20 SES 05 A, Creativity and Intercultural Learning among HE Students
Nowadays, internationalization is linked to mobility across universities. In that sense, students more often cross borders to study in a foreign country and live and full study abroad experience. In that sense, the present study aims to examine how intercultural competences help students to adapt successfully to the new culture based on self-identity. According to Ward´s model (2001), adaptation may be meaningfully divided into two domains: 1) Psychological domain (emotional/affective) and 2) Sociocultural (behavioral) domain related to the ability to “fit in'' to acquire culturally appropriate skills and to negotiate interactive aspects of the host environment.
In that sense, according to the Multicultural Personality Model (Van Oudenhoven & Van der Zee, 2001), there are five key competences that ease intercultural adaptation. Concretely, factors as cultural empathy, openmindedness, emotional Stability, social initiative, and flexibility have been related to physically and emotionally adjustment in different countries (Van Oudenhoven & Van der Zee, 2002; Leong, 2007). However, research has shown that individuals frame situations differently dependent on how people construe or represent themselves (e.g., Brewer & Gardner, 1996; Stapel & van der Zee, 2006). A personal identity orientation refers to an individual’s self-conception primarily in terms of their individual traits and characteristics. A positive view about the self is derived from a sense of uniqueness compared to others. A relational identity orientation refers to an individuals’ conception of their relatedness to other individuals and a collective identity orientation revolves around a self-conception in terms of being a group member and describing oneself in terms of characteristics that are connected to the group (Vos & van der Zee, 2011).
Based on the former models, we expect to find differences between cultures on intercultural competences and culture identification, a relationship between intercultural competences, self-identity and outcomes adaptation variables. That is, in order to successfully integrate into their ‘adopted’ culture, students must learn to understand, communicate and cooperate with those around them. In that respect intercultural competences development may help students to adapt and succeed in the new host culture.
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