New book documents benefits of study abroad

October 19th, 2018   |   Faculty, SIT, SIT Graduate Institute

Dr. Alvino E. Fantini, professor emeritus at SIT Graduate Institute, has published an important work related to educational exchange and study abroad. Intercultural Communicative Competence in Educational Exchange: A Multinational Perspective (Routledge, 2018) includes two research projects that explore the nature of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), its development during intercultural exchange (summer, short term, and semester programs), and the impact of these experiences on the lives of alumni up to 20 years later.

The research was conducted in eight countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States) involving more than 2,000 individuals and another 200 host families. It explores the significance of these programs in transforming people’s lives, told in both quantitative statistics and qualitative narratives. It also identifies program aspects that most contribute to their intercultural experience, highlighting family homestays and developing host language proficiency as most significant.

The work has been described as a highly original contribution to the intercultural communication literature, basing its multinational perspective of ICC on an extensive literary search in six languages and spanning 50 years to identify ICC’s multiple components, to develop comprehensive assessment tools, and to assess its development and impact on exchange participants in multiple countries.