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Higher education students’ experiences of a short-term international programme: Exploring cultural competency and professional development
2019 (English)In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 61, no 3, p. 356-370Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Globalisation trends such as increased migration to and within European countries have led to even greater cultural diversity in European societies. Cultural diversity increases the demand of cultural competency amongst professionals entering their work field. In particular, healthcare professionals need knowledge and skills to equip them to work with clients from different cultural backgrounds. Within higher education (HE), the professional development of cultural competency should ideally feature in undergraduate education and is often promoted as a by-product of a study abroad period. However, recognising that logistical and financial barriers often exist for extended study abroad, one alternative approach could be participation, at home or abroad, in a short-term international programme set within students’ own HE institutions.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore HE students’ experiences of participating in international ‘short-term mobility week’ programmes at three European universities.

Methods: Each university involved in the research offered short-term programmes for healthcare professions students at their own institution, where both local students and students from abroad could participate. Participants were healthcare students in the programme at one of the three universities. Data were collected through focus group interviews (4–8 students per group; n = 25). The data were transcribed and then analysed qualitatively, using a content comparison method.

Results: The analysis identified six categories, which reflected students’ journeys within the short-term international experiences.

Conclusions: The analysis suggested that, for these students, engagement in a short-term mobility week programme provided valuable opportunities for encounters with others, which contributed to personal and professional development, greater confidence in the students’ own professional identities, as well as an increasing sense of cultural awareness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2019. Vol. 61, no