, location and

length of program, experience with host family, and the list goes on. Thus, the studies that have

been conducted to measure intercultural sensitivity levels of students studying abroad, all have

limitations.

Data collected for a study done by researcher Adriana Medina-Lopez-Portillo (2004),

"does provide support for a hypothesis that duration of study abroad programs plays a key role in

the development of intercultural sensitivity of U. S. university students studying abroad" (p.52).

Another study conducted by Langley and Breese (2005) showed "most students reported that

their attitudes toward other cultures have become less judgmental and that they stereotype people









of other cultures less. Some reported a more critical and, at the same time, more appreciative

view of their own culture. Others expressed an increased desire to learn of other cultures" (p.

319).

A study showing positive results conducted by Williams (2005) reported that "The results

showed that as predicted, the students who studied abroad generally showed a greater increase in

intercultural communication skills than the students who did not study abroad, and students who

chose to study abroad had a higher level of intercultural communication skills at the beginning

and at the end of the semester than students who did not choose to study abroad. The results also

showed that exposure to various cultures was actually a better predictor of intercultural

communication skills than location in both pre- and posttest scores" (p. 368).

Hypotheses of the study

Given the fact that individuals from countries around the world tend to be more aware of

the rest of the world than people from the United States who function from more of an insular

social perspective, many U. S. citizens do not know about what the rest of the world is doing, nor

is it of great significance to them. People from other countries grow up learning about other

cultures, and about the United States, and most of them learn English in school, often starting as

young children. Americans are, for the most part, monolingual and this can be a problem when

these individuals travel abroad and do not speak the language of the host country or know much

about its culture. According to the National Virtual Translation Center (NVTC), only nine

percent of Americans can speak their native language plus another language fluently, as opposed

to 53 percent of Europeans. (NVTC online, 2005). While the impact of second-language

acquisition on intercultural sensitivity is still being studied, it may be that this lesson in language

and culture plays a part in an individual's knowledge of and respect for different cultures. For

international students coming to study in the United States, just being conscious of cultural









differences and possibly having a greater awareness of the rest of the world, may give them a

slight advantage on the scale of intercultural sensitivity. For these reasons, the following

hypothesis was suggested:

*H1: International students will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than
domestic students.

Domestic students without international travel experience may well have had interaction

with people from different cultures here in the United States. However, these interactions may

not be the same as if they were taking place overseas, due to the fact that the way someone

behaves and interacts in the comfort zone that is their homeland, is most certainly different than

they way they behave and interact while in another country and culture. Consequently, exposure

to new and different cultures by way of international travel may result in a higher level of

intercultural sensitivity. The domestic students who have experience traveling on an

international scale have been exposed to other cultures in their native setting, as opposed to

interacting with someone from another country here within the borders of the United States.

This exposure to other cultures may provide more in-depth awareness and understanding of

cultural differences, as well as a respect for these differences. For this reason, the following

hypothesis was suggested:

*H2. Domestic students with international travel experience will have a higher
level of intercultural sensitivity that those without it.

Age is believed to bring maturity, and along with that, a larger scope of one' s self as well

as of the world. A scientific study done by Bennett and Baird (2006) on students at a private

college in New Hampshire, gave results which suggested that "significant age-related changes in

brain structure continue after the age of 18" and that these changes may be related to new

challenges stemming from a new environment, in this case, the college setting. Data from the

National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) most recent survey for students of U. S.









universities for the Fall of 2004, showed that 3 5.9 percent and 29.3 percent of undergraduate

students at U.S. universities are between the ages of 18 and 19, and also 20 and 21, respectively.

This data also shows that 32.2 percent and 30.2 percent of graduate students at U. S. universities

are between the ages of 22-24 and 25-29 respectively. This difference in age and depth of

experience between most graduate students and undergraduates may translate into a higher level

of intercultural sensitivity. For this reason, the following hypothesis is suggested:

*H3: Graduate students will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than
undergraduate students.

Study abroad can have many positive effects on a student' s understanding of culture,

communication, and the world as a whole. It allows students a chance to see another country,

including experiencing its language, customs, fashion, history and culture. It provides the

opportunity to see how other people live in different places around the world. It offers the

chance to increase cultural awareness, as they become aware of themselves while attending

classes abroad, and doing every day things such as a trip to the grocery store, reading street signs

and billboards, watching TV, and especially during language interaction. For these reasons, the

following hypothesis was suggested:

*H4: Students who have participated on study abroad programs will have a higher
level of intercultural sensitivity than students who have not participated on a study
abroad program.

The importance of understanding cultures is not limited to the basic knowledge

associated with the concept, but also extends to the fact that an individual who is to be successful

at intercultural communication and thus have an increased level of intercultural sensitivity, must

have a desire to know about other cultures. This is in order to cultivate a deeper understanding

of diverse perspectives, and acknowledge that a person's cultural background influences the

ways in which that individual interacts across cultures with other people. In other words,










intercultural sensitivity in the contemporary global climate is a necessary component of social

progress.









CHAPTER 3
IVETHODOLOGY

Population and sample

The population for this study was undergraduate (N =2804) and graduate students (N =

23 1) of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. The 24-item

intercultural sensitivity questionnaire developed by researchers Chen and Starosta (2000) was

administered to a selected number of students. Participants were reached within the classroom

setting in both undergraduate and graduate classes after approval of the research protocol by the

UF Institutional Review Board (see Appendix A) and negotiating permission with instructors.

Non-probability sampling techniques were used, more specifically convenience sampling and

purposive sampling (Buddenbaum and Novak, 2001). It was convenient in that the research

participants were easily and quickly accessible in large numbers, and there were no exclusionary

pre-requisites to participating. In other words, every student in each classroom that was

surveyed was representative of one of the three groups to be analyzed. The purposive technique

was utilized to target international students, in order to get a variety of cultural representation

from the sample. In that funding was not available to employ assistance in gathering data, these

sampling techniques made this study possible despite time and resource constraints.

The sample for this study (N = 180) was made up of 133 undergraduate and 47 graduate

students. Of these students, 50 were male and 130 were female. Eighty-four participants

classified themselves as White-non Hispanic, 15 as Black/African-American, four as Asian-

American, 19 as Hispanic or Latino, 34 as Asian, nine as European, and 15 classified themselves

as Latin American or Caribbean. The mean age of participants was 23. The participants fell into

one of three categories to be analyzed: 1) domestic students who had not traveled internationally,










2) domestic students who had traveled internationally, and c) international students. There were

60 respondents for each group.

Research Instrument Construction

The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)

The research instrument consisted of three sections. The first section of this study's

research instrument was Chen and Starosta's Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), which is a 24-

item questionnaire designed to measure intercultural sensitivity (see Appendix B). The ISS was

chosen due to the fact that its validity as well as its functionality across cultures has been

established by several different studies measuring intercultural sensitivity. The sensitivity scale

has five factors or constructs on which its statements are based: interaction engagement (7

items), respect for cultural differences (6 items), interaction confidence (5 items), interaction

enjoyment (3 items), and interaction attentiveness (3 items). Research participants completing

the ISS ranked their responses in terms of levels of disagreement or agreement, to the statements

contained in the questionnaire. A five-point Likert scale was used to respond to each item in

which 1 is strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 somewhat agree, 4 agree, and 5 is strongly agree. The

scale attempts to measure an individual's level of interculturally sensitivity. According to Chen

and Starosta (2000), "higher scores of this measure are suggestive of being more interculturally

sensitive" (p. 10).

Before summing the 24 items, the following items were reverse-coded for data analysis:

2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, and 22. Reverse-coding was used in this case because in addition to

having "positively-keyed" or positively worded Items (i.e. "I enj oy interacting with people from

different cultures") the ISS also has items that are considered "negatively-keyed" (i.e. "I don't

like to be with people from different cultures"). "Reverse-coding the negatively-keyed items

ensures that all of the items those that are originally negatively-keyed and those that are










positively-keyed are consistent with each other, in terms of what an "agree" or "disagree"

imply." (Wake Forrest Website). For example, if an individual responded 1 (Strongly Disagree)

to the "I don't like to be with people from different cultures" item, then we recode this

individual's response to a 5. Thus, the reverse-scored item now has a high score (a 5 instead of a

1), which indicates a high level of intercultural sensitivity. This is based on the reasonable

assumption that someone who strongly disagrees with the statement that she dislikes being with

people from different cultures, has a relatively high level of intercultural sensitivity. That is, a

disagreement to "I don't like to be with people from different cultures" is logically similar to an

agreement to "I enjoy interacting with people from different cultures". Reverse-coding is done

so that high scores on the questionnaire reflect relatively high levels of the attribute being

measured by the questionnaire. The SPSS function used to perform this data analysis was the

"Transform" mode, under which the items were recorded into the same variable, and given the

reverse-score (1=5, 2=4, 3=3, 4=2, 5=1).

The second component of the research questionnaire included four questions about

demographic information. These were age, sex, nationality/ethnic background (which was set up

to also indicate if the student is a domestic or international student), as well as academic status

(i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate). Finally, the last section of the instrument

asked participants three questions about their international travel experience including whether

or not they had been abroad, the length of time spent abroad, as well as the main purpose (or

purposes) for their international travel.

Procedure and Data Analysis

Data was analyzed by using SPSS for Windows version 15.0. Frequencies and

descriptive statistics were first run to assess the results of each item of the survey instrument.









Subsequently, Alpha reliability analysis was done to measure the strengths of the measurements

of each construct according to the quality of responses of this study.

A series of correlations, T-test, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to explore

the relationship among independent variables (demographic and international travel data) and the

various constructs of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (dependent variables), including

composite variables created by aggregating the items of each construct. The hypotheses stated at

the end of the literature review were tested by exploring the levels of significance of the

aforementioned associations.









CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

International Travel Experience of Participants

Of the students sampled, 118 (66%) answered affirmative to having international travel

experience, while 62 (34%) answered in the negative to having international travel experience.

The two additional instances of no international travel where traced down to two international

student participants who had incorrectly answered the question asking whether or not they had

traveled abroad. The length of travel for all participants with international travel experience

ranged from three days up to 3,650 days. Sixty-two (34%) participants had no international

travel experience. Fifty-three (29%) participants had between three and 42 days of time spent

abroad, and 65 (36%) participants had spent between 45 and 3650 days abroad. The median for

this data set was 60 days, with 11 participants reporting to have stayed this long on their longest

international trip. The median is used instead of the mean score because of the presence of

extreme values (outliers) (Table 4-1).

Of the 120 participants with international travel experience, 80 (44%) listed "leisure" as

their main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad and 58 (32%) listed "study abroad" as the main

reason (or one of) for traveling abroad. Forty-three students (24%) listed "visiting family" as

their main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad, 18 (10%) listed "other" as their main reason

(or one of) for traveling abroad, and Einally, 11 participants (6%) listed "business" as their main

reason (or one of) for traveling abroad (Figure 4-1).

Reliability Analysis

Each of the Hyve constructs or dependent variables described by the 24 items of the

Intercultural Sensitivity Scale was subjected to reliability analysis. The highest reliability

coefficient was identified in the construct "respect for cultural differences" (Cronbach's Alpha =










.783), followed by "Interaction attentiveness" (Cronbach's Alpha = .641), "Interaction

enjoyment" (Cronbach's Alpha = .604), "Interaction engagement" (Cronbach's Alpha = .586),

and finally "Interaction confidence" (Cronbach's Alpha = .479). Table 4-2 ranks the constructs

from highest to lowest reliability. The lower reliability coefficients indicate that the items of the

instrument may need revision or new items added to capture the concepts measured. (Table 4-2).

Descriptive Statistics of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale's Items

In order to better understand the data, it is necessary to look at the means and standard

deviations of all the items of the scale. The standard deviations are more important than the

means, in this case, as the standard deviation indicates the consensus around the item according

to the respondents. The first statement, which has a standard deviation of 1.02, is "I try to obtain

as much information as I can when interacting with people from different cultures." The second

statement, which has a standard deviation of 1.01, is "I am sensitive to my culturally-distinct

counterpart's subtle meanings during our interaction." The third statement, which has a standard

deviation of 1.00, is "I think my culture is better than other cultures." The higher standard

deviations mean there is a more broad set of answers, and in this case, it means the three

statements with the highest standard deviations could be improved by rewording them, as they

may be confusing or worded in a way that respondents do not feel comfortable answering

honestly .

Closely looking at each of the items of the scale, the item with the highest mean response

was "Respect for Cultural Differences 8" (i.e., respect the values of people from different

cultures) (M = 4.41, SD = .775). The second highest item was "Interaction Engagement 13",

(i.e., open minded to people from different cultures) (M = 4.34, SD = .735). The third highest

item was "Interaction Engagement 1", (i.e., enj oy interacting with people from different cultures)

(M = 4.21, SD = .796). The fourth highest item was "Respect for cultural differences 16", (i.e.,










respect ways people from different cultures behave) (M = 4.04, SD = .801). The fifth highest

item was "Interaction Confidence 3", (i.e., pretty sure of myself when interacting with people

from different cultures) (M = 3.85, SD = .835). The sixth highest item was "Interaction

Attentiveness 14", (i.e., observant when interacting with people from different cultures) (M =

3.74, SD = .931). The seventh highest item was "Interaction Engagement 21", (i.e., give positive

responses to culturally different counterpart during interaction) (M = 3.70, SD = .834).

The eighth highest item was "Interaction Attentiveness 17", (i.e., obtain as much

information as possible when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 3.69, SD =

1.020). The ninth and tenth highest items had the same Mean; "Interaction Confidence 10", (i.e.,

feel confident when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 3.63, SD = .865),

followed by "Interaction Engagement 24", (i.e., have feeling of enj oyment towards differences

between my culturally-distinct counterpart and me) (M = 3.63, SD = .859). The eleventh highest

item was "Interaction Engagement 23", (i.e., show my culturally-distinct counterpart my

understanding through verbal or nonverbal cues) (M = 3.60, SD = .865). The next, and 12th

highest item was "Interaction Confidence 6", (i.e., can be as sociable as I want when interacting

with people from different cultures) (M = 3.56, SD = .958). The 13th highest item was

"Interaction Engagement 1 1", (i.e., tend to wait before forming an impression of culturally-

distinct counterparts) (M = 3.54, SD = .930), followed by "Interaction Attentiveness 19", (i.e.,

sensitive to my culturally-distinct counterpart' s subtle meanings during our interaction) (M =

3.24, SD = 1.017).

The 15th highest item was "Interaction Confidence 5", (i.e., know what to say when

interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 2.73, SD = .869), followed by "Interaction

Confidence 4", (i.e., find it hard to talking in front of people from different cultures) (M = 2. 11,









SD = .888). The seventeenth highest item was "Respect for Cultural Differences 20", (i.e., think

my culture is better than other cultures) (M = 1.89, SD = 1.005), followed by "Respect for

Cultural Differences 2", (i.e., think people from other cultures are narrow minded) (M = 1.82,

SD = .705). The nineteenth highest item was "Interaction Enjoyment 12", (i.e., often get

discouraged when I am with people from different cultures) (M = 1.80, SD = .758), followed by

"Interaction Enj oyment 15", (i.e., often feel useless when interacting with people from different

cultures) (M = 1.76, SD = .788). The 21st highest item was "Interaction Engagement 22", (i.e.,

avoid situations where I will have to deal with culturally-distinct persons) (M = 1.73, SD = .781),

followed by "Interaction Enj oyment 9", (i.e., get upset easily when interacting with people from

different cultures) (M = 1.58, SD = .732). The 23rd item was "Respect for Cultural Differences

7", (i.e., don't like to be with people from different cultures) (M = 1.47, SD = .697), followed by

"Respect for Cultural Differences 18", (i.e., would not accept opinions of people from different

cultures) (M = 1.44, SD = .662) (Table 4-3).

Composite of the Five Constructs

In order to obtain a larger picture view of the data, the items for each of the five

constructs were collapsed. The new composite variable with the highest mean score was

"Interaction Enj oyment" (M = 4.29, SD = .57), followed by "Respect for Cultural Differences"

(M = 4.00, SD = .54). The composite variable with the next highest score was "Interaction

Engagement" (M = 3.91, SD = .54), followed by "Interaction Attentiveness" (M = 3.56, SD =

.76). Finally, the last composite variable was "Interaction Confidence" (M = 3.53, SD = .62)

(Table 4-4).

Hypotheses Testing

Hypothesis one states that international students will have a higher level of intercultural

sensitivity than domestic students. The test used for this analysis was a one sample independent










t-test. The t-test is used in this instance, in order to compare the means of the two different

groups (Bostrom, 1998). No statistical significance was found in the answers of the two groups,

and thus hypothesis one was rej ected. Results based on the Hyve composite variables indicate that

for the first composite "interaction engagement" domestic students had a mean of 3.90 and

standard deviation of .553, while international students had a mean of 3.91, and standard

deviation of .511. For the second composite "respect for cultural differences" domestic students

showed a mean of 3.94, and standard deviation of .561, and international students showed a

mean of 4.02, and standard deviation of .503. For the third composite, "interaction confidence",

domestic students had a mean of 3.49, and a standard deviation of .563), and the international

students had a mean of 3.63, and a standard deviation of .731. The fourth composite, interaction

attentiveness", showed domestic students with a mean of 3.52, and a standard deviation of .720,

and the international students had a mean of 3.63, and a standard deviation of .833. The fifth and

Einal composite "interaction enj oyment" showed the domestic students with a mean of .33, and a

standard deviation of .525, and the international students showed a mean of .21, and a standard

deviation of .643. (Table 4-5).

Upon further analysis of the 24 items, t-tests were performed, and there were two

instances of statistical significance to support the hypothesis, in which the international students

had a higher mean score than domestic students. The first was for the item "Respect for cultural

differences 2" which was reverse coded, and stated, "I think people from other cultures are

narrow-minded." The international students showed a mean of 3.41, and a standard deviation of

.650, and the domestic students showed a mean of 3.07, and a standard deviation of .706. (t(178)

= -3.096, p = .002 (two-tailed), d = -0.46). The other item that showed a significance in mean

scores for the international students was "Interaction confidence 5" which states, "I always know









what to say when interacting with people from different cultures." For this item, the

international students showed a mean of 3.12, and a standard deviation of 1.010, and the

domestic students showed a mean of 2.55, and a standard deviation of .728. (t(178) = -4.322, p =

.000 (two-tailed), d = -0.65). (In this case, d refers to the strength of the relationship of the item

to the results. A relationship can range from positive and strong, to negative and weak. The

number for the relationship can be anywhere from -1 to +1. Those close to -1 and +1 are very

strong, and those close to zero are weak. Negative d's indicate a negative relationship, while

positive d's indicate a positive relationship).

Hypothesis 2 states that Domestic students with international travel experience will have

a higher level of intercultural sensitivity that those without it. The test used for this analysis was

a one-sample t-test. Statistical significance was found and thus, hypothesis two was supported.

The first composite "interaction engagement" showed the domestic students without

international travel experience with a mean of 3.74, and a standard deviation of .551, and the

domestic students with international travel experience, with a mean of 4.04, and standard

deviation of .520. The second construct "respect for cultural differences" showed the domestic

students without international travel experience had a mean of 3.91, and standard deviation of

.583, and the domestic students with international travel experience with a mean of 4.01, and

standard deviation of .532. For the third construct, "interaction confidence", the domestic

students without international travel showed a mean of 3.41, and standard deviation of .548, and

the domestic student with international travel showed a mean of 3.56, and standard deviation of

.574. The fourth construct, "interaction attentiveness" showed domestic students without

international travel with a mean of 3.33, and standard deviation of .693, while it showed

domestic students with international travel with a mean of 3.72, and standard deviation of .694.









The fifth and final construct "interaction enjoyment" showed the domestic students without

international travel experience as having a mean of 4.31i, and a standard deviation of .53 5, and

the domestic students with international travel experience as having a mean of 4.36, and standard

deviation of .517. Results indicate that significance was found at two levels: "interaction

engagement" (p = .003) and "interaction attentiveness" (p = .002). (Table 4-6).

Upon closer observation of the 24 items of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, there was

one instance in which the domestic students with international travel experience showed a higher

mean than for domestic students without international travel experience. This was for the item

"Interaction confidence 5" which states, "I always know what to say when interacting with

people from different cultures." The students with international travel experience showed a

mean of 3.14, and standard deviation of 1.008, while the students with no international travel

experience showed a mean of 2.59, and standard deviation of .824 (t(1 16) = -3.255, p = .001

(two-tailed), d =-0.60).

Hypothesis 3 states that Graduate students will have a higher level of intercultural

sensitivity than undergraduate students will. The test used for this analysis was a one-sample

independent t-test. No statistical significance was found among the data, and hypothesis 3 was

rejected. Results indicate, for the first composite, "interaction engagement" had the

undergraduate students with a mean of 9.94, and standard deviation of .548, and the graduate

students with a mean of 3.78, and standard deviation of .500. The second, "respect for cultural

differences" showed the undergraduates with a mean of 3.96, and a standard deviation of .565,

while the graduate students showed a mean of 3.99, and a standard deviation of .475. For the

third composite "interaction confidence", undergraduates had a mean of 3.56, and standard

deviation of .577, while the graduate students had a mean of 3.45, and a standard deviation of










.738. As for the fourth composite "interaction attentiveness", the undergraduate students showed

a mean of 3.60, and standard deviation of .732, and the graduate students showed a mean of 3.43,

and standard deviation of .816. For the fifth and final composite, "interaction enj oyment", the

undergraduates scored a mean of 4.33, and standard deviation of .569, while the graduate

students scored a mean of 4. 18, and had a standard deviation of .555. (Table 4-7).

Upon closer examination of the 24 items, one instance showed significance in higher

mean scores of graduate students compared to undergraduate students, as well as once case

where the undergraduate students showed a higher mean score as compared to the graduate

students. For the item "Respect for cultural differences 2", which was reverse coded, and states

"I think people from other cultures are narrow-minded", the graduate students showed a mean of

3.49, and standard deviation of .547, while the undergraduate students showed a mean of 3.08,

and standard deviation of .724 (t(178) = -3.574, p = .000 (two-tailed), d = -0.54). For the item

"Interaction attentiveness 14" which states "I am very observant when interacting with people

from different cultures", the undergraduates showed a mean of 3.86. and standard deviation of

.903, while the graduates showed a mean of 3.39, and a standard deviation of .930 (t(177) =

3.042, p = .003 (two-tailed), d = 0.46).

Hypothesis 4 states that students who have participated on study abroad programs will

have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than students who have not participated on a study

abroad program. The test used for this analysis was a one sample independent t-test. No

statistical significance was found and hypothesis four was rej ected. Results indicate for the first

composite "Interaction Engagement" that students who have participated on a study abroad

program showed a mean of 3.91, and standard deviation of .49, while the students who have not

participated on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.89, and standard deviation of .56.









For the second composite, "Respect for Cultural Differences", the students with prior

participation on a study abroad program showed a mean of4.04, and a standard deviation of.510,

and the students with no prior participation on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.94,

and standard deviation of .56. This was followed by the third composite "Interaction

Confidence" in which students with study abroad experience showed a mean of 3.62, and

standard deviation of .708, and the students without study abroad experience showed a mean of

3.49, and a standard deviation of .576. The fourth composite "Interaction Attentiveness" showed

results for students who had participated on a study abroad program with a mean of 3.61, and

standard deviation of .767, while the results for students who had not participated on a study

abroad program showed a mean of 3.54, and a standard deviation of .753. The fifth and final

composite "Interaction Enj oyment" showed data for students with study abroad experience as

having a mean of 4.28, and standard deviation of .504, and showed data for students without

study abroad experience as having a mean of 4.30, and a standard deviation of .597. (Table 4-8).

Other Analysis Performed

Upon testing the age of the participants against the five composite variables, by using an

independent sample t-test, no significance was found. Thus, for the sample in this study, age

appears to have no impact on the scores of participants for the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale.

Upon testing the sex of the participants against the five composite variables, by using an

independent sample t-test, only the construct "respect for cultural differences" was found

significant. The mean response for female participants was higher than for male participants.

Females had a mean of 4.02, and standard deviation of .509, while males had a mean of 3.84, and

a standard deviation of .610. For the other constructs, the data was as follows. For the construct

"interaction engagement", female participants had a mean of 3.91, and standard deviation of

.543, while male participants had a mean of 3.85, and standard deviation of .533. Data for the









construct "interaction confidence" showed that female participants had a mean score of 3.54, and

a standard deviation of .613, and the male participants had a mean of 3.51, and a standard

deviation of .654. The construct "interaction attentiveness" showed female participants as

having a mean of 3.60, and a standard deviation of .742, and male participants as having a mean

of 3.46, and a standard deviation of .790, and finally, the construct "interaction enjoyment"

showed data for female participants with a mean of 4.30, and standard deviation of .556, and the

data for male participants showed a mean of 4.27, and a standard deviation of .602. Thus, no

real significance was found in the relationship of the participant' s sex and their scores on the

Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (Table 4-9).










Table 4-1 Travel length collapsed


Frequency
62
53
65
180


Percent
34.4
29.4
36.1
100.0


Valid Percent
34.4
29.4
36.1
100.0


Valid no travel
3 to 42 days
45 to 3650 days
Total


Table 4-2 Reliability Statistics for the 5 constructs of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale


Construct


Cronbach's
Alpha


N of Items


Interaction Attentiveness


Interaction Enj oyment


Interaction Confidence


Interaction Engagement



Respect for Cultural
Differences


.783


.641


.604


.586


.479











Table 4-3 Descriptive statistics


Respect for cultural differences-8

Interaction Engagement-13

Interaction Engagement-1

Respect for cultural differences-16

Interaction confidence-3

Interaction attentiveness-14

Interaction Engagement-21

Interaction attentiveness-17

Interaction confidence-10

Interaction Engagement-24

Interaction Engagement-23

Interaction confidence-6

Interaction Engagement-11

Interaction attentiveness-19

Interaction confidence-5

Interaction confidence-4

Respect for cultural differences-20

Respect for cultural differences-2

Interaction enjoyment-12

Interaction enjoyment-15

Interaction Engagement-22

Interaction enjoyment-9

Respect for cultural differences-7

Respect for cultural differences-18


Minimum

1

2

2

1

2

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1


Maximum

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

4

5


Mean

4.41

4.34

4.21

4.04

3.85

3.74

3.70

3.69

3.63

3.63

3.60

3.56

3.54

3.24

2.73

2.11

1.89

1.82

1.80

1.76

1.73

1.58

1.47

1.44


Std. Deviation

.775

.735

.796

.801

.835

.931

.834

1.020

.865

.859

.865

.958

.930

1.017

.869

.888

1.005

.705

.758

.788

.781

.732

.697

.662





Table 4-4 Descriptive statistics

Interaction Enj oyment Composite

Respect for Cultural Differences Composite

Interaction Attentiveness Composite

Interaction Confidence Composite

National Origin Composite


Mean
4.2889

3.9693

3.5587

3.5333

1.3200


Std. Deviation
.56748

.54236

.75584

.62284

.46900


Table 4-5 Hypothesis 1: Int'1 Students X Domestic Students

National Origin N Mean
Interaction Engagement oet 1 381
Composite
International 56 3.9056
Resec fo Clh~alDomestic 122 3.9440
Differences Composite
International 57 4.0234

Interaction Confidence
Domestic 122 3.4852
Composite
International 58 3.6345
Interaction Attentiveness
Domestic 122 3.5246
Composite
International 57 3.6316
Interaction Enj oyment oet 1 433
Composite
International 58 4.1954


Std.
Deviation

.55376

.51130

.55983

.50340

.56329

.72754

.71828

.83258

.52486

.64295


Std. Error
Mean

.05013

.06833

.05068

.06668

.05100

.09553

.06503

.11028

.04752

.08442





Table 4-6 Hypothesis 2: Domestic no travel x Domestic ves travel


Parti cip ant' s
travel
No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes


Std.
Deviation
.55071

.51977

.58266

.53168

.54756

.57401

.69253

.69437

.53505

.51745


Error
Mean
.07051

.06655

.07460

.06807

.07011

.07349

.08867

.08890

.06851

.06625


N Mean
61 3.7424

61 4.0398

61 3.8743

61 4.0137

61 3.4131

61 3.5574

61 3.3279

61 3.7213

61 4.3060

61 4.3607


Interaction
Engagement
Composite
Respect for Cultural
Differences
Composite
Interaction
Confidence
Composite
Interaction
Attentiveness
Composite
Interaction
Enj oyment
Composite


Table 4-7 Hypothesis 3


graduate students x undergraduate students


Std.
Error
Mean
.04773

.07359

.04900

.07007

.05002

.10770

.06349

.12033

.04930

.08101


Grad and
Undergrad
Undergraduate

Graduate

Undergraduate
Graduate

Undergraduate
Graduate

Undergraduate
Graduate

Undergraduate

Graduate


Std.
Deviation
.54841

.49912

.56515

.47526

.57690

.73835

.73221

.81610

.56851

.55539


Mean
3.9372

3.7764

3.9612

3.9928

3.5624

3.4511

3.6015

3.4348

4.3283


Interaction
Engagement
Composite
Respect for Cultural
Differences
Composite
Interaction
Confidence
Composite
Interaction
Attentiveness
Composite
Interaction
Enj oyment
Composite


47 4.1773










Table 4-8 Group statistics


Participant
travel purpose
study abroad
Not Checked

Checked

Not Checked

Checked

Not Checked

Checked

Not Checked

Checked

Not Checked

Checked


Std.
error
mean
.05088

.06592

.05037

.06749

.05216

.09296

.06815

.10155

.05407

.06617


Std.
deviation
.55968

.49771

.55637

.50957

.57617

.70793

.75278

.76667

.59720

.50393


Mean
3.8867


Interaction
Engagement
Composite
Respect for Cultural
Differences
Composite
Interaction
Confidence
Composite
Interaction
Attentiveness
Composite
Interaction
Enj oyment
Composite


57 3.9148


3.9385


57 4.0351


3.4902


58 3.6241


3.5355


57 3.6082

122 4.2951

58 4.2759


Table 4-9 Participant sex x 5 composite variables


Std.
N Mean deviation

50 3.8543 .53334

128 3.9118 .54291

49 3.8401 .60949

130 4.0179 .50886

50 3.5120 .65423

130 3.5415 .61276

49 3.4626 .79003

130 3.5949 .74244

50 4.2667 .60234

130 4.2974 .55568


Std. error
mean

.07543


Participant's sex

4ahe


Interaction Engagement
composite


Respect for Cultural
Differences composite


Interaction Confidence
composite


Interaction Attentiveness
composite


Interaction Enj oyment
composite


Fenude


.04799

.08707

.04463

.09252

.05374

.11286

.06512

.08518

.04874


4ahe


Fenvile


4ahe


Fenude


Mahs


Fenude

4ahe

Fenude







































Figure 4-1 Reasons for traveling abroad









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between international travel

experience and students' level of intercultural sensitivity, while looking at a variety of factors

that could influence this relationship, such as whether or not the student had prior international

travel experience, the time spent abroad, ethnic background/nationality, class standing at the

university (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate) as well as age and gender. The

types of international travel experiences examined were, travel for study abroad, business,

leisure, and to visit family. The length of time spent abroad, for whatever purpose, was also

measured. These differences were also explored for the three groups of students, which were 1)

international students, 2) domestic students with international travel experience, and 3) domestic

student without international travel experience.

International Travel Experience

The findings suggest that international travel experience has some statistically significant

effect on an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity. This study's data shows that domestic

students, who have international travel experience, do indeed have a higher level of intercultural

sensitivity than domestic students who have no international travel experience. For all of the five

construct of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale; "respect for cultural differences", "interaction

confidence", "interaction engagement", "interaction attentiveness", and "interaction enj oyment",

the domestic students with international travel experience scored higher than did the domestic

students without any international travel experience. This could be due to the fact that students

who find value in traveling to international destinations, already have an increased awareness of

cultural differences, and are inspired to seek out new and different cultures. One reason may be

to immerse themselves in those cultures in order to learn the language of the country. When an










individual learns a new language, gaining knowledge of the source culture for that language is

intrinsic within that process.

As more colleges and universities are internationalizing their campuses, the concept of

international travel for academic reasons, has come to the forefront. Some college programs

require students spend at least one semester studying abroad, as a condition of their completion

and thus graduation from the program. Students are encouraged to study abroad, and over time,

more study abroad programs have been created to target specialized areas of study or research,

thus making it accessible to more students, and not just for those with a desire for language study

and culture acquisition. Some of these include, mathematics in Thailand, marketing in Italy, and

biology in Fiji (University of Florida Intemnational Center, 2007). Students "believe that a study-

abroad experience will provide personal enrichment, travel opportunity, graduate school

acceptance, j ob procurement, and awareness of global issues and cultural diversity" (Langley and

Breese, 2005, p. 314).

International Students vs. Domestic Students

The data show no statistically significant results that international students have a higher

level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students at the University of Florida. The first

construct to which the international students and domestic students were compared was "respect

for cultural differences." This construct represents how participants orient to or tolerate their

counterparts' culture and opinion (Chen & Starosta, 2000). In this study, the international

students scored higher than did the domestic students and this may be true due to the fact that

people in other countries may have more exposure to events worldwide, and even foreign

visitors. Most other countries around the world have a defined culture, and in some cases may

remain more isolated than the United States, that prides itself on having a multicultural

population with many cultures represented, as opposed to defining itself with one main culture.










However, this respect and value of a country's culture may well translate into a deeper

understanding of the importance of culture, and thus a greater level of respect for cultural

differences.

The next concept to which the two groups were compared was "interaction confidence."

This construct is concerned with how confident participants are in the intercultural setting (Chen

& Starosta, 2000). Again, the international students scored higher than did the domestic

students. This may be explained by the fact that international students may feel more confident

interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds because they have had lots of

experience doing so possibly during their college years, and for many, during visits abroad for

travel or to visit family. Another way international students may have more experience and thus

confidence when interacting with people from different cultures is because the American culture

is embedded in other countries by way of television, music, fashion, and most certainly by way

of travelers and tourist from the United States.

In terms of the construct "interaction engagement", which is concerned with participants'

feeling of participation in intercultural communication (Chen & Starosta, 2000), the international

students scored higher than did the domestic students. One explanation for this could be that

international students are simply more aware of their surroundings, both physical and cultural.

Another explanation may be that in order to be successful in their academic endeavors, their

environment requires them to engage daily with professors, administrators, and other students.

As these positive interactions are a necessity of assimilation, this may contribute to the

international students' higher level of interaction engagement skills.

For the construct "interaction attentiveness", which is concerned with the participants'

effort to understand what is going on in intercultural interactions (Chen & Starosta, 2000), the









international students again had higher scores than the domestic students. This may be because

the international students are essentially required to assimilate to the new culture in order to be

successful while interacting. Likewise, these students may need to pay closer attention to what is

happening in the intercultural interaction, as the many nuances of culture can be difficult to

understand. In order to successfully communicate, one must understand the language as well as

the culture.

The final construct against which the international students and the domestic students

were compared was "interaction enjoyment." The items of this construct are mainly concerned

with participants' positive or negative reaction towards communicating with people from

different cultures. Interestingly, the domestic students scored higher than the international

students. This could be due to the fact that domestic students have a high likelihood of coming

into contact with people from different cultural backgrounds, whether it is in school, the work

place, or other social gatherings.

