Study Abroad and Intercultural Development: A Longitudinal Study


Management, Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management

Date of this version

Fall 2008

Document Type



Hammer and Bennett’s (2002) intercultural development inventory (IDI) is used to assess the impact of a semester long study abroad program on the development of cross-cultural sensitivity. The results of this study provide evidence that a student’s integration and adaptation to cultural experiences continue after a student returns home after their study abroad experience. The IDI was administered on three separate occasions: prior to a semester long study abroad experience, at the conclusion of the program and four months later. In general this study supports the conclusion that study abroad programs have a positive impact on the cross-cultural development of students. However, when improvement is viewed from the perspective of long-term change, some of the gains found immediately after a study abroad experience are diminished over time. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for both research and education.

Published in

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad