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