With so many immigrants in the United States, many children are interacting with other

children from different cultural backgrounds at a very early age, and this perhaps peaks an

interest in new cultures, as well as sparks a subconscious sensitivity to intercultural differences

and respect for cultural differences. Another explanation may be that these are university

students living and/or studying at a campus with a diverse population, (3,749 international

students out of the whole population of 49,650 students) where multicultural events are part of

the core of the university and happen frequently. However, the international students on this

campus are also exposed to the same multicultural environment, though the effects may likely

have a different impact on different students.










Undergraduate Students vs. Graduate Students

The data shows that in relation to the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, graduate students do

not have a statistically significant positive difference in their level of intercultural sensitivity as

compared to undergraduate students. This may be due to the fact that younger students, in this

case the undergraduates, are coming into contact with people from cultural backgrounds different

than their own at an early age, and consequently may be more likely to have a higher level of

sensitivity at an earlier age. Another explanation may be that many younger students have

traveled abroad at a very young age, with their families, and so have been exposed to new

cultures and other countries, and may incorporate this as a more common happening, as opposed

to an isolated incident of intercultural interaction.

There was only one construct for which the graduate students had a higher score than the

undergraduate students, and that was "interaction engagement." This may be due to the fact that

older students in general, are more likely to feel a sense of participation during an intercultural

interaction, or any kind of interaction, because they may be more comfortable with themselves as

individuals, than some younger students may be.

With regard to the other four constructs, "respect for cultural differences", "interaction

confidence", "interaction attentiveness", and "interaction enj oyment", the undergraduates scored

higher than the graduate students, on all four constructs. This may be due to the fact that

students are having more experiences in today's society, as travel is much easier now and safer,

there are programs for students to study abroad, volunteer abroad, go on adventures abroad, and

this may enable younger students to have more opportunity to interact with new and different

cultures, thereby giving them a higher level of intercultural sensitivity, at it is represented by the

constructs mentioned above.










Study Abroad

Data also show that there is no statistical significance in the level of intercultural

sensitivity of students who have participated on a study abroad program, versus the level of

intercultural sensitivity of students who have not participated on a study abroad program. This

study may not have found any significance in levels of intercultural sensitivity for students who

had participated on study abroad programs versus those who have not participated on study

abroad for various reasons. This is interesting and perplexing in that so many studies have found

that going on a study abroad program helps students' level of intercultural sensitivity. One

reason there may not have been significance between students who have studied abroad and

students who have not is that many students may have studied abroad several years ago. It is

possible that one' s level of intercultural sensitivity could fade over time, if the individual does

not make a conscious effort to maintain contact with the new culture.

A study by Williams (2005) measured the level of increase in intercultural

communication skills as affected by study abroad. She compared students participating on study

abroad programs and students who stayed on campus, and did not participate on a study abroad

program. The results showed that "students who studied abroad generally showed a greater

increase in intercultural communication skills than the students who did not study abroad" (p.

14). Additionally, the students choosing to study abroad showed a higher level of intercultural

communications skills before going abroad, as well as upon return from the study abroad

program (Williams, 2005).

This is consistent with results from another study, conducted by Kitsanas (2005), in

which the study data shows support for study abroad programs enhancing the cross-cultural skills

of students as well as their global understanding. (Kitsanas, 2005). Specifically, "the findings

demonstrated that study abroad programs significantly contribute to the preparation of students










to, function in a multicultural world and promote international understanding" (Kitsanas, 2005,

p. 447).

Additionally, a study by Penington and Wildermuth (2005) which attempted to measure

the impact of short-term study abroad programs on a student' s level of intercultural

communication competence, found that "intercultural knowledge acquisition was found to be

enhanced by the student's experience of being in a historical location or of interacting with

individuals of the host culture" (Penington & Wildermuth, 2005, p. 180). The authors also noted

that students reported a combination of occurrences that contributed to their feeling of cultural

awareness and comfort with immersing themselves in the new culture. Those factors were the

"lived experience" as well as the information provided by their pre-departure session prior to

going abroad. (Penington & Wildermuth, 2005).

Male vs. Female

Although there were no statistically significant results that showed females have a higher

level of intercultural sensitivity than do males, the data showed that females had a higher mean

score than males for all five of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale' s constructs. This may be due

to the fact that in many cultures, women are raised to be more aware of and attuned to feelings

and the nuances that go with them than men are (Goleman, 1998). This means that the female

students in this study may already have been programmed as young children, to have a higher

level of empathy, making it easier for them to be culturally aware, and thus eventually leading to

a higher level of intercultural sensitivity. According to Goleman (1998), the data results from

the numerous tests of men and women and their empathetic abilities, generally show that

"women do tend to experience this spontaneous matching of feeling with others more than men

do" (Goleman, 1998, p. 322).









Importance of Findings

The findings of this study are important because they contribute to the body of

knowledge on intercultural sensitivity research. In order to more fully comprehend intercultural

sensitivity, it is important to understand the various factors that can affect an individual's level.

While the results cannot be generalized to all students outside the participants of this study, the

information presented here gives a snapshot of a small sample of a population, and how

international travel can affect students at the University of Florida, in terms of their level of

intercultural sensitivity. Additionally, this study shows some of the reasons behind why students

choose to travel internationally. This could be valuable information for future studies, when

looking at the effect of international travel.

There are many studies that have attempted to measure individuals levels of intercultural

sensitivity, as well as studies that have measured study abroad students levels of intercultural

sensitivity. However, there has been no study the author could find that measured international

travel, including study abroad, with the scale used for this study, the Intercultural Sensitivity

Scale. One study, conducted by Peng, Rangisipaht, and Thaipakdee (2005), which did employ

the ISS, was a comparative study, which measured the intercultural sensitivity levels of ethnic

Chinese and Thai nationals, and the effects of their level of English proficiency and intercultural

experience, on their level of intercultural sensitivity. The study found that English proficiency

levels and intercultural experience had a significant effect on the dimensionality of intercultural

sensitivity (Peng, Rangisipaht, & Thaipakdee, 2005).

The current study is also unique as it looked specifically at the impact of international

travel on an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity, while the original studies were looking

for a general sense ofintercultural sensitivity, as opposed to specific things that impact one' s









level. Questions raised in their studies motivated the researcher to look at the impact of

international travel experience as a facet for higher level of intercultural sensitivity.

Limitations of the Study

There were several limitations in this current study. One maj or limitation is that only

students within the College of Journalism and Communications participated. This data cannot be

generalized and thus pertains only to the students that were a part of the sample, drawn from the

population of all undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Journalism and

Communications at the University of Florida. Students studying Journalism and

Communications may already have a higher level of world awareness as well as intercultural

sensitivity due to the nature of the field.

Another limitation for this study was that not all cultures were represented; only the

cultures of students who chose to participate were included in the study. An additional factor to

consider is that only university students were represented in the study, and in that students tend

to be younger, and may have a more encompassing view of the world, they certainly do not

represent the entire population.

A limitation of the methodology was that students were reached via the classroom setting,

which may not have produced as representative a sample as hoped for, in that not all cultures of

students at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida were

represented in the study. There were also time limitations as well as monetary limitations for

this study. The data had to be collected during class times in which the professors, who agreed

to allow the research in their classrooms, were holding class.

A possible maj or limitation of the instrument is that based on the statements of the

Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), participants may have been able to easily guess what the

scale was attempting to measure, and thus gave the "politically correct" answer, instead of what










they really felt. Participants may not have felt comfortable enough to honestly answer

statements from the ISS such as "I think my culture is better than other cultures" or "I don't like

to be with people from different cultures." Additionally, three statements of the scale had

extremely high standard deviations, which means that the scale may benefit and produce a more

accurate measure of these three concepts if the statements were reworded.

Recommendations for Further Research

One suggestion for future research would be to look at a wide variety of maj ors of

students within the university setting, and compare their results of measured intercultural

sensitivity. It would be interesting to look at for example, students from computer engineering

as compared to students from the anthropology department. Additional suggestions for

increasing knowledge of factors that affect intercultural sensitivity would be to look at different

groups of people, other than just students. It would be interesting to examine professors at the

university level, community college level, as well as teachers of secondary education. Workers

in many different areas, including within the private sector, may also have different levels of

intercultural sensitivity, depending on whether they interact with culturally distinct counterparts,

or deal solely with other national workers.

A comparison study between national companies and international companies may show

very pertinent data, while taking into account the amount of, if any, interaction with culturally

diverse people takes places for business purposes. Measuring intercultural sensitivity of many

more different cultures is advisable, as it is important to know how one's background influences

their thoughts and patterns, as well as their level of intercultural sensitivity. Another suggestion

would be to examine the role of level of education with an individual's level of intercultural

sensitivity .









One recommendation would be to look at the long-term effects of study abroad on one's

level of intercultural sensitivity. In that there is no data to show if one' s level of intercultural

sensitivity stays the same over time, or whether it fades or increases, it would be interesting to

measure students before studying abroad, again immediately upon returning from being abroad,

and again after one year, and lastly, five years after returning from their study abroad experience.

Additionally, there is a need to classify the study abroad experience of participants, in

order to better understand the impact on intercultural sensitivity. For example, it would be

helpful to know several things: 1) duration of study abroad program, 2) where the program took

place, 3) type of accommodation, such as a home-stay, a private apartment, dorm room, etc., 4)

and if the students studied in the host language at the foreign university or if there were special

classes conducted in English.

Specifically for measuring the impact of international travel on intercultural sensitivity

with the ISS, it is suggested that a set of items be developed to explain international experience,

as well as to classify the types of international experience of participants. This would help in

furthering the understanding of the aspects and types of international travel experience that may

affect one's level of intercultural sensitivity.

A recommendation would be to improve the level of reliability of the five constructs,

especially those with the lower reliability coefficients. It may help to add more items to each of

the constructs, and to better formulate the items to more effectively measure this dimension of

the scale. In addition, it is suggested to test for concurrent validity of the Intercultural Sensitivity

Scale, by analyzing the ISS against another valid and reliable scale, such as the Intercultural

Development Inventory (IDI).









Lastly, it is suggested to collect qualitative data in addition to the quantitative data from

the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), in order to culminate a deeper understanding of

participants' feelings and beliefs about other cultures, and about interacting with those cultures.

This may help to understand how intercultural sensitivity levels of people from different

generations are affected, and what may be the cause for some of those changes in thought and

behavior in terms of intercultural interactions.

Conclusion

Results of this study suggest that domestic students who have traveled internationally

have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students who have not traveled

internationally. However, the data did not show statistically significant results to support the

hypothesis that students who participated on a study abroad program had a higher level of

intercultural sensitivity than students who have not participated on a study abroad program.

While this study can only draw inferences about international travel experience and its

effects on an individual's level of intercultural sensitivity of students in the College of

Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, it has provided a more in-depth

look at specific factors that may influence intercultural sensitivity, as well as the reasons behind

why students are increasingly choosing to travel internationally. In closing, the benefits of

positive intercultural interactions and intercultural sensitivity are numerous. They allow for

beneficial experiences to occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare

future global citizens for successful intercultural interactions as they take their place in the age of

globalization. As researcher Guo-Ming Chen succinctly said, "the need for intercultural

communication competence in the globalizing society becomes indispensable for a peaceful and

successful life in the new millennium" (Chen, 2006, p. 1).










APPENDIX
INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY SCALE

Below is a series of statements concerning intercultural communication. There are no right or
wrong answers. Please work quickly and record your first impression by indicating the degree to
which you agree or disagree with the statement. Thank you for your cooperation.

5 = strongly agree
4 = agree
3 = somewhat agree (Please put the number corresponding to your answer
2 = disagree in the blank before the statement)
1 = strongly disagree

1. I enjoy interacting with people from different cultures.
2. I think people from other cultures are narrow-minded.
3. I am pretty sure of myself in interacting with people from different cultures.
4. I find it very hard to talk in front of people from different cultures.
5. I always know what to say when interacting with people from different cultures.
6. I can be as sociable as I want to be when interacting with people from different cultures
7. I don't like to be with people from different cultures.
8. I respect the values of people from different cultures.
9. I get upset easily when interacting with people from different cultures.
10. I feel confident when interacting with people from different cultures.
1 1. I tend to wait before forming an impression of culturally-distinct counterparts.
12. I often get discouraged when I am with people from different cultures.
13. I am open-minded to people from different cultures.
14. I am very observant when interacting with people from different cultures.
15. I often feel useless when interacting with people from different cultures.
16. I respect the ways people from different cultures behave.
17. I try to obtain as much information as I can when interacting with people from different
cultures.
18. I would not accept the opinions of people from different cultures.
19. I am sensitive to my culturally-distinct counterpart' s subtle meanings during our
interaction.
20. I think my culture is better than other cultures.
21. I often give positive responses to my culturally different counterpart during our
interaction.
22. I avoid those situations where I will have to deal with culturally-distinct persons.
23. I often show my culturally-distinct counterpart my understanding through verbal or
nonverbal cues.
24. I have a feeling of enj oyment towards differences between my culturally-distinct
counterpart and me.










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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Alison Angley McMurray was born in 1977, in Gainesville, Florida. The youngest of three

children, she grew up in Gainesville, Florida, and graduated from Gainesville High School. She

attended Florida International University before enrolling at the University of Florida, where she

earned her B.A. in Portuguese. Ms. McMurray also holds a graduate certificate in Translation

Studies, from the University of Florida, with a focus in Portuguese to English translation. Ms.

McMurray's love of language and culture led her to pursue graduate studies in intercultural

communication and translation. She is engaged to Syraj Syed and lives in Gainesville, Florida

with their four cats.





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1 MEASURING INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC COLLEGE STUDENTS: THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL By ALISON A. McMURRAY A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Alison A. McMurray

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3 To my Mom, for breaking the emic grid.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my advisor and committ ee chair, Dr. Juan Carlos Molleda, for his guidance and encouragement throughout the writing process. I would also like to thank Dr. Michael Leslie, for his direction through the proce ss of inquiry. I also extend my gratitude to Dean Dennis Jett of the University of Florida International Cent er, for his rich intercultural perspectives. I am also thankful to Jody He dge, with the Division of Graduate Studies and Research, at the College of Journalism and Co mmunications, for always helping me find the answers. I am grateful to my loving and wonderful fa mily, for always supporting and encouraging me. Thank you to my friends for their heartening words: muito obrigada. I am also thankful to Syraj, for his love and understanding, his rea ssurance, and for bringing me chocolate when I needed it most.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 Intercultural Sensitivity: Higher Education...........................................................................14 Understanding Culture.......................................................................................................... ..17 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................19 Definitions of Intercultural Sensitivity...................................................................................19 A History of Intercultural Sensitivity.....................................................................................21 Measuring Intercu ltural Se nsitivity........................................................................................24 Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).....................................................................24 Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI)...............................................................26 Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ISCI).......................................................................28 Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)................................................................................29 Intercultural Sensitivity in a Post 9-11 World........................................................................32 Intercultural Sensitivity: Corporate Sector............................................................................33 Study Abroad and Intercultural Sensitivity............................................................................36 Hypotheses of the study........................................................................................................ ..37 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................41 Population and sample.......................................................................................................... ..41 Research Instrument Construction..........................................................................................42 The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS)................................................................................42 Procedure and Data Analysis..................................................................................................43 4 FINDINGS....................................................................................................................... .......45 International Travel Expe rience of Participants.....................................................................45 Reliability Analysis........................................................................................................... .....45 Descriptive Statistics of the Intercultural Sens itivity Scales Items.......................................46 Composite of the Five Constructs...........................................................................................48 Hypotheses Testing............................................................................................................. ....48 Other analysis performed....................................................................................................... .53

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6 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION....................................................................................61 International Travel Experience.............................................................................................61 International students vs domestic students...........................................................................62 Undergraduate students vs graduate students........................................................................65 Study Abroad................................................................................................................... .......66 Male vs. female................................................................................................................ .......67 Importance of findings......................................................................................................... ...68 Limitations of the study....................................................................................................... ...69 Recommendations for further research...................................................................................70 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .........72 APPENDIX INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY SCALE...........................................................73 WORKS CITED.................................................................................................................... ........74 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................80

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Travel length collapsed.................................................................................................... ..55 4-2 Reliability statistics for the 5 construc ts of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale.................55 4-3 Descriptive statistics..................................................................................................... .....56 4-4 Descriptive statistics..................................................................................................... .....57 4-5 Hypothesis 1: Intl stude nts X Domestic students.............................................................57 4-6 Hypothesis 2: Domestic no tr avel x domestic yes travel...................................................58 4-7 Hypothesis 3: Graduate stude nts x undergraduate students...............................................58 4-8 Group statistics........................................................................................................... ........59 4-9 Participant sex x 5 composite variables.............................................................................59

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Reasons for traveling abroad.............................................................................................60

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication MEASURING INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC COLLEGE STUDENTS: THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL By Alison A. McMurray August 2007 Chair: Juan Carlos Molleda Cochair: Michael Leslie Major: Mass Communication As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies conti nue to develop longterm economic relationships with other cultur es, the need for increased competency in developing widespread, intercultu rally sensitive communication skil ls becomes more essential. The purpose of this inquiry is to closely exam ine potential disparitie s between levels of intercultural sensitivity among th ree groups of participants: in ternational students, domestic students with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience. The study will focus in on particular characteristics or experiences that may affect an individuals level of intercultural sensit ivity. The benefits of positive intercultural interactions, and intercultural sensitivity are numer ous. They allow for beneficial experiences to occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare future global citizens for successful intercultural interactions as they take their place in th e age of globalization.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION As societies evolve with shared purpose and varying societies conti nue to develop longterm economic relationships with other cultur es, the need for increased competency in developing widespread, intercultu rally sensitive communication skil ls becomes more essential. As these societies are continually becoming more intertwined and more dependent on modern technology, Gergen (1991) iden tifies seven technologies th at make up this trend of interdependence: railroad, mail, automobile, telephone, radio, motion pictures, and commercial publishing. Zhong (2000) adds that television and computer, Inte rnet in particular can be placed on the list because both are revolutionary in terms of their influence on modern society and human communication behaviors (p. 35). As Gergen (1991) fu rther states each of these technologies brought people into increasingly cl ose proximity, exposed them to an increasing range of others, and fostered a range of relations hips that could never have occurred before (p. 53). The Internet plays a massive role in todays world of gl obalization, allowing people to communicate via email, internet telephone and instant messaging in real time, as well as experience things they otherwise could not. Howe ver, one thing the Inte rnet cannot provide is the authenticity and experience of a face-to-face intercul tural interaction; now a daily occurrence throughout most of the world. In order to be suc cessful in these communi cations, it is necessary to have knowledge of and respect for cultural differences, and understand how they affect ones interaction skills and behavior. With immigrati on into the United States on a continuous upward climb since the 1970s (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000), it is not hard to encounter individuals from cultural backgrounds different from our own.

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11 The foreign-born population of the United Stat es currently totals 33.1 million, which is equal to 11.5% of the total U.S. population, the highest percentage in 70 years. (Camarota, 2002). The top ten countries of birth for im migrants in 2005 were Mexico (161,445), India (84,681), China (69,967), the Philippines (60,748 ), Cuba (36,261), Vietnam (32,784), the Dominican Republic (27,504), Korea (26,562), Co lumbia (25,571), and Ukraine (22,761). (Migration Policy Institute, 2006, p. 2). The Ce nter for Immigration Studies (2005) states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the populati on of the United States will increase to more than 400 million in less than 50 years, a projec tion made based on immigration data. These immigrants come from all over the wo rld, and for a variety of reasons. The education system of the United States will feel this impact in the changes that must be made to accommodate these incoming children, who, for the most part, do not speak English as a first language. This also holds true for the number of school-aged immigrants and schoolaged children of immigrants, which account fo r 9.7 million, or 18.3% of all school-aged children in the United States (Camarota, 2002). An inte resting characteristic of these younger immigrants is that they learn and use English quickly, and it usually replaces their native language. According to Rubn G. Rumbaut, professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Research on Immigration, Population, and Public Policy at the University of California-Irvine, young immigrants (those ages 5 to 17) almost always are speaking English over their native tongues by adulthood. (Kent and Lalasz, 2006, n .p.). Though there are young immigrants who are speaking English over their native tongues by adulthood; there are, however, millions who still speak a language other than English at hom e. Kent and Lalaz (2006) purport that the number of Americans speaking a language at ho me other than English has more than doubled

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12 since 1980, reflecting the influx of millions of immigr ants to the United States in recent decades, particularly Spanish-speaking immigrants fr om Latin America. (n.p.). Although English speakers account for 82.1% of the U.S. population, the second most spoken language in the United States is Span ish, with 10.7% of the population speaking it at home. (mla.org, 2005). Following English and Sp anish, the third most spoken language in the U.S. is French, with .61% of the population speaking, followed by Chinese, with a speaking population of .57%. The fifth most spoken languag e in the United States is German, with .52% of the population speaking German as their primary language at home. (mla.org, 2005). This means that the large number of people in the United States who are speaking languages other than English at home, are utilizi ng their cultural cues and values when interacting with primarily English speaking citizens. Parallel to the phenomenon of immigration, count ries are also experiencing an increase in international travel, exposing more people to va rious cultures and traditions. According to preliminary findings presented by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) in January 2007, international tourist arrivals re ached an all-time record of 842 million in 2006--an increase of 4.5 percent over 2005. Tourism growth occurred in a ll world regions, but was strongest in Africa (+8.1%) and the Asia-Pacific region (+7.6%). Howe ver, growth in continually strong tourist markets like the Americas (+2.1%) and Europe (+3.9%) slowed down somewhat, registering slightly below the world averag e. (Travel Industry Associatio n, 2007). According to Mowana (1997), tourists travel for a variety of reasons, including en hancement of social status, transcending feelings of isolation, a search fo r reality and authenticity, escape, and pleasure. (pg. 133). Likewise, some of the more common reasons why people travel abroad are to attend school, whether through a study abroad program or independently, for busine ss purposes, to visit

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13 family, as part of a missionary trip, for leisure, or possibly to live and work abroad. Whatever the reason, with 842 million international travelers from all around the globe, it is apparent that vast numbers of the worlds ci tizens are now, more than ever, coming into contact on a daily basis with varied individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds The global marketplace of todays society is promoting this manner of tr avel and interaction, re quiring more and more individuals to become less ethnocentric a nd more intercultura lly sensitivity. According to Anderson, Lawton, Rexeisen, and Hubard (2005), Our ability to function effectively in an environment depends upon our skill in recognizing and responding appropriately to the values and expectations of those around us (p. 47). To be effective, interculturally sensitive pe ople must be interested in other cultu res, have an awareness of cultural differences, and be willing to modify their behavi or as an indication of respect for the people of other cultures. Greenholtz ( 2000) expresses these interpersonal qualities via the term intercultural sensitivity. According to Lamb ert (1993), an individual with knowledge of the ways in which their culture and other cultures differ, who respects and values those differences, is motivated and wants to communicate appropriate ly, and who has mastered the skills to do so, is considered interculturally competent. Though it may seem intuitive to discern the diffe rent ways in which various societies can benefit from positive intercultural interactions, it can be very difficult to understand exactly what this process of gaining intercultural perspectives necessitates and what it means for the future of the global community. In an attempt to clarif y the ambiguous definitions of intercultural competence, and arrive at a more precise and collective definition, researcher Darla Deardorff (2006) conducted a study among intercultural scholars in the fiel d of intercultural communication, as well as with administrators from different colleges and universities across

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14 the United States. While they were not able to agree on one single definition in the end, the study was still insightful as it gave a deeper understanding and showed the different perspectives of definitions between the researchers and the administrators. The definitions used by the intercultural scholars compared to the definitions used by the admi nistrators were very different, meaning the understanding of these ideas and con cepts are not the same amongst the two groups. It is important to look upon this study as it shows the complexity and variance in the understanding and interpretation of intercultural competence even among researchers within the field. The purpose of this study is to focus in on pa rticular characteristics or experiences that may affect an individuals leve l of intercultural se nsitivity. This study will closely examine potential disparities between levels of intercultural sens itivity among three groups of participants: international students, domestic st udents with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience. More specifically, the research question that drives this inquiry is as follows: Are there diffe rences between the levels of intercultural sensitivity between international students, domestic students with international travel experience, and domestic students without international travel experience? Intercultural Sensitivit y: Higher Education One of the key areas in which intercultura l interactions take place is in the higher education setting. The need for aw areness, respect, and acknowledgement of cultural differences in higher education may not be as apparent as in other situations, but the fact remains: no matter what or where the setting, there is a constant need for awareness of cultural similarities and differences. As the number of in ternational students coming to the United States to pursue their secondary education continues to rise, so too does th e likelihood of domestic students of coming into contact with their culturally distinct counter parts. With specific regard to the numbers of

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15 international students enrolled on U.S. campus es for the year 2005-2006, that number was 564,766 out of a total enrollment of U.S. unive rsities of 14,528,728 students (Open doors online, 2006). This is about four percen t of the total enrollm ent of all students on U.S. campuses. The University of Florida, for example, ranks 12th on the list of high in ternational students enrollment, with a total of 3,749 students out of the whole population of 49,650 students (Open doors online, 2006). This data suggests many student s attending a university in the United States are likely to come in contact with students from different cultural backgrounds. Wh ether these individuals meet through a class project, a st udent group, or a chance meeting, in order for these students to have successful interactions, they require some level of awareness and understanding of each others cultural backgrounds a nd differences. Such awareness may influence their behavior, interaction style and their manner of speech, and produce positive outcomes for all culturally distinct individuals. In todays world, the increasing number of university graduates signifies that these graduates comprise an increasi ng impact on the future of our global society. According to Achieve.org (2006), Every year, about a million U.S. Americans enroll as first-time, full-time freshmen in the nations four-y ear colleges and universities. This is in addition to the international students who also gr aduate from U.S. universities. As these people will lead our societies in the future, they, more than anyone else, should be educat ed and trained in the ideology of intercultural sensitivity. It is important that as our global societies become more intertwined, that we all have th e necessary skills and knowledge to make the most of our joint efforts.

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16 Within the higher education setting, one way of making the assimilation easier for international students, to a new culture, is by providing a support system, and the university that hosts them should take responsibility. (Owen, 2007) Not only do international students need a place where they can interact posit ively with domestic students, but also they most certainly need a place where they can interact with people from their own countries or cultural backgrounds. Likewise, in order to create an environment fo r domestic student populations to be successful during these intercultural interac tions, there should be training in cross-cultural communication, as well as opportunities for inter action with international studen ts. According to Heikinheimo and Shute, (1986), the literature indicates that there is a positive relationship between time spent with the host culture and successful cultural adapta tion for international stude nts. This creates a positive outcome for both groups, in that helping the domestic student population effectively and confidently communicate with the international student population, in turn help s the international students adjust to the new cultu re, as well as to ensure opport unities for interaction for both groups. (Owen, 2007). It is important to foresee challenges that can occur during in tercultural interactions, as it is becoming more commonplace in todays world to come into contact with culturally diverse individuals. It is even more important to be equipped with the necessary tools to be successful, while working to overcome the obstacles that are present, as well as to understand the cultural differences that make us who we are, and influe nce the ways in which we interact with others, whether it be someone of the same culture, or people from different cultural backgrounds. In short, it is imperative that we develop our intercultural sensitivit y. In order to further a deeper understanding of intercultural sensi tivity, it is important to first cl arify the concept of culture.

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17 Understanding Culture Culture has been defined in many ways and these definitions have been adapted to accommodate the lexicons of multiple research disciplines. Geert Hofstede, a social psychologist, defines culture as "the collective program ming of the mind whic h distinguishes the members of one category of people from anothe r" (1984, p.21). Parsons a sociologist (1949), states, "culture ... consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generatio n independently of the biological genes" (, p. 8). Kluchohn, an anthropologist (1951), pur ports the following definition: Culture consists in patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, acquired and transmitted mainly by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in arti facts: the essential core of culture cons ists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and se lected) ideas and especially thei r attached values (p. 86). Amidst the multitude of definitions, one general and comprehensive description of culture is offered by the United Nations Educat ional, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO (2001) suggest s, culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of societ y or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, li festyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs. (n.p.). Or, as Edward T. Hall (1959), an anthropologist and the founding father of intercultural communi cations research simply put it culture is communication and communication is culture (p. 186). While many people may be aware of, and ackno wledge that someone is from a different country when interacting with them; by noticing a different style of clothing or accented speech, most people are unaware that these cultural differe nces carry over into other aspects such as decision-making, thought processes, fr iendships, behavior, and interactio n styles. It is crucial for

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18 successful intercultural communi cation that people become aware of not only physical or surface-level cultural differences, such as skin -color, facial features, accented speech, or a special piece or type of clothing, but also to understand the human side of these differences and how these factors influence each person as they communicate with others. If individuals increase their levels of intercultural sensitivity, then their interactions with people from different cultural backgrounds can be mo re meaningful through greate r depth of understanding and subsequently of greater bene fit to all parties involved. This study is an attempt to contribute to th e body of research on inte rcultural sensitivity; specifically regarding how factors such as intern ational travel experience, length of time abroad, reason for going abroad, ethnic background, age, a nd level of education affect intercultural sensitivity. This study is significant in that it can fill an existing gap in the research through increased understanding of what factors may affect an individuals level of intercultural sensitivity. The dependent variab le in this study is intercultu ral sensitivity. The independent variables being examined that may impact the dependent variable are the characteristics of international students, domestic students with international tr avel experience, and domestic students without internati onal travel experience.

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19 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Definitions of Intercultural Sensitivity There is a continuing debate among resear chers regarding a precise definition for intercultural sensitivity. The definition is continually changing and undergoing revisions in order to address social change, as well as ongoing developments in scholarship. Several studies have been conducted attempting to measure an i ndividuals level of intercultural sensitivity, and although there are many researchers leading the fi eld in this area of study, there really is no single leading authority. As Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, and Drager (2000) write the term intercultural sensitivity has been used frequently in the discussion of cro ss cultural adjustment, task effectiveness during assignments abroad, and the development and ma intenance of good interpersonal relationships with culturally diverse others (p. 65). Although th e definition of intercultural sensitivity is still finding its place in the research world, several re searchers within the field of intercultural communications have made what they believe to be essential progr ess toward a deeper understanding of intercultural sensitivity. Some of the early researchers Bellah, Madsen, Sullivan, Swidler, and Tipton (1985) point out that we need to seek out commonalitie s because with a more explicit understanding of what we have in common and the goals we seek to attain together, the differences between us that remain would be le ss threatening (p. 287). As Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) suggest, intercultu ral sensitivity is an individuals reaction to people from other cultures, which can pred etermine that individuals ability to work successfully with those people. The authors furt her suggest it is obvious that in an age of technology and rapid expanse of products, commoditi es and more importantly culture, the ability

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20 to communicate interculturally and achieve a high level of intercultural sensitivity will become not only necessary, but also a sought after ski ll by universities, comp anies, and employers everywhere. Intercultural communications researcher Mi lton J. Bennett (1986) defines intercultural sensitivity as the interactants ability to tran sform themselves not only affectively but also cognitively and behaviorally from denial stage to integration stag e in the development process of intercultural communication. That is to say, interculturally sensit ive persons are able to reach the level of dual identity and enjoy cultural di fferences by gradually ove rcoming the problems of denying or concealing the existen ce of cultural differences and attempting to defend their own world views, and moving to develop empathic ab ility to accept and adapt cultural differences (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 4). Similarly, researchers Dharm Bhawuk and Rich ard Brislin (1992) perc eived intercultural sensitivity from the perspective of individua lism and collectivism and proposed a measure by arguing that intercultural sensitiv ity consists of three elements including the understanding of cultural behaviors, open-mindedness towards cultural differences, and behavioral flexibility in host culture. The authors describe it as bei ng a sensitivity to the importance of cultural differences and to the points of view of pe ople in other cultures (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992, p. 346). Intercultural communication research er Guo-Ming Chen (1997) asserts: Intercultural sensitivity can be conceptuali zed as an individuals ability to develop a positive emotion towards understanding and appreciating cultural differences that promotes an appropriate and effective beha vior in intercultural communication. This definition shows that intercul tural sensitivity is a dynamic c oncept. It reveals that interculturally sensitiv e persons must have a desire to motivate themselves to understand, appreciate, and accept differences among culture s, and to produce a positive outcome from intercultural inter actions. (p. 6)

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21 While the key definitions of intercultural sensitivity are not all identical, they do have a major trait in common, and that is the notion of success in dealing with people from different cultural backgrounds. Researchers agree that th e individual must be responsible for selfmotivation, as well as for understanding that cultu ral differences do exist. It requires positive emotions toward all things rela ted to intercultural interactions, such as learning, understanding, recognizing, and respecting the cultural similari ties and differences, otherwise such harmony is unattainable (Chen, 1997). This is increasingly true in the world as it is today. For the purpose of this study, the definition composed by resear cher Guo-Ming Chen (1997) will be utilized, due to its encompassing explanation of intercultural sensitivity. A History of Intercultural Sensitivity The beginnings of intercultural sensitivity awar eness were born out of necessity, after the end of the World War II. Many government wo rkers overseas often found themselves at a loss to interact within and understand new cultures, based solely on the la nguage training they received before going abroad. In other words, the training received in the new language they were expected to use and be proficient in left them under-prepared for the many cultural barriers they were to face (Martin & Na kayama, 2004). In order to respond to these hurdles, the U.S. government passed the Foreign Service Act in 1946, as well as establishing the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). As Martin and Nakayama (2004) report: the FSI in tur n, hired Edward T. Hall and other prominent anthropologists and linguis ts (including Ray Birdwhistell and George Trager) to develop predeparture courses for overseas workers (p. 42). As it turned out, the workers traveling abroad wished to have ve ry specific and relevant cultural clues and information, based on the country to which they had been assigned. This caused a change in pedagogy by Hall, who had been teaching about cultu re from a broad perspective, and called

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22 upon him to create a way of training these oversea s workers how to understand and assimilate to a new host culture. Thus, the first inte rcultural training regime was born. These days, businesses are employing these sim ilar concepts for intercultural sensitivity training to teach their employees how to interact within different cu ltural contexts, with regard to social mores, customs, and respect for di fferences. Brislin and Yoshida (1994) argue convincingly that a comprehensiv e intercultural sensitivity tr aining plan should include the following four components: Awareness of oneself and ones own cultural influences, Knowledge of other cultures, Recognition of emotional challenges involved, and Basic skills that can be applied to most intercultural encounters. They also claim that training effectiveness is weakened if any of these four progressive steps is missing. With respect to multicultural skills development, two basic approaches exist: (1) culture-specific and (2) cultur e-general (Brislin & Yoshida, 1994; Samovar et al., 1998). The culture-specific approach focuses on the practice s of a particular cultu re (e.g., rules regarding whether direct or indirect eye contact is appropriate vary from culture to culture) (CornettDeVitto & McGlone, 2000). Trainers are warned that if these skills are not used with sufficient foresight and cultural knowledge, negative outcomes can occur. For example, trainees may assume that their newfound skill is appropriate an d applicable in all situations involving the culture in question. Consequently, trainers w ho use this approach ar e cautioned to clearly identify the skills or skill set; understand the cultural values a ssociated with the skill; understand that individual differences with in cultures exist; and recognize that practicing and interacting with those from the specific culture will provide more information regarding the nuances of when, where, and how the skill is appropria tely used (Brislin & Yoshida, 1994).

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23 Just as much as culture-specific training pr ovides specific knowledge about a particular culture, culture-general training helps develop a broad understanding of cu ltural differences. Culture-general training is design ed to increase awareness of how cultures affect values and behavior; as such, affective measures including cross-cultural attitude, self-efficacy, and trainee reaction would be appropriate indicators of training effectiveness (Poon, Stevens, and Gannon, 2000). Brislin et al (2006) suggest that cultural inte lligence, the skillful recognition of behaviors that are influenced by culture, is an important factor in prepari ng individuals for life in another culture. Such preparation requires concerted tr aining efforts that are designed according to specific concepts and pedagogies. The author s maintain that knowledge and acceptance of cultural differences are not qualities that are li mited to only a few people. An individuals cultural intelligence can be increased with expe rience, practice, and a positive attitude toward lifelong learning. Bhawuk and Brislin (2000) suggest that the evolution of cross-cu ltural training methods has, over the past fifty years, demonstrated encouraging signs of growth and expansion toward more theoretically meaningful methodologies and t ools. For example, the authors suggest that cultural assimilators, theory-based exercises and simulations based on behavior modeling, are one method for cross-cultural trai ning that have been noticeably emergent in the past decade. Such methods provide cognitive validity to crosscultural training and evaluative measures are also being developed to cons equently measure the impact of cross-cultural training on intercultural interactions. According to Leeds-Hurwitz (1990), intercult ural communication continues to serve the function of training Americans to go abroad, alth ough it has grown substantia lly past this initial

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24 mission to include such areas as the training of foreign students, recent immigrants, and teachers who work with students of di fferent cultural backgrounds (p. 264). This style of preparing sojourners for their host culture continues today. One group that be nefits from such preparations are study abroad students at the Un iversity of Florida. These students receive a version of a pre-departure session, in order to partially prepare them for what lie ahead in their host country. These sessions talk a bout safety abroad, language, custom s, food habits, interacting in the host culture, as well as to stress the impor tance of studying about the new culture and all its characteristics before going abroad, to be well prepared and successf ul in intercultural interactions abroad. Measuring Intercultural Sensitivity The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) The Intercultural Development Inventory (ID I) is a 50-item paper-a nd-pencil instrument, which is designed to measure an individuals level of intercultural sensitiv ity. It was developed by Mitchell R. Hammer and Milt on Bennett, and is based on Bennetts Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The IDI can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including for individuals, groups, training for organizations, evaluation and assessment and for research. In addition to providing an overa ll score, the IDI also yields sc ores for the different scales, clusters, and sub-stages of the DM IS. An individuals overall score is used to determine his or her sate of development (again, as defined by the DMIS) (Medina-Lopez-Portillo, 2004, p. 183). Paige, Jacobs-Cassuto, Yershova, and DeJaeghe re (2003) state that the results of their study demonstrate that the IDI is a reliable measure that has little or no social desirability bias and reasonably, although not ex actly, approximates the developm ental model of intercultural sensitivity upon which it is based (p. 215). Similarly, Greenholtz ( 2000) found during his study

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25 that the Intercultural Devel opment Inventory provides a psyc hometrically valid and reliable empirical tool which administrators of transn ational educational progr ams can use to make informed decisions related to human resource mana gement of faculty and support staff, to assess training needs and the effectiveness of training pr ograms, and to maximize the quality of student experiences (p. 13). A study conducted by one research team made up of Philip Anderson, Leigh Lawton, Richard Rexeisen, and Ann Hubbard (2005) discov ered that based on their study of short-term study abroad programs, which used the IDI to meas ure intercultural sensitivity, that there is weak support (p = 0.069) for the hypothesis that th e students who participat ed in the four-week study abroad experience significantly improved th eir level of intercul tural sensitivity as measured by the IDIs development scale. Str onger statistical support was found for two other hypotheses: As a group, the studen ts lessened their tendency to s ee other cultures as better than their own and improved their ability to accept and adapt to cultural differences (p. 8). Positive results were also obtained by resear cher Adriana Medina-Lopez-Portillo (2004), whose study conducted on program length of study abroad courses and intercultural sensitivity, shows that the students in the longer duration program returned home showing 1) significant development of intercultural sensitivity as defined by the IDI; (2) broader vocabulary and examples with which to talk about cultural di fferences; (3) a deeper understanding of Mexican culture and its people; and (4) a critical and informed point of view regarding the United States, its culture, and its intern ational politics. These results suggest that the longer students stay immersed in a target culture, the more they learn and grow, and the more their intercultural sensitivity develops (Medina-Lopez-Portillo, 2004).

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26 In conclusion, the IDI provides a valid and re liable measure of those cognitive states associated with certain stable orientations to ward cultural difference and can be useful for assessing training needs, guiding interventi ons for individual and group development of intercultural competence, contributing to pe rsonnel selection, and evaluating programs (Hammer, Bennett, & Wiseman, 2003, p. 119). Although the IDI is an internationally recognized and validated scale, adept at measur ing intercultural sensit ivity, it was not possible for it to be employed by the present study due to time and financial constraints. Each participants answers to the IDI must be analyz ed by trained professionals thus the process is lengthier and requires a greater fi nancial commitment; one that is not always afforded in every research situation. The Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) The Cross-Cultural Adaptabili ty Inventory (CCAI) was devel oped to provide a tool for self-assessment of cross-cultural effectiveness. This instrument, which was originally created in 1987, was revised in both 1989 and 1992. The instrume nts authors, Colleen Kelley and Judith Meyers, created both the original and the revised versions of th e instrument. Designed to be used as a single assessment or as part of a multi-assessment training program, the CCAI was developed in response to the need for a self-a ssessment instrument designed to measure crosscultural adaptability (Kelley & Me yers, 1995). The authors stated that this instrument is applicable to all cultu res assuming that anyone who was adap ting to a new culture would share the same types of feelings and experiences (Kelley & Meyers, 1995a) (as cited in Davis & Finney, 2006). The authors proposed that cross-cultural adaptability has four dimensions: (1) flexibility/openness, (2) emotional resilience, (3) perceptual acuity, and (4) personal autonomy (Davis & Finney, 2006). Flexib ility/openness reflects an indivi duals tendency to be broad-

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27 minded and open toward others. The ability to be flexible and possess a non-judgmental perspective is commonly associated with cross-cultural effectiveness. Emotional resilience is defined as being able to maintain positive emotions while being surrounded by the unfamiliar with respect to cultural cues and environmenta l influences. Individuals immersed in a new culture often experience negativ e emotional reactions (i.e., culture shock). The emotional resilience scale was created to represent an indi viduals ability to cope with these feelings. Perceptual acuity represents how effective and comfortable a person is when communicating with individuals of another culture. The perceptu al acuity scale focuses on ones ability to detect both verbal and nonverbal cues from individuals from another culture in addition to general communication skills. Finally, personal autonomy re fers to an individuals ability to posses and maintain a strong personal identi ty in a new culture despite nega tive reactions to his other unique identity due to cross-cultural differences. Th e personal autonomy scale was created to assess how well one will be able to appreciate cultural di fferences while maintaining his or her personal sense of self (Davis & Finney, 2006). There is conflicting data in existence about th e validity of this measurement tool. While several studies using th e CCAI have been conducted to test the effectiveness of programs or experiences on increasing cross-cultural ad aptability (Kitsantas & Meyers, 2001, Shim & Paprock, 2002), there was a major study complete d by Davis and Finney ( 2006) that finds flaws with the four-factor structure of the tool. The research was desi gned to examine the plausibility of the four-factor model of cross-cultural ad aptability as measured by the CCAI (Kelley & Meyers, 1995b). Unfortunately, th e four-factor model hypothesized to underlie the responses to these items did not fit adequately. In additi on, the exploratory analyses failed to produce a solution that was interpretable (Davis & Finney, 2006). The authors further suggest that any

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28 improvements or development of this measurement tool should be clearly tied to theory and supported by empirical evidence (p 78) before being used to e ffectively measure intercultural sensitivity. One study conducted by Cornett-DeVito a nd McGlone (2000) showed positive results using the CCAI as the measurem ent tool. A matched sample ttest was performed on the CCAI preand post-scores for each of the four cult ure-general competencies (emotional resilience, flexibility and openness, perceptu al acuity, and personal autonomy ) to note differences between the two measurements from the same group of tr ainees (Frey, Botan, Friedman, & Kreps, 1991). Of the four culture-general skills measured in the CCAI, three produced significant mean differences between the preand posttest for the 40 paired sets of test scores: perceptual acuity, emotional resilience, and personal autonomy. There was no significant mean difference for flexibility and openness (Corne tt-DeVito & McGlone, 2000, p. 247). Another research team, Goldstein and Smith (1 999) also concluded positive results from the CCAI as a measurement tool. Student sojourners who attend the weeklong Discover the United States program provided by the Meridian International Cent er (Meridian) upon arrival to this country exhibit greater cros s-cultural adaptability than a similar group of students who did not attend the training. This rela tionship is demonstrated by th e significantly higher scores on the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI) of the programs graduates in every dimension of cross-cultural adaptability, including emotional resilience, fl exibility/openness, perceptual acuity and personal autonomy (Goldstein & Smith, 1999, p. 167). The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory (ISCI) The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventor y (ICSI; Bhawuk & Brisli n, 1992) is a 46-item self-report instrument in whic h people give their response on a Likert-type seven-point scale ranging from very strongly agree to very strongl y disagree (Bhawuk & Brislin, 1992, p. 420). It

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29 was designed to measure intercul tural sensitivity by examining subjects responses to items reflecting individualist-co llectivist orientations (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, & Drager, 2000, p. 215). The Intercultural Sensitivity Inventory was de veloped to address a ne ed in the scholarly literature for a reliable and valid measure of the in tercultural sensitivity c onstruct. In developing their instrument, Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) eval uated various predicto rs used to estimate intercultural effectiveness of overseas personnel (Kapoor & Comadena, 1996, p. 169). They found several factors which they equated with success overseas: empathy, respect, interest in local culture, flexibility, tole rance and technical skill (Kapoor & Comadena, 1996). However, as other researchers delved further into the measurement tool, they found slight flaws with the methods used. Kapoor and Coma dena tested the construct validity of the Bhawuk and Brislin measure and concluded that, due to ambiguity in the tone and direction of the items used, the measure was relatively un reliable (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky, & Drager, 2000, p. 215). One problem with the Bhawuk and Brislin (1992) instrument is consistent that the items used to measure behavior patterns are rath er abstract in tone and substance. Kapoor & Comadena (1996) argued that the it ems used in the measure were ra ther ineffective in assessing everyday conduct peculiari ties unless the subjects had an oppor tunity to study a specific culture from close quarters (Kapoor, Blue, Konsky & Drager, 2000). Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) A comparatively new and upcomi ng measurement tool called th e Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, was developed by Guo-Mi ng Chen and William Starosta, and designed to integrate features of both cross-cultural attitude and be havioral skills models (Fritz & Mollenberg, 2001, p. 54). This scale is a 24-item questionnaire aimed at measuring intercultural sensitivity. The sensitivity scale has five factor s on which its statements are base d: (1) interac tion engagement (e.g., I enjoy interacting with people from di fferent cultures), (2 ) respect for cultural

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30 differences (e.g., I think people from other cultures are narrow-minde d), (3) interaction confidence (e.g., I am pretty sure of myself in interacting wit people from different cultures), (4) interaction enjoyment (e.g., I get upset easil y when interacting with people from different cultures), and (5) intera ction attentiveness (e.g., I am very observant when interacting with people from different cultures ) (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 98). As Fritz and Mollenberg (2001) note, The model is comprised of three conceptual dimensions of intercultural communication competence, including intercultural awareness, intercultural sensitivity, and intercultural adroit ness ( p. 60). According to Chen and Starosta (1996), the three are closely relate d but separate concepts. They also postulate that the concept of intercultural communication comp etence is comprised of three fa cets: cognitive, affective, and behavioral ability of interact ants in the process of intercultural communication (Chen and Starosta, 2000, p. 70). Intercultural awareness is the concept that represents the cognitive aspect of intercultural communication competence in demonstrating the understanding of culture conventions that affect how we think and behave (Chen, in press). Intercultural sensitivity is the concept that represents the affective aspect of intercultural co mmunication competence by referring to the subjects active desire to motivate themselves to understand, appreciate, and accept differences among cultures (Chen & Starosta, 1998). Intercultural ad roitness is the behavioral aspect of intercultural communication competen ce in that it refers to the ab ility to get the job done and attain communication goals in intercultural interactions (Chen & Starosta, 1996, p. 76). Moreover, the authors proposed that individuals must possess six affective elements to be interculturally sensitiv e: self-esteem, self-monitoring, ope n-mindedness, empathy, interaction involvement, and suspending judgmen t (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 80).

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31 Empathy, also called telepathic or intuiti on sensitivity (Gardner, 1962), refers to the ability to step into one's culturally-different c ounterparts' mind to develop the same thoughts and emotions in interaction. The concept has been considered a core com ponent of intercultural sensitivity by scholars (e.g., Bennett, 1986; Ch en & Starosta, 1997; Yum, 1989). Empathic persons have been found to be more concerned for others' feelings and reactions, more accurate in observing the internal states of their counterparts, and more able to show affect displays, active listening, and unders tanding in intercultural communica tion situation ( Parks, 1994). In other words, the more empathic one is, the more interculturally sensit ive one will be (Chen & Starosta, 2000, p. 112). Several studies have been done to test the validity and reliability of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, all with positive results. Chen and Starosta (2000) found in their study to validate and test their Intercul tural Sensitivity Scale, that th e ISS has demonstrated strong reliability and appropriate concurrent and predictive validity. While further research is needed to replicate the properties of the ISS, the scale show s promise for use as a measure of intercultural sensitivity. Fritz and Mollenberg (2001) used the ISS on German students in Germany, to see if the scale could be used among different cultural groups. Acco rding to Fritz and Mollenberg (2001) The results of confirmatory factor an alysis in this study by using a German sample confirmed the validity of the overall structur e of Chen and Starostas instrument on the measurement of intercultural sensitivity (p. 57). As stated earlier, this study will employ the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), the measurement tool created by Chen and Starosta. This model was chosen because it takes into consideration all of the dimensions of intercu ltural communication competence, and has specific intentions to measure intercultural sensitivity of different groups of people. This scale has been

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32 tested by other researchers, and found to be vali d and reliable. Fritz & Mollenburg tested the validity on a group of German students, and the results were quite good. Similarly, Peng, Rangisipaht, and Thaipakdee (2005) measured the intercultural sens itivity levels of Thai and Chinese nationals, and again, the results were found to be quite reliable. Intercultural Sensitivity in a Post 9-11 World Intercultural sensitivity around the world suffere d after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, as many in the United States became fearful or suspicious of anyone from a differe nt country or cultural background (Kondrasuk, 2004). In addition to th e news stories reporting on the likelihood of other terrorist attacks by way of nuclear fire a poisoned food or water supply, and mail bombs; the endless repetition of video of jets bombing Afghanistan, which filled the television screens of homes in the United States, kept the fear of terr orism alive. The increased fear and insecurity created by such stories was amplified by a grow ing sentiment on the part of the American public that people who suggest that terrorism shoul d be analyzed, in part, within the context of American foreign policy should not be allowed t o teach in the public schools, work in the government, and even make a speech at a college (Giroux, 2002, p. 178). Kondrasuk (2004) suggests that 9/11 attacks had a number of imme diate impacts on the United States in general. The initial outrage of the population of the United States was followed by an aftermath of shock and sorrow. Peoples world-views changed. There was both hatred and acts of discrimination against Muslims and Ar abs, as well as a new national inquisitiveness to learn more about Islam. The citizens of the Un ited States drew closer together; just as there was a significant increase in national solidarity, th ere was, likewise, a decrease in the sensitivity people had toward the interactions with people of divergent cultural contexts. While there has been some resistance in both the media and among diverse groups to the accelerated practice of racial pr ofiling, the American public largely supports the indefinite

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33 detention by federal authorities of over 11,000 immigrants, only four of whom, according to Davis, have direct links to te rrorist organizations (G iroux, 2002). Another t ype of retaliation and revenge was exemplified by the many games which surfaced on the internet, to be played by gamers across socioeconomic and age spectrums, in which the goal of the game was to find Osama bin-Laden, and blow him up (Varisco, 2002). Evans and Elphick (2005) describe efforts by the post-9-11 tourism i ndustry to establish crisis management policies that utilized foundatio nal principles of intercultural communication and cross-cultural training to establish met hodologies for mitigating the effects of further terrorism-related occurrences, as well as ongoing the reactions and stigmas t ourists maintained as a result of post-9-11 social trauma. One such po licy examined by the authors featured the crisis and incident management struct ure, notification and activation criteria, information flows and response to the media, response plans and trai ning. The training in cludes general training, tabletop exercises and real time and live exer cises with the aim to test the organization, communications and the teamwork of those concer ned and the ability of individual actions. The policy describes communication and decision pr ocesses that are predicated on clear role descriptions to ensure that crises are handled sw iftly and effectively at an appropriate level. Training is included as part of the policy to test the organization, the communication and individual roles, as it increases familiarity a nd capability among those being trained and makes the organization aware of potential crisis situations. Intercultural Sensitivity: Corporate Sector Landis and Bhagat (1996) ar gue that intercultural sensi tivity is crucial to enabling people to live and work with others from diff erent globalization of business intensities, an individuals sensitivity to cultu ral differences combined with an ability to adapt his or her behavior to those differences will become in creasingly valuable (Anderson et al., 2005, p. 46).

