EXPLORING THE EFFECT OF ERASMUS PROGRAM ON CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS


Gökten Ö. , Emil S.

3. Uluslararası Yükseköğretim Çalışmaları Konferansı, Kayseri, Turkey, 11 - 13 October 2018, pp.135-136

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Kayseri
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.135-136

Abstract

In 21st century, it is very important to carry out successful cross-cultural interactions. With the effect of internationalization, colleges are developing new policies in order to compete in global academic environment. One of these initiatives in the European context is Erasmus Student Mobility Program. Moreover, Cultural intelligence (CQ) is the phenomenon that is regarded as one of the essential skills to carry out those cross-cultural interactions. In general terms, it is the “ability to make oneself understood and the ability to create a fruitful collaboration in situations where cultural differences play a role”. CQ has four main factors, which are cognitive (knowing about other cultures), metacognitive (cultural awareness), motivational (desire to learn about other cultures), and behavioral (adapting verbal and nonverbal behavior). Moreover, personality shapes individuals’ attitudes and perceptions towards other cultures. While it is certain that all personality traits play an important role on determining CQ, previous research showed that all four factors of CQ are significantly related only to openness to experience. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of participating in Erasmus Program on university students’ CQ after controlling for the effect of personality trait “openness to experience”. This quantitative research was utilized as a causal comparative research design. The population in this study was all university students in Turkey, and the study took place in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara. The target population in this research was college students. Sample was drown from a comprehensive public university for convenience purposes in Ankara. The sample consisted of two groups of participants: the students who returned to Turkey after 3 to 12 months period of studying abroad with Erasmus program and students who did not participate in Erasmus Program, and who have not been abroad for educational purposes. A total number of 450 students were participated in the study. Data collection instruments were Cultural Intelligence Scale and Big Five Inventory: Openness to Experience Subscale. For reliability purposes, the pilot studies were conducted, and Cronbach’s alpha values were found to be .77, .83, .84, and .79 for CQ factors, and .78 for Openness to Experience. MANCOVA was conducted for main data analyses. The assumptions of MANCOVA were checked. According to the results, Erasmus experience was significant, Pillai’s T=.12, F (4,446) = 15.51, p < .05, ƞ2=.12, meaning that 12% of the variance is explained by Erasmus experience. Moreover, openness to experience was also significant, Pillai’s T=.15, F (4,446) = 19.73, p < .05, ƞ2=.15, meaning that 15% of the variance is explained by openness to experience personality trait. According to the results of univariate tests, Erasmus experience had significant effect on metacognitive CQ, F (1,449) = 24.37, p < .0125, ƞ2 = .05, on cognitive CQ, F (1,449) = 33.34, p < .01, ƞ2=.07, on motivational CQ, F (1,449) = 42.22, p < .01, ƞ 2=.09, and on behavioral CQ, F (1,449) = 35.57, p < .0125, ƞ2=.07. The results showed that participating in Erasmus Program increases all factors of CQ significantly. To graduate students who will be more competent and selfconfident in intercultural contexts, who will be more respectful towards cultural differences in their country and around the world, college students should be provided with cross-cultural immersion opportunities. Keywords: Cultural intelligence, Erasmus Student Mobility Program, openness to experience, university students, internationalization