Bunch, J. C., Rampold, S. D., Cater, M., &, Blackburn, J. J. (2018). The impact of a short-term international experience on undergraduate students’ cultural competency. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(4), 120-136. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.04120
Historically, education abroad has been designed to provide students a full immersion experience by way of semester or year-long study at a foreign university. However, this traditional format has been redefined to include a variety of non-traditional international experiences, such as international service learning projects, internships, and short-term international experiences. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to develop a deep understanding of the lived experiences of agricultural education undergraduate students participating in a short-term international experience. The overarching question that guided the study was: What were the lived experiences of agricultural education undergraduate students during a short-term international experience? As a result of the short-term international experience, students did not progress fully through all levels of development needed to be considered proficient in cultural competence. However, students demonstrated significant gains in cultural awareness and some gains in cultural understanding and cultural sensitivity. Finally, participating students verified some progress toward building cultural communication competencies as a result of their experience.