Toward an Integrated Model of Intercultural Competency
Evidence from American and International Students in the United States
In an increasingly globalised world, the study of intercultural competency is of great importance. Intercultural competency was first proposed by researchers in the 1950s (Hoselitz, 1954). According to Martin and Nakayama (2004), intercultural communication competency is “the ability to behave effectively and appropriately in interacting across cultures”. In the United States university system approximately 5 percent of students are international students ((Zhao, Kuh, &Carini, 2005). According to the Institute of International Education (2011), the total number of international students in the United States rose to 690,923 during the 2009/2010 academic year. Interaction between American students and international students, however, is often very limited. Research has shown that international students tend to spend their time with other international students. Likewise, American students spend their time with other American students (Pederson, 1991). This issue not only leads to fewer opportunities to increase intercultural competency, but it also causes a barrier in international students’ adjustment processes (Flaherty &Stojakovic, 2008).