An Important Study Regarding the Impact of Intercultural Educational Exchange Programs

A recent publication reports on the impact of educational exchange and study abroad programs conducted by the Federation of The Experiment in International Living. The work, by Dr. Alvino E. Fantini, Professor Emeritus, SIT Graduate Institute, titled: Intercultural Communicative Competence in Educational Exchange: A Multinational Perspective (Routledge, 2019), is based on two extensive research projects that explored the nature of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), its development during intercultural exchange (summer, short term, and semester programs), and the impact of such experiences on the lives of both students and hosts up to 20 years later.

Conducted in eight countries — Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States — the research involved over 2,000 students plus over 200 host families, exploring the significance of exchange experiences in transforming people’s lives. Based on both quantitative statistics and qualitative narratives, the study also identified program components that most promote intercultural development, highlighting host family home stays and host language proficiency as most significant.

This important contribution to the intercultural communication literature, bases its multinational perspective on an extensive literary search in six languages spanning 50 years in order to identify ICC’s multiple components, to develop comprehensive assessment tools, and to assess ICC development and its impact on exchange participants.

For further information, click on the following link:

Assessment instruments in multiple languages used in this research can be obtained on this website (click on “Instruments”):