Developing Intercultural Competence by Participating In Intensive Intercultural Service-Learning
This quasi-experimental study investigates the effects of an intensive intercultural service-learning program on the intercultural competence of undergraduate students by utilizing pre- and post-course assessments of intercultural competence as measured by the cultural intelligence (Van Dyne, Koh, & Ang, 2008) and intercultural sensitivity (Chen & Starosta, 2000) scales. The intercultural service-learning course utilized The $100 Solution™ model with immigrant and refugee families. It was implemented in treatment sections (n = 52) of a general education course on cultural diversity in the U.S. Comparison sections (n = 118) of the same course implemented the same curriculum without the service-learning experience. Statistical analysis confirmed that service-learning had a significant positive effect on students’ intercultural competence, particularly their intercultural strategy and action, although not on their intercultural knowledge, motivation, or sensitivity. The investment of time and effort required to implement high-quality, intensive, intercultural service-learning programs enhances some aspects of students’ intercultural competence.