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34 In other words, the increase in travel and inte rnational business ventures necessitates that an increasing number of people will need to be aware of cultural differences and will need to increase their level of intercultural sensitivity in order to stay current within their market area. Globalization continues to redefine our id entity in the workplace, at home, and other arenas of our life by breaking down th e stereotypical roles we played at previous weeks or years. Moreover, globalization demands a community wh ere people of differe nt cultural backgrounds must learn to be interdependent in order to su rvive. As a result, the need for intercultural communication competence in the globalizing societ y becomes indispensable for a peaceful and successful life in the new millennium (Chen 2000, p. 78). Without this knowledge of culture and custom s, international business could not be a successful enterprise. There must be a level of established cultural harmony before any business venture or any sort of discussion can be deemed successful. In the bus iness world, language and cultural knowledge are very important. In so me countries, business dealings will not be successful unless certain activitie s and interactions are conducted according to the host-countrys custom, so those who are unaware of the cust oms cannot do business su ccessfully in those countries. For example, in Japan, the exchange of business cards is ceremonial and very important. Strict adherence to the rules of this ceremony must be followed for successful business in Japan. As one specialist at a Language and Culture consulting firm states, very few businesses can escape the need to at some point in time deal with foreign colleagues, clients or customers. Business is international and if an organization wants to develo p and grow, it needs to harness the potential an international stag e offers (Cultural Services onlin e, 2007). It is important for people to have knowledge of other cultures, including their language, in order to make a

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35 connection with the people with whom they ar e making a business ventur e. Many businesses are turning to consulting firms to teach classes to their employees so that they will have an understanding of cultural differences, as well as to learn the necessary skills to interact successfully with potenti al clients from other cultural backgrounds. At a corporate level, intercultural skills are required in every line of business and during every interaction. Cultural diffe rences influence everything from the design of an organizations mission statement and the way international subsidiaries are managed, to the rules and regulations set out for employees, the processe s for negotiation of business deals or the preparation of marketing strategies. Global managers and work forces need intercultural skills both in face-to-face interaction a nd in virtual communication with partners from other cultures, in their own country, abroad and in international teams. Intercultu ral skills are indispensable for effective management of a diverse workforce. Varner (2000) writes that prior to Hall s 1959 examination of in tercultural business communication with relation to cultural attitudes that can serve as inhibitive or contributive factors in the communication process; most researchers did not focus on the process of communication in intercultural contexts. Intercul tural business literature prior to Halls work focused more on functional business issues, rather than communications frameworks; intercultural communication literature focused mo re on general contexts rather than businessspecific contexts. However, with the cold wa r in bloom, Halls work presented significant considerations for business l eaders attempting to overcome te nuous communication barriers in order to build business relations in an untrusting global context. Varner (2000) further suggest s that the growth of intern ational business agreements, outsourced production and customer service, and shrinking internati onal boundaries have

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36 increased the need for intercultural sensitivity and competency in business. Necessary insights into social behavior, attitude s toward morality, self-percepti on, and the role of cultural hierarchies provide the business agent the requisite tools to function bey ond his or her cultural comfort zones. The author mentions that th e increasing educational interchange of students across international boundaries places higher education in this framework of consideration, as well. Study Abroad and Intercultural Sensitivity With more than 200,000 American college st udents going abroad each year, Richard C. Sutton, senior advisor for academic affairs and director of international programs for the University System of Georgia Board of Regent s, purports that [study abroad] is no longer a fringe activity (Redden, 2007, n.p.). A small num ber of studies have been conducted regarding the outcomes of studying abroad, to discern whethe r or not it has an effect on the level of an individuals intercultural awareness or sensitivity The difficult part of measuring the potential effects of study abroad on interc ultural sensitivity is that th ere are often many factors which cannot be controlled for each particular student such as ethnic background, upbringing, travel experience, second-language acquisition, previous exposure to cultural di fferences, location and length of program, experience with host family, a nd the list goes on. Thus, the studies that have been conducted to measure intercu ltural sensitivity levels of st udents studying abroad, all have limitations. Data collected for a study done by research er Adriana Medina-Lopez-Portillo (2004), does provide support for a hypothesis that duration of study abroad programs plays a key role in the development of intercultura l sensitivity of U.S. university students studying abroad (p.52). Another study conducted by Langley and Breese ( 2005) showed most students reported that their attitudes toward other cultures have become less judgmental and that they stereotype people

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37 of other cultures less. Some reported a more cr itical and, at the same time, more appreciative view of their own culture. Others expressed an increased desire to learn of other cultures (p. 319). A study showing positive results conducted by Williams (2005) reported that The results showed that as predicted, the st udents who studied abro ad generally showed a greater increase in intercultural communication skills than the st udents who did not study ab road, and students who chose to study abroad had a higher level of in tercultural communication skills at the beginning and at the end of the semester th an students who did not choose to study abroad. The results also showed that exposure to various cultures was actually a better predictor of intercultural communication skills than location in bot h preand posttest scores (p. 368). Hypotheses of the study Given the fact that individuals from countries around the world tend to be more aware of the rest of the world than people from the Unite d States who function from more of an insular social perspective, many U.S. citizens do not kno w about what the rest of the world is doing, nor is it of great significance to th em. People from other countries grow up learning about other cultures, and about the United States, and most of them learn English in school, often starting as young children. Americans are, for the most part monolingual and this can be a problem when these individuals travel abroad and do not speak the language of the hos t country or know much about its culture. According to the National Virtual Translation Cent er (NVTC), only nine percent of Americans can speak their native lang uage plus another language fluently, as opposed to 53 percent of Europeans. (NVTC online, 2005). While the impact of second-language acquisition on intercultu ral sensitivity is still being studied, it may be that this lesson in language and culture plays a part in an individuals knowledge of and respect for different cultures. For international students coming to study in the Unite d States, just being co nscious of cultural

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38 differences and possibly having a greater awareness of the rest of the world, may give them a slight advantage on the scale of intercultural sensitivity. For these reasons, the following hypothesis was suggested: H1: International students will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students. Domestic students without international trav el experience may well have had interaction with people from different cultures here in the United States. However, these interactions may not be the same as if they were taking place overseas, due to the fact that the way someone behaves and interacts in the comfort zone that is their homeland, is most certainly different than they way they behave and interact while in a nother country and culture. Consequently, exposure to new and different cultures by way of intern ational travel may result in a higher level of intercultural sensitivity. The domestic st udents who have experience traveling on an international scale have been exposed to othe r cultures in their nati ve setting, as opposed to interacting with someone from a nother country here within the borders of the United States. This exposure to other cultures may provide mo re in-depth awareness and understanding of cultural differences, as well as a respect for these differences. For this reason, the following hypothesis was suggested: H2. Domestic students with internationa l travel experience will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity that those without it. Age is believed to bring maturity, and along w ith that, a larger scope of ones self as well as of the world. A scientific study done by Bennett and Baird (2006) on students at a private college in New Hampshire, gave results which sugge sted that significant age-related changes in brain structure continue after the age of 18 and that these changes may be related to new challenges stemming from a new environment, in this case, the college setting. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCE S) most recent survey for students of U.S.

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39 universities for the Fall of 2004, showed that 35.9 percent an d 29.3 percent of undergraduate students at U.S. universities are between the ages of 18 and 19, a nd also 20 and 21, respectively. This data also shows that 32.2 percent and 30.2 per cent of graduate students at U.S. universities are between the ages of 22-24 and 25-29 respec tively. This difference in age and depth of experience between most graduate students and un dergraduates may translate into a higher level of intercultural sensitivity. For this reason, the following hypot hesis is suggested: H3: Graduate students will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than undergraduate students. Study abroad can have many positive effects on a students understanding of culture, communication, and the world as a whole. It al lows students a chance to see another country, including experiencing its language, customs, fa shion, history and culture. It provides the opportunity to see how other people live in di fferent places around the world. It offers the chance to increase cultural awareness, as they become aware of themselves while attending classes abroad, and doing every day things such as a trip to the gr ocery store, reading street signs and billboards, watching TV, and especially dur ing language interaction. For these reasons, the following hypothesis was suggested: H4: Students who have participated on study abroad programs will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than st udents who have not pa rticipated on a study abroad program. The importance of understanding cultures is not limited to the basic knowledge associated with the concept, but also extends to th e fact that an individual who is to be successful at intercultural communication and thus have an increased level of intercultural sensitivity, must have a desire to know about other cultures. This is in order to cultivate a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives, and acknowledge that a persons cultural bac kground influences the ways in which that individual interacts across cu ltures with other people. In other words,

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40 intercultural sensitivity in the contemporary glob al climate is a necessary component of social progress.

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41 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Population and sample The population for this study was undergraduat e (N =2804) and graduate students (N = 231) of the College of Journalism and Communications at the Univ ersity of Florida. The 24-item intercultural sensitivity questionn aire developed by researchers Chen and Starosta (2000) was administered to a selected number of students. Participants were reached within the classroom setting in both undergraduate and graduate classes after approval of the research protocol by the UF Institutional Review Board (see Appendix A) and negotiating permission with instructors. Non-probability sampling techniques were use d, more specifically convenience sampling and purposive sampling (Buddenbaum and Novak, 2001). It was convenient in that the research participants were easily and quickly accessible in large numbers, and there were no exclusionary pre-requisites to participating. In other words, every student in each classroom that was surveyed was representative of one of the thr ee groups to be analyzed. The purposive technique was utilized to target internati onal students, in order to get a va riety of cultural representation from the sample. In that funding was not availa ble to employ assistance in gathering data, these sampling techniques made this study possible despite time and resource constraints. The sample for this study (N = 180) was ma de up of 133 undergraduate and 47 graduate students. Of these students, 50 were male a nd 130 were female. Eighty-four participants classified themselves as White-non Hispanic, 15 as Black/African-Ame rican, four as AsianAmerican, 19 as Hispanic or Latino, 34 as Asian, nine as European, and 15 classified themselves as Latin American or Caribbean. The mean age of participants was 23. Th e participants fell into one of three categories to be an alyzed: 1) domestic students who ha d not traveled internationally,

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42 2) domestic students who had travel ed internationally, and c) intern ational students. There were 60 respondents for each group. Research Instrument Construction The Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) The research instrument consisted of three s ections. The first section of this studys research instrument was Chen and Starostas Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), which is a 24item questionnaire designed to measure intercultural sensitivity (see Appendix B). The ISS was chosen due to the fact that its validity as well as its functionality across cultures has been established by several different studies measuring intercultural sensitivity. The sensitivity scale has five factors or constructs on which its stat ements are based: interaction engagement (7 items), respect for cultural differences (6 items), interaction confidence (5 items), interaction enjoyment (3 items), and interaction attentiveness (3 items). Research participants completing the ISS ranked their responses in terms of levels of disagreement or agreement, to the statements contained in the questionnaire. A five-point Likert scale was used to respond to each item in which 1 is strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 somewhat agree, 4 agree, and 5 is strongly agree. The scale attempts to measure an individuals level of interculturally sensitivity. According to Chen and Starosta (2000), higher scores of this measure ar e suggestive of being more interculturally sensitive (p. 10). Before summing the 24 items, the following item s were reverse-coded for data analysis: 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 20, and 22. Reverse-coding was us ed in this case because in addition to having "positively-keyed" or positively worded Item s (i.e. "I enjoy interacting with people from different cultures") the ISS also has items that are considered "negativel y-keyed" (i.e. I don't like to be with people from different cultures" ). Reverse-coding the negatively-keyed items ensures that all of the items those that are originally negati vely-keyed and those that are

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43 positively-keyed are consistent with each other, in terms of what an agree or disagree imply. (Wake Forrest Website). For example, if an individual responded 1 (Strongly Disagree) to the I dont like to be with people from different cultures item, then we recode this individuals response to a 5. Thus the reverse-scored item now has a high score (a 5 instead of a 1), which indicates a high level of intercultural sensitivity. This is based on the reasonable assumption that someone who strongly disagrees with the statement that she dislikes being with people from different cultures, has a relatively high level of intercultural sensitivity. That is, a disagreement to I dont like to be with people from different culture s is logically similar to an agreement to I enjoy interacting with people fr om different cultures. Reverse-coding is done so that high scores on the questi onnaire reflect relatively high levels of the attribute being measured by the questionnaire. The SPSS function used to perform this data analysis was the Transform mode, under which the items were r ecoded into the same variable, and given the reverse-score (1=5, 2=4, 3=3, 4=2, 5=1). The second component of the research quest ionnaire included f our questions about demographic information. These were age, se x, nationality/ethnic bac kground (which was set up to also indicate if the student is a domestic or international student), as well as academic status (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate). Finally, the last sect ion of the instrument asked participants three questions about their in ternational travel experi ence including whether or not they had been abroad, the length of tim e spent abroad, as well as the main purpose (or purposes) for their in ternational travel. Procedure and Data Analysis Data was analyzed by using SPSS for Wi ndows version 15.0. Frequencies and descriptive statistics were first run to assess the results of each item of the survey instrument.

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44 Subsequently, Alpha reliability analysis was done to measure the strengths of the measurements of each construct according to the qu ality of responses of this study. A series of correlations, T-test and Analysis of Variance ( ANOVA) were used to explore the relationship among independent variables (demographic and intern ational travel data) and the various constructs of the Intercultural Sens itivity Scale (dependent variables), including composite variables created by aggregating the items of each construct. The hypotheses stated at the end of the literature review were tested by exploring the levels of significance of the aforementioned associations.

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45 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS International Travel Experience of Participants Of the students sampled, 118 (66%) answered a ffirmative to having international travel experience, while 62 (34%) answered in the negativ e to having internationa l travel experience. The two additional instances of no international travel where traced down to two international student participants who had incorrectly answer ed the question asking wh ether or not they had traveled abroad. The length of travel for all pa rticipants with international travel experience ranged from three days up to 3,650 days. Sixt y-two (34%) participants had no international travel experience. Fifty-three (29%) participants had between three and 42 days of time spent abroad, and 65 (36%) participants had spent between 45 and 3650 days abroad. The median for this data set was 60 days, with 11 participants reporting to have stayed this long on their longest international trip. The median is used instead of the mean score because of the presence of extreme values (outliers) (Table 4-1). Of the 120 participants with in ternational travel experience, 80 (44%) listed leisure as their main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad and 58 (32%) listed study abroad as the main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad. Forty-th ree students (24%) listed visiting family as their main reason (or one of) fo r traveling abroad, 18 (10%) listed other as their main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad, and finally, 11 participants (6%) li sted business as their main reason (or one of) for traveling abroad (Figure 4-1). Reliability Analysis Each of the five constructs or dependen t variables described by the 24 items of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale was subjected to reliability analysis. The highest reliability coefficient was identified in th e construct respect fo r cultural differences (Cronbachs Alpha =

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46 .783), followed by Interaction attentiveness (Cronbachs Alpha = .641), Interaction enjoyment (Cronbachs Alpha = .604), Inter action engagement (Cronbachs Alpha = .586), and finally Interaction confidence (Cronbachs Alpha = .479). Table 4-2 ranks the constructs from highest to lowest reliability. The lower reliab ility coefficients indicate that the items of the instrument may need revision or new items added to capture the concepts measured. (Table 4-2). Descriptive Statistics of the Int ercultural Sensitivity Scales Items In order to better understand the data, it is n ecessary to look at the means and standard deviations of all the items of the scale. The standard deviations are more important than the means, in this case, as the standard deviati on indicates the consensus around the item according to the respondents. The first statement, which ha s a standard deviation of 1.02, is I try to obtain as much information as I can when interacting with people from different cultures. The second statement, which has a standard deviation of 1.01, is I am sensitive to my culturally-distinct counterparts subtle meanings during our interacti on. The third statement, which has a standard deviation of 1.00, is I think my culture is better than other cultures. The higher standard deviations mean there is a more broad set of answers, and in this case, it means the three statements with the highest standard deviations could be improved by rewording them, as they may be confusing or worded in a way that respondents do not feel comfortable answering honestly. Closely looking at each of the items of the scale, the item with the highest mean response was Respect for Cultural Differences 8 (i.e., respect the values of people from different cultures) (M = 4.41, SD = .775). The second high est item was Interaction Engagement 13, (i.e., open minded to people from different cultu res) (M = 4.34, SD = .735). The third highest item was Interaction Engagement 1 (i.e., enjoy interact ing with people from different cultures) (M = 4.21, SD = .796). The fourth highest item was Respect for cultural differences 16, (i.e.,

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47 respect ways people from different cultures be have) (M = 4.04, SD = .801). The fifth highest item was Interaction Confidence 3, (i.e., pretty sure of myself when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 3.85, SD = .835). The sixth highest item was Interaction Attentiveness 14, (i.e., observant when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 3.74, SD = .931). The seventh highest item was I nteraction Engagement 21, (i.e., give positive responses to culturally differe nt counterpart during inter action) (M = 3.70, SD = .834). The eighth highest item was Interaction Attentiveness 17, (i.e., obtain as much information as possible when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 3.69, SD = 1.020). The ninth and tenth highest items had th e same Mean; Interaction Confidence 10, (i.e., feel confident when interact ing with people from different cultures) (M = 3.63, SD = .865), followed by Interaction Engagement 24, (i.e., ha ve feeling of enjoyment towards differences between my culturally-distinct counterpart and me) (M = 3.63, SD = .859). The eleventh highest item was Interaction Engagement 23, (i.e., sh ow my culturally-distinct counterpart my understanding through verbal or nonverbal cu es) (M = 3.60, SD = .865). The next, and 12th highest item was Interaction Confid ence 6, (i.e., can be as sociable as I want when interacting with people from different cult ures) (M = 3.56, SD = .958). The 13th highest item was Interaction Engagement 11, (i.e., tend to wait before forming an impression of culturallydistinct counterparts) (M = 3.54, SD = .930), fo llowed by Interaction A ttentiveness 19, (i.e., sensitive to my culturally-distin ct counterparts subtle meanings during our interaction) (M = 3.24, SD = 1.017). The 15th highest item was Interaction Confiden ce 5, (i.e., know what to say when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 2.73, SD = .869), followed by Interaction Confidence 4, (i.e., find it hard to talking in front of people from diffe rent cultures) (M = 2.11,

