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Development of Cultural Competence in International Students at OCC
Kai Xuan Gan
Division:
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Department:
Anthropology Department
Mentor:
Ulrike Green
Mentor's e-mail:
ugreen@occ.cccd.edu
Author's e-mail:
kgan@student.cccd.edu
Abstract:

Cultural competence is desirable in today’s job market, and it is crucial in our social life as it facilitates cross-cultural interaction in our globalized society. Cultural competence results from the in-depth interaction with foreign cultures. This exposure could include, for example, food, celebrations, and language. It could be useful for institutions and future students to realize how successful American educational exchange programs are in developing cultural competence among their international students. Since cultural experiences are subjected to every local culture exposure, my research asks the question: How does the study abroad experience at OCC facilitate the development of cultural competence in international students? In order to explore how overcoming cultural differences promotes cultural competence, I conducted an online survey among OCC international students regarding their academic and cultural experiences. Questions were designed to broadly address any cross-cultural experiences and the main stressor(s) international students experienced studying abroad. A total of 52 responses were collected from participants between the age 17 and 44. An analysis of their responses showed that the study abroad experience at OCC is supportive in the development of cultural competence in the survey sample. Despite the remote learning environment, 64.7% of the responses also stated that cultural diversity was their main reason for studying abroad. These results could be used as a stepping stone to evaluate the success of the services on OCC campus that assist international students to adapt to the American culture, and to determine whether further enhancement of these services is required.

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