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Alia

Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023): Art, fashion and environment. Contemporary itineraries among landscapes, curves, and epistemological bumps

Global Learning Experience: Developing Intercultural Competence Through Virtual Exchange

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3280/ess2-2023oa16402
Submitted
August 30, 2023
Published
2023-12-29

Abstract

It becomes clearer every day that the world faces a broad array of global challenges that will likely be solved if people – especially young people – from a wide range of backgrounds holding diverse beliefs and practices, develop the competences to sit with those different from themselves to solve problems – or they will not be solved. An evidence-based practice to help mitigate this challenge in higher education has been the proliferation of Information and Communications (ICT) and e-learning strategies. A virtual exchange program, the Global Learning Experience (GLE), provided an ample opportunity to structure collaborative international learning experiences, and thus foster the development of intercultural competence, amongst graduate level counseling and social work students. Using a naturalistic-interpretive paradigm, the authors examined students’ general perceptions about the GLE, how it both benefited students and posed challenges, and, importantly, how it impacted students’ development of intercultural competence. We offer implications and recommendations.

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