Which factors influence the degree of intercultural understanding through the CTM Students international mobility

Art der Arbeit:





Bachelorstudiengang Cruise Tourism Management

Zusammenfassung der Arbeit:

Being able to understand and work with people from different cultural backgrounds has never been more important and can be seen as a crucial soft skill to acquire during a study course. Therefore, developing and understanding of how to prepare students for in intercultural work and living environment should be considered as a crucial part of their education. Implementing a mobility within a study program is therefore a good step towards developing soft skills for intercultural competene. Consequently, spending two semester abroad during the studies of Cruise Tourism Management, is compulsive and aims towards intercultural learning. This thesis aims to investigate whether the purpose of cultural learning is achieved and to identify factors influencing cultural learning and understanding. A secondary research in form of a literature research is necessary in order to gain a deep theoretical understanding of relevant fields of interest. Different theories will be portrayed and serve as a source for developing a plausible and feasible questionnaire for the empirical part of the thesis. The questionnaire is implemented as an online survey, aiming to test acquired hypothesis and potentially, open lay further fields of interest. This empirical study has shown, that the year abroad within the CTM study course do promote intercultural understanding to a major extent. This is not only limited to getting to know another culture, but includes behavioral changes and personal development in terms of understanding one's own culture and towards foreign cultures. This can be seen as a tremendous success in terms of intercultural competence development. Factors influencing the degree of intercultural understanding have been identified. As intercultural competency should be regarded as a learning process, intercultural understanding develops and increases correspondingly to diverse international experiences. Therefore, the factor of experience is crucial for understanding one's own and thus other cultures and being able to act and communicate across cultures. Language skills can be seen as a vital force for developing intercultural understanding. Moreover, knowledge of cultural studies do promote intercultural understanding, though only to a certain extent. Nevertheless, it has been analysed that good knowledge of both the language as well as cultural studies to lead to a high degree of integration into the host culture. Concluding, there are factors influencing the degree of intercultural understanding, yet the integration into a foreign culture is also highly depend on personality traits as well as external factors and can thus be regarded as highly individual und multidimensional.