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48 SD = .888). The seventeenth highe st item was Respect for Cultura l Differences 20, (i.e., think my culture is better than other cultures) (M = 1.89, SD = 1.005), followed by Respect for Cultural Differences 2, (i.e., think people fr om other cultures are narrow minded) (M = 1.82, SD = .705). The nineteenth highest item wa s Interaction Enjoyment 12, (i.e., often get discouraged when I am with people from diff erent cultures) (M = 1.80, SD = .758), followed by Interaction Enjoyment 15, (i.e., of ten feel useless when interact ing with people from different cultures) (M = 1.76, SD = .788). The 21st highest item was Interaction Engagement 22, (i.e., avoid situations where I will have to deal with culturally-disti nct persons) (M = 1.73, SD = .781), followed by Interaction Enjoyment 9, (i.e., get upset easily when interacting with people from different cultures) (M = 1.58, SD = .732). The 23rd item was Respect for Cultural Differences 7, (i.e., dont like to be with people from different cultures) (M = 1.47, SD = .697), followed by Respect for Cultural Differences 18, (i.e., woul d not accept opinions of people from different cultures) (M = 1.44, SD = .662) (Table 4-3). Composite of the Five Constructs In order to obtain a larger picture view of the data, the items for each of the five constructs were collapsed. The new composite variable with the highest mean score was Interaction Enjoyment (M = 4.29, SD = .57), fo llowed by Respect for Cultural Differences (M = 4.00, SD = .54). The composite variable w ith the next highest score was Interaction Engagement (M = 3.91, SD = .54), followed by I nteraction Attentivenes s (M = 3.56, SD = .76). Finally, the last composite variable was Interaction Confidence (M = 3.53, SD = .62) (Table 4-4). Hypotheses Testing Hypothesis one states that international studen ts will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students. The test used for this analysis was a one sample independent

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49 t-test. The t-test is used in this instance, in order to compare the means of the two different groups (Bostrom, 1998). No statis tical significance was found in the answers of the two groups, and thus hypothesis one was reject ed. Results based on the five co mposite variables indicate that for the first composite interaction engagement domestic students had a mean of 3.90 and standard deviation of .553, while international students had a mean of 3.91, and standard deviation of .511. For the second composite respect for cultural differences domestic students showed a mean of 3.94, and standard deviati on of .561, and international students showed a mean of 4.02, and standard deviation of .503. Fo r the third composite, i nteraction confidence, domestic students had a mean of 3.49, and a st andard deviation of .563) and the international students had a mean of 3.63, and a standard devia tion of .731. The fourth composite, interaction attentiveness, showed domestic students with a mean of 3.52, and a standard deviation of .720, and the international students had a mean of 3.6 3, and a standard deviation of .833. The fifth and final composite interaction enjoyment showed the domestic students with a mean of .33, and a standard deviation of .525, and the international students showed a mean of .21, and a standard deviation of .643. (Table 4-5). Upon further analysis of the 24 items, t-te sts were performed, and there were two instances of statistical significan ce to support the hypothesis, in wh ich the international students had a higher mean score than domestic students. The first was for the item Respect for cultural differences 2 which was reverse coded, and st ated, I think people fr om other cultures are narrow-minded. The international students showed a mean of 3.41, and a standard deviation of .650, and the domestic students showed a mean of 3.07, and a standard deviation of .706. (t(178) = -3.096, p = .002 (two-tailed), d = -0.46). The ot her item that showed a significance in mean scores for the international stud ents was Interaction confidence 5 which states, I always know

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50 what to say when interacting with people fr om different cultures. For this item, the international students showed a mean of 3.12, and a standard deviation of 1.010, and the domestic students showed a mean of 2.55, and a standard deviation of .728. (t(178) = -4.322, p = .000 (two-tailed), d = -0.65). (In this case, d refers to the strength of the relationship of the item to the results. A relationship can range from positive and strong, to negative and weak. The number for the relationship can be anywhere from -1 to +1. Those close to -1 and +1 are very strong, and those close to zero ar e weak. Negative ds indicate a negative relationship, while positive ds indicate a positive relationship). Hypothesis 2 states that Domes tic students with internationa l travel experience will have a higher level of intercultu ral sensitivity that those without it. The test used for this analysis was a one-sample t-test. Statistical significance was found and thus, hypothesis two was supported. The first composite interaction engageme nt showed the domestic students without international travel experience with a mean of 3.74, and a stan dard deviation of .551, and the domestic students with international travel experience, with a mean of 4.04, and standard deviation of .520. The second construct respect for cultural differences showed the domestic students without international tr avel experience had a mean of 3.91, and standard deviation of .583, and the domestic students with international travel experien ce with a mean of 4.01, and standard deviation of .532. For the third cons truct, interaction confidence, the domestic students without international tr avel showed a mean of 3.41, and standard deviation of .548, and the domestic student with international travel sh owed a mean of 3.56, and standard deviation of .574. The fourth construct, interaction atte ntiveness showed domestic students without international travel with a mean of 3.33, a nd standard deviation of .693, while it showed domestic students with interna tional travel with a mean of 3.7 2, and standard deviation of .694.

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51 The fifth and final construct interaction enj oyment showed the domestic students without international travel experience as having a m ean of 4.31, and a standard deviation of .535, and the domestic students with international travel experience as having a mean of 4.36, and standard deviation of .517. Results indica te that significan ce was found at two levels: interaction engagement ( p = .003) and interacti on attentiveness ( p = .002). (Table 4-6). Upon closer observation of the 24 items of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, there was one instance in which the domestic students with international trav el experience showed a higher mean than for domestic students without internati onal travel experience. This was for the item Interaction confidence 5 which states, I always know what to say when interacting with people from different cultures. The students with internatio nal travel experience showed a mean of 3.14, and standard devi ation of 1.008, while the students with no international travel experience showed a mean of 2.59, and standa rd deviation of .824 (t(116) = -3.255, p = .001 (two-tailed), d = -0.60). Hypothesis 3 states that Gra duate students will have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than undergraduate students will. The test used for this analysis was a one-sample independent t-test. No statis tical significance was found amo ng the data, and hypothesis 3 was rejected. Results indicate, for the first composite, interaction engagement had the undergraduate students with a mean of 9.94, and standard devi ation of .548, and the graduate students with a mean of 3.78, and standard devi ation of .500. The second, respect for cultural differences showed the undergraduates with a mean of 3.96, and a stan dard deviation of .565, while the graduate students showed a mean of 3.99, and a standard deviation of .475. For the third composite interaction confidence, underg raduates had a mean of 3.56, and standard deviation of .577, while the gradua te students had a mean of 3.45, and a standard deviation of

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52 .738. As for the fourth composite interaction at tentiveness, the undergraduate students showed a mean of 3.60, and standard deviation of .732, a nd the graduate students showed a mean of 3.43, and standard deviation of .816. For the fifth a nd final composite, inter action enjoyment, the undergraduates scored a mean of 4.33, and st andard deviation of .569, while the graduate students scored a mean of 4.18, and had a st andard deviation of .555. (Table 4-7). Upon closer examination of the 24 items, one instance showed significance in higher mean scores of graduate students compared to undergraduate students, as well as once case where the undergraduate students showed a higher mean score as compared to the graduate students. For the item Respect for cultural diff erences 2, which was re verse coded, and states I think people from other cultures are narrow-m inded, the graduate students showed a mean of 3.49, and standard deviation of .547, while the un dergraduate students sh owed a mean of 3.08, and standard deviation of .724 (t(178) = -3.574, p = .000 (two-tailed), d = -0.54). For the item Interaction attentiveness 14 which states I am very observant when interacting with people from different cultures, the undergraduates show ed a mean of 3.86. and standard deviation of .903, while the graduates showed a mean of 3.39, and a standard deviation of .930 (t(177) = 3.042, p = .003 (two-tailed), d = 0.46). Hypothesis 4 states that students who have participated on study abroad programs will have a higher level of intercultu ral sensitivity than students who have not participated on a study abroad program. The test used for this anal ysis was a one sample i ndependent t-test. No statistical significance was found a nd hypothesis four was rejected. Results indicate for the first composite Interaction Engagement that stude nts who have participated on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.91, and standard de viation of .49, while the students who have not participated on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.89, and standard deviation of .56.

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53 For the second composite, Respect for Cultura l Differences, the students with prior participation on a study abroad program showed a mean of 4.04, and a standard deviation of.510, and the students with no prio r participation on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.94, and standard deviation of .56. This was followed by the third composite Interaction Confidence in which students with study abro ad experience showed a mean of 3.62, and standard deviation of .708, and the students without study abroad experience showed a mean of 3.49, and a standard deviation of .576. The fourth composite Interaction Attentiveness showed results for students who had participated on a st udy abroad program with a mean of 3.61, and standard deviation of .767, while the results fo r students who had not participated on a study abroad program showed a mean of 3.54, and a st andard deviation of .753. The fifth and final composite Interaction Enjoyment showed data for students with study abroad experience as having a mean of 4.28, and standard deviation of .504, and showed data for students without study abroad experience as having a mean of 4.30, and a standard deviation of .597. (Table 4-8). Other Analysis Performed Upon testing the age of the par ticipants against the five composite variables, by using an independent sample t-test, no significance was f ound. Thus, for the sample in this study, age appears to have no impact on the scores of partic ipants for the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale. Upon testing the sex of the participants agains t the five composite variables, by using an independent sample t-test, only the construc t respect for cultural differences was found significant. The mean response for female partic ipants was higher than for male participants. Females had a mean of 4.02, and standard devi ation of .509, while males had a mean of 3.84, and a standard deviation of .610. For the other construc ts, the data was as follows. For the construct interaction engagement, female participants had a mean of 3.91, and st andard deviation of .543, while male participants had a mean of 3.85, and standard deviation of .533. Data for the

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54 construct interaction confidence showed that female participan ts had a mean score of 3.54, and a standard deviation of .613, and the male part icipants had a mean of 3.51, and a standard deviation of .654. The construct interaction attentiven ess showed female participants as having a mean of 3.60, and a standard deviation of .742, and male participants as having a mean of 3.46, and a standard deviation of .790, and fi nally, the construct interaction enjoyment showed data for female particip ants with a mean of 4.30, and st andard deviation of .556, and the data for male participants showed a mean of 4.27, and a standard de viation of .602. Thus, no real significance was found in th e relationship of the participants sex and their scores on the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (Table 4-9).

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55 Table 4-1 Travel length collapsed Frequency Percent Valid Percent Valid no travel 62 34.4 34.4 3 to 42 days 53 29.4 29.4 45 to 3650 days 65 36.1 36.1 Total 180 100.0 100.0 Table 4-2 Reliability Statistics for the 5 cons tructs of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale Construct Cronbachs Alpha N of Items Interaction Attentiveness .783 6 Interaction Enjoyment .641 3 Interaction Confidence .604 3 Interaction Engagement .586 7 Respect for Cultural Differences .479 5

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56 Table 4-3 Descriptive statistics N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation Respect for cultural differences-8 180 1 5 4.41 .775 Interaction Engagement-13 180 2 5 4.34 .735 Interaction Engagement-1 180 2 5 4.21 .796 Respect for cultural differences-16 180 1 5 4.04 .801 Interaction confidence-3 180 2 5 3.85 .835 Interaction attentiveness-14 179 1 5 3.74 .931 Interaction Engagement-21 178 1 5 3.70 .834 Interaction attentiveness-17 180 1 5 3.69 1.020 Interaction confidence-10 180 1 5 3.63 .865 Interaction Engagement-24 180 2 5 3.63 .859 Interaction Engagement-23 179 1 5 3.60 .865 Interaction confidence-6 180 1 5 3.56 .958 Interaction Engagement-11 180 1 5 3.54 .930 Interaction attentiveness-19 180 1 5 3.24 1.017 Interaction confidence-5 180 1 5 2.73 .869 Interaction confidence-4 180 1 5 2.11 .888 Respect for cultural differences-20 179 1 5 1.89 1.005 Respect for cultural differences-2 180 1 4 1.82 .705 Interaction enjoyment-12 180 1 5 1.80 .758 Interaction enjoyment-15 180 1 5 1.76 .788 Interaction Engagement-22 180 1 5 1.73 .781 Interaction enjoyment-9 180 1 5 1.58 .732 Respect for cultural differences-7 180 1 4 1.47 .697 Respect for cultural differences-18 180 1 5 1.44 .662 Valid N (listwise) 176

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57 Table 4-4 Descriptive statistics N Mean Std. Deviation Interaction Enjoyment Composite 180 4.2889 .56748 Respect for Cultural Differences Composite 179 3.9693 .54236 Interaction Attentiveness Composite 179 3.5587 .75584 Interaction Confidence Composite 180 3.5333 .62284 National Origin Composite 180 1.3200 .46900 Table 4-5 Hypothesis 1: Int l Students X Domestic Students National Origin N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean Interaction Engagement Composite Domestic 122 3.8911 .55376 .05013 International 56 3.9056 .51130 .06833 Respect for Cultural Differences Composite Domestic 122 3.9440 .55983 .05068 International 57 4.0234 .50340 .06668 Interaction Confidence Composite Domestic 122 3.4852 .56329 .05100 International 58 3.6345 .72754 .09553 Interaction Attentiveness Composite Domestic 122 3.5246 .71828 .06503 International 57 3.6316 .83258 .11028 Interaction Enjoyment Composite Domestic 122 4.3333 .52486 .04752 International 58 4.1954 .64295 .08442

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58 Table 4-6 Hypothesis 2: Domestic no travel x Domestic yes travel Participant's travel N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean No 61 3.7424 .55071 .07051 Interaction Engagement Composite Yes 61 4.0398 .51977 .06655 No 61 3.8743 .58266 .07460 Respect for Cultural Differences Composite Yes 61 4.0137 .53168 .06807 No 61 3.4131 .54756 .07011 Interaction Confidence Composite Yes 61 3.5574 .57401 .07349 No 61 3.3279 .69253 .08867 Interaction Attentiveness Composite Yes 61 3.7213 .69437 .08890 No 61 4.3060 .53505 .06851 Interaction Enjoyment Composite Yes 61 4.3607 .51745 .06625 Table 4-7 Hypothesis 3: graduate students x undergraduate students Grad and Undergrad N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean Undergraduate 132 3.9372 .54841 .04773 Interaction Engagement Composite Graduate 46 3.7764 .49912 .07359 Undergraduate 133 3.9612 .56515 .04900 Respect for Cultural Differences Composite Graduate 46 3.9928 .47526 .07007 Undergraduate 133 3.5624 .57690 .05002 Interaction Confidence Composite Graduate 47 3.4511 .73835 .10770 Undergraduate 133 3.6015 .73221 .06349 Interaction Attentiveness Composite Graduate 46 3.4348 .81610 .12033 Undergraduate 133 4.3283 .56851 .04930 Interaction Enjoyment Composite Graduate 47 4.1773 .55539 .08101

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59 Table 4-8 Group statistics Participant travel purpose study abroad N Mean Std. deviation Std. error mean Not Checked 121 3.8867 .55968 .05088 Interaction Engagement Composite Checked 57 3.9148 .49771 .06592 Not Checked 122 3.9385 .55637 .05037 Respect for Cultural Differences Composite Checked 57 4.0351 .50957 .06749 Not Checked 122 3.4902 .57617 .05216 Interaction Confidence Composite Checked 58 3.6241 .70793 .09296 Not Checked 122 3.5355 .75278 .06815 Interaction Attentiveness Composite Checked 57 3.6082 .76667 .10155 Not Checked 122 4.2951 .59720 .05407 Interaction Enjoyment Composite Checked 58 4.2759 .50393 .06617 Table 4-9 Participant sex x 5 composite variables Participant's sex N Mean Std. deviation Std. error mean Interaction Engagement composite Male 50 3.8543 .53334 .07543 Female 128 3.9118 .54291 .04799 Respect for Cultural Differences composite Male 49 3.8401 .60949 .08707 Female 130 4.0179 .50886 .04463 Interaction Confidence composite Male 50 3.5120 .65423 .09252 Female 130 3.5415 .61276 .05374 Interaction Attentiveness composite Male 49 3.4626 .79003 .11286 Female 130 3.5949 .74244 .06512 Interaction Enjoyment composite Male 50 4.2667 .60234 .08518 Female 130 4.2974 .55568 .04874

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60 Figure 4-1 Reasons for traveling abroad Othe r Visit Famil y Leisure Business Study Sum80 60 40 20 0 18 43 80 11 58

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61 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The purpose of the study was to investigate th e relationship between international travel experience and students level of intercultural sensitivity, while looking at a variety of factors that could influence this relationship, such as whether or not the student had prior international travel experience, the time spent abroad, ethni c background/nationality, cl ass standing at the university (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate) as well as age and gender. The types of international travel experiences examined were, trav el for study abroad, business, leisure, and to visit family. The length of tim e spent abroad, for whatever purpose, was also measured. These differences were also explored for the three gr oups of students, which were 1) international students, 2) domestic students with international trav el experience, and 3) domestic student without internati onal travel experience. International Travel Experience The findings suggest that intern ational travel experience has some statistically significant effect on an individuals level of intercultural sensitivity. This studys data shows that domestic students, who have international travel experience, do indeed have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students who have no intern ational travel experience. For all of the five construct of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale; respect for cultural differences, interaction confidence, interaction engagement, interacti on attentiveness, and interaction enjoyment, the domestic students with international travel experience scored higher than did the domestic students without any international tr avel experience. This could be due to the fact that students who find value in traveling to international destin ations, already have an increased awareness of cultural differences, and are inspired to seek ou t new and different culture s. One reason may be to immerse themselves in those cultures in order to learn the language of the country. When an

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62 individual learns a new language, gaining knowledge of the source culture for that language is intrinsic within that process. As more colleges and universities are intern ationalizing their campuses, the concept of international travel for academic reasons, has come to the forefront. Some college programs require students spend at least one semester st udying abroad, as a condition of their completion and thus graduation from the pr ogram. Students are encouraged to study abroad, and over time, more study abroad programs have been created to target specialized areas of study or research, thus making it accessible to more students, and not just for those with a de sire for language study and culture acquisition. Some of these include, mathematics in Th ailand, marketing in Italy, and biology in Fiji (University of Florida Internationa l Center, 2007). Students believe that a studyabroad experience will provide personal enri chment, travel opportuni ty, graduate school acceptance, job procurement, and awareness of globa l issues and cultural di versity (Langley and Breese, 2005, p. 314). International Students vs. Domestic Students The data show no statistically significant result s that international students have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic stud ents at the University of Florida. The first construct to which the international students and domestic students were compared was respect for cultural differences. This construct represents how participants orient to or tolerate their counterparts culture and opini on (Chen & Starosta, 2000). In this study, the international students scored higher than did the domestic students and this may be true due to the fact that people in other countries may have more expos ure to events worldwide, and even foreign visitors. Most other countries around the world have a defined culture, and in some cases may remain more isolated than the United States that prides itself on having a multicultural population with many cultures represented, as opposed to defining itself with one main culture.

