This article presents a study on the development of intercultural competences in students involved in international education, namely two LLP intensive programs (IPs). The data shows the extent to which, according to European Higher Education Area priorities, an educational model based on mobility abroad may foster competence development, and casts light on the importance of the socio-cultural experience of displacement—envisaged by the IP educational formula—in creating student profiles fitting for a global society. The starting point is a longitudinal study conducted over a 6-year time-span on 196 students who attended two consecutive lifelong learning IPs involving eleven Universities from eight European Countries. The two IPs set up an innovative interdisciplinary learning model aimed at developing intercultural competences in undergraduate students attending different degree courses. The study, based on questionnaires submitted to the participants at the end of each IP edition, worked out a pattern of indicators modelling intercultural competence as a multidimensional and developmental process especially associated with factors ascribable to the social dimension of learning. The emerging factorial pattern shows the social infra-structure of mobile students’ intercultural competence as a process in which mobility works as a crucial external factor influencing the process of competence development. Mobility does not act either directly or alone, but is connected to the appreciation of Web 2.0 as a learning tool and the relevance attributed to informal and experiential learning, all of which are aspects concerning the social dimension of the educational pathway.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2016
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