Short-term study abroad and intercultural sensitivity: A pilot study

Philip H. Anderson, Leigh Lawton, Richard J. Rexeisen, Ann C. Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

301 Scopus citations


Longitudinal studies that measure the impact of study abroad programs are essential to improving our understanding of the effectiveness of international education. The focus of the current research is on the development of cross-cultural sensitivity. Hammer and Bennett's [(2002). The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) manual. Portland, OR: Intercultural Communication Institute)] Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is used to assess of the extent to which a short-term, faculty-led study abroad program can affect the cross-cultural sensitivity of student learners. The IDI was administered before the students traveled abroad and then again 4 weeks later when they returned to the United States. Preliminary results suggest that short-term programs can have a positive impact on the overall development of cross-cultural sensitivity. Individual differences are noted and the paper provides some discussion of the impact of the study abroad program on specific subscales within the IDI instrument. The study concludes by highlighting areas of needed research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-469
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  • Intercultural sensitivity
  • Study abroad


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