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63 However, this respect and valu e of a countrys culture may well translate into a deeper understanding of the importance of culture, and thus a greater level of respect for cultural differences. The next concept to which the two groups were compared was interaction confidence. This construct is concerned with how confident pa rticipants are in the intercultural setting (Chen & Starosta, 2000). Again, the in ternational students scored higher than did the domestic students. This may be explained by the fact that international students may feel more confident interacting with people from di fferent cultural backgrounds becau se they have had lots of experience doing so possibly during their college years, and for many, during visits abroad for travel or to visit family. Anot her way international students ma y have more experience and thus confidence when interacting with people from diffe rent cultures is because the American culture is embedded in other countries by way of televi sion, music, fashion, and most certainly by way of travelers and tourist from the United States. In terms of the construct interaction engageme nt, which is concerne d with participants feeling of participation in intercultural comm unication (Chen & Starosta 2000), the international students scored higher than did th e domestic students. One explan ation for this could be that international students are simply more aware of their surroundings, both physical and cultural. Another explanation may be that in order to be successful in their academic endeavors, their environment requires them to engage daily with professors, administrators, and other students. As these positive interactions are a necessity of assimilati on, this may contribute to the international students higher level of interaction engagement skills. For the construct interaction attentiveness, which is concerned with the participants effort to understand what is going on in intercu ltural interactio ns (Chen & Starosta, 2000), the

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64 international students again had hi gher scores than the domestic st udents. This may be because the international students are essentially required to assimilate to the new culture in order to be successful while interacting. Likewi se, these students may need to pa y closer attention to what is happening in the intercultural in teraction, as the many nuances of culture can be difficult to understand. In order to successfully communicate, one must understand the language as well as the culture. The final construct against which the international students and the domestic students were compared was interaction enjoyment. The items of this construct are mainly concerned with participants positive or negative reac tion towards communicating with people from different cultures. Interestingl y, the domestic students scored higher than the international students. This could be due to the fact that domestic students have a high likelihood of coming into contact with people from di fferent cultural backgrounds, whet her it is in school, the work place, or other social gatherings. With so many immigrants in the United States, many children are interacting with other children from different cultural backgrounds at a very early age, and this perhaps peaks an interest in new cultures, as well as sparks a s ubconscious sensitivity to intercultural differences and respect for cultural differe nces. Another explanation may be that these are university students living and/or studying at a campus with a diverse po pulation, (3,749 international students out of the whole populati on of 49,650 students) where multic ultural events are part of the core of the university and happen frequently. However, the international students on this campus are also exposed to the same multicultural environment, though the effects may likely have a different impact on different students.

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65 Undergraduate Students vs. Graduate Students The data shows that in relation to the Interc ultural Sensitivity Scale, graduate students do not have a statistically significant positive differen ce in their level of intercultural sensitivity as compared to undergraduate students. This may be due to the fact that you nger students, in this case the undergraduates, are coming into contact with people from cultural backgrounds different than their own at an early age, and consequently may be more likely to have a higher level of sensitivity at an earlier age. Another expl anation may be that many younger students have traveled abroad at a very young age, with their families, and so have been exposed to new cultures and other countries, a nd may incorporate this as a more common happening, as opposed to an isolated incident of intercultural interaction. There was only one construct for which the gr aduate students had a higher score than the undergraduate students, and that wa s interaction engagement. This may be due to the fact that older students in general, are more likely to feel a sense of participati on during an intercultural interaction, or any kind of intera ction, because they may be more comfortable with themselves as individuals, than some younger students may be. With regard to the other four constructs, r espect for cultural differences, interaction confidence, interaction attentiveness, and int eraction enjoyment, the undergraduates scored higher than the graduate students, on all four constructs. This may be due to the fact that students are having more experiences in todays society, as travel is much easier now and safer, there are programs for students to study abroa d, volunteer abroad, go on adventures abroad, and this may enable younger students to have more oppor tunity to interact with new and different cultures, thereby giving them a higher level of intercultural sensitivity, at it is represented by the constructs mentioned above.

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66 Study Abroad Data also show that there is no statistical significance in the level of intercultural sensitivity of students who have participated on a study abroad program, versus the level of intercultural sensitivity of students who have not participated on a study abroad program. This study may not have found any significance in levels of intercultural sensitivity for students who had participated on study abroad programs ve rsus those who have not participated on study abroad for various reasons. This is interesting and perplexing in that so many studies have found that going on a study abroad program helps stud ents level of intercu ltural sensitivity. One reason there may not have been significance be tween students who have studied abroad and students who have not is that many students may ha ve studied abroad several years ago. It is possible that ones level of intercultural sensitiv ity could fade over time, if the individual does not make a conscious effort to maintain contact with the new culture. A study by Williams (2005) measured the level of increase in intercultural communication skills as affected by study abroad She compared students participating on study abroad programs and students who stayed on cam pus, and did not participate on a study abroad program. The results showed that students w ho studied abroad genera lly showed a greater increase in intercultural comm unication skills than the studen ts who did not study abroad (p. 14). Additionally, the students c hoosing to study abroad showed a higher level of intercultural communications skills before going abroad, as well as upon return from the study abroad program (Williams, 2005). This is consistent with results from a nother study, conducted by Kitsanas (2005), in which the study data shows support for study abroad programs enhancing the cross-cultural skills of students as well as their gl obal understanding. (Kitsanas, 2005) Specifically, the findings demonstrated that study abroad programs signifi cantly contribute to the preparation of students

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67 to, function in a multicultural world and promote internationa l understanding (Kitsanas, 2005, p. 447). Additionally, a study by Peningt on and Wildermuth (2005) which attempted to measure the impact of short-term study abroad progr ams on a students leve l of intercultural communication competence, found that intercult ural knowledge acquisition was found to be enhanced by the student's experi ence of being in a historical location or of interacting with individuals of the host cultur e (Penington & Wildermuth, 2005, p. 180). The authors also noted that students reported a combinati on of occurrences that contributed to their feeling of cultural awareness and comfort with immersing themselves in the new culture. Those factors were the lived experience as well as the information pr ovided by their pre-departure session prior to going abroad. (Penington & Wildermuth, 2005). Male vs. Female Although there were no statistica lly significant results that s howed females have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than do males, the data showed that females had a higher mean score than males for all five of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scales constructs. This may be due to the fact that in many cultures, women are raised to be more aware of and attuned to feelings and the nuances that go with them than men are (Goleman, 1998). This means that the female students in this study may already have been programmed as young children, to have a higher level of empathy, making it easier for them to be culturally aware, and thus eventually leading to a higher level of intercul tural sensitivity. According to Go leman (1998), the data results from the numerous tests of men and women and their empathetic abilities, generally show that women do tend to experience this spontaneous ma tching of feeling with others more than men do (Goleman, 1998, p. 322).

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68 Importance of Findings The findings of this study are important because they contribute to the body of knowledge on intercultural sensitivity research. In order to more fully comprehend intercultural sensitivity, it is important to understand the various factors that can affect an individuals level. While the results cannot be generalized to all stud ents outside the participants of this study, the information presented here gives a snapshot of a small sample of a population, and how international travel can affect students at the Univ ersity of Florida, in terms of their level of intercultural sensitivity. Add itionally, this study shows some of the reasons behind why students choose to travel internationally. This could be valuable information for future studies, when looking at the effect of international travel. There are many studies that have attempted to measure individuals levels of intercultural sensitivity, as well as studies that have measur ed study abroad students le vels of intercultural sensitivity. However, there has been no study the author could fi nd that measured international travel, including study abroad, with the scale used for this study, the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale. One study, conducted by Peng, Rangisipa ht, and Thaipakdee (2005), which did employ the ISS, was a comparative study, which measured the intercultural sensitivity levels of ethnic Chinese and Thai nationals, and the effects of th eir level of English proficiency and intercultural experience, on their level of intercultural sensi tivity. The study found that English proficiency levels and intercultural experien ce had a significant effect on the di mensionality of intercultural sensitivity (Peng, Rangisipaht & Thaipakdee, 2005). The current study is also unique as it looked specifically at the impact of international travel on an individuals level of intercultural sensitivity, while the original studies were looking for a general sense of intercultu ral sensitivity, as opposed to speci fic things that impact ones

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69 level. Questions raised in th eir studies motivated the researcher to l ook at the impact of international travel experience as a facet for higher level of intercultural sensitivity. Limitations of the Study There were several limitations in this current study. One major limitation is that only students within the College of Journalism and Comm unications participated. This data cannot be generalized and thus pertains only to the students that were a pa rt of the sample, drawn from the population of all undergraduate and graduate st udents in the College of Journalism and Communications at the Univer sity of Florida. Student s studying Journalism and Communications may already have a higher level of world awaren ess as well as intercultural sensitivity due to the nature of the field. Another limitation for this study was that no t all cultures were re presented; only the cultures of students who chose to participate were included in the study. An additional factor to consider is that only university students were represented in th e study, and in that students tend to be younger, and may have a more encompassi ng view of the world, they certainly do not represent the en tire population. A limitation of the methodology was that studen ts were reached via the classroom setting, which may not have produced as re presentative a sample as hoped for, in that not all cultures of students at the College of Jour nalism and Communications at the University of Florida were represented in the study. There were also time limitations as well as monetary limitations for this study. The data had to be collected during class times in which the professors, who agreed to allow the research in their cl assrooms, were holding class. A possible major limitation of the instrument is that based on the statements of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), participants may have been able to easily guess what the scale was attempting to measure, a nd thus gave the politically co rrect answer, instead of what

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70 they really felt. Participants may not ha ve felt comfortable en ough to honestly answer statements from the ISS such as I think my culture is better than other cu ltures or I dont like to be with people from different cultures. Additionally, three statem ents of the scale had extremely high standard deviati ons, which means that the scale may benefit and produce a more accurate measure of these three concepts if the statements were reworded. Recommendations for Further Research One suggestion for future research would be to look at a wide va riety of majors of students within the university setting, and compare their results of measured intercultural sensitivity. It would be intere sting to look at for example, st udents from computer engineering as compared to students from the anthropology department. Additional suggestions for increasing knowledge of factors that affect intercultural sensitivit y would be to look at different groups of people, other than just students. It w ould be interesting to ex amine professors at the university level, community college level, as well as teachers of secondary education. Workers in many different areas, including within the priv ate sector, may also have different levels of intercultural sensitivity, depending on whether they interact with cu lturally distinct counterparts, or deal solely with other national workers. A comparison study between national companies and international companies may show very pertinent data, while taking into account th e amount of, if any, interaction with culturally diverse people takes places for business purposes. Measuring intercultura l sensitivity of many more different cultures is advi sable, as it is important to know how ones background influences their thoughts and patterns, as we ll as their level of in tercultural sensitivit y. Another suggestion would be to examine the role of level of education with an individuals level of intercultural sensitivity.

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71 One recommendation would be to look at the long-term effects of study abroad on ones level of intercultural sensitivity. In that there is no data to show if ones level of intercultural sensitivity stays the same over time, or whether it fades or increases, it would be interesting to measure students before studying abroad, again immediately upon returning from being abroad, and again after one year, and lastly, five years afte r returning from their st udy abroad experience. Additionally, there is a need to classify the study abroad experience of participants, in order to better understand the impact on intercu ltural sensitivity. For example, it would be helpful to know several things: 1) duration of study abroad prog ram, 2) where the program took place, 3) type of accommodation, such as a home-s tay, a private apartment, dorm room, etc., 4) and if the students studied in the host language at the foreign university or if there were special classes conducted in English. Specifically for measuring the impact of intern ational travel on intercultural sensitivity with the ISS, it is suggested that a set of items be developed to explain international experience, as well as to classify the types of international experience of participants This would help in furthering the understanding of the aspects and types of international travel experience that may affect ones level of intercultural sensitivity. A recommendation would be to improve the leve l of reliability of the five constructs, especially those with the lower re liability coefficients. It may help to add more items to each of the constructs, and to better formulate the items to more effectively measure this dimension of the scale. In addition, it is sugge sted to test for concurrent validity of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, by analyzing the ISS agains t another valid and reliable scale, such as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

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72 Lastly, it is suggested to colle ct qualitative data in additi on to the quantitative data from the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS), in order to culminate a deeper understanding of participants feelings and beliefs about other cult ures, and about interacting with those cultures. This may help to understand how intercultural sensitivity levels of people from different generations are affected, and what may be the cause for some of those changes in thought and behavior in terms of inte rcultural interactions. Conclusion Results of this study suggest that domestic students who have trav eled internationally have a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than domestic students who have not traveled internationally. However, the data did not show statistically significant results to support the hypothesis that students who pa rticipated on a study abroad program had a higher level of intercultural sensitivity than students who have not participated on a study abroad program. While this study can only draw inferences a bout international trav el experience and its effects on an individuals level of intercultural sensitivity of students in the College of Journalism and Communicat ions at the University of Florida, it has provided a more in-depth look at specific factors that may influence intercultural sensitivit y, as well as the reasons behind why students are increasingly choosing to travel internationally. In cl osing, the benefits of positive intercultural interactions and intercultural sensitivity are numerous. They allow for beneficial experiences to occur inside and outside of the classroom setting, and as well as prepare future global citizens for successful intercultural inte ractions as they take th eir place in the age of globalization. As researcher Guo-Ming Chen su ccinctly said, the need for intercultural communication competence in the globalizing societ y becomes indispensable for a peaceful and successful life in the new millennium (Chen, 2006, p. 1).

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73 APPENDIX INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY SCALE Below is a series of statements concerning inte rcultural communication. There are no right or wrong answers. Please work quickly and record your first impression by indicating the degree to which you agree or disagree with the st atement. Thank you for your cooperation. 5 = strongly agree 4 = agree 3 = somewhat agree (Please put the number co rresponding to your answer 2 = disagree in the blank before the statement) 1 = strongly disagree ____ 1. I enjoy interacting with people from different cultures. ____ 2. I think people from other cultures are narrow-minded. ____ 3. I am pretty sure of myself in inte racting with people from different cultures. ____ 4. I find it very hard to talk in front of people from different cultures. ____ 5. I always know what to say when inte racting with people from different cultures. ____ 6. I can be as sociable as I want to be wh en interacting with people from different cultures ____ 7. I dont like to be with people from different cultures. ____ 8. I respect the values of people from different cultures. ____ 9. I get upset easily when interacti ng with people from different cultures. ____ 10. I feel confident when interacting with people from different cultures. ____ 11. I tend to wait before forming an impr ession of culturally-distinct counterparts. ____ 12. I often get discouraged when I am with people from different cultures. ____ 13. I am open-minded to people from different cultures. ____ 14. I am very observant when interacti ng with people from different cultures. ____ 15. I often feel useless when interacti ng with people from different cultures. ____ 16. I respect the ways people from different cultures behave. ____ 17. I try to obtain as much information as I can when interacting with people from different cultures. ____ 18. I would not accept the opinions of people from different cultures. ____ 19. I am sensitive to my culturally-distinct counterparts subtle meanings during our interaction. ____ 20. I think my culture is be tter than other cultures. ____ 21. I often give positive responses to my culturally different counterpart during our interaction. ____ 22. I avoid those situations where I will have to deal with cultura lly-distinct persons. ____ 23. I often show my culturall y-distinct counterpart my understanding through verbal or nonverbal cues. ____ 24. I have a feeling of enjoyment towards differences between my culturally-distinct counterpart and me.

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80 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Alison Angley McMurray was born in 1977, in Ga inesville, Florida. The youngest of three children, she grew up in Gainesville, Florida, a nd graduated from Gainesville High School. She attended Florida International University before en rolling at the University of Florida, where she earned her B.A. in Portuguese. Ms. McMurray al so holds a graduate certificate in Translation Studies, from the University of Florida, with a focus in Portuguese to English translation. Ms. McMurrays love of language a nd culture led her to pursue gra duate studies in intercultural communication and translation. Sh e is engaged to Syraj Syed a nd lives in Gainesville, Florida with their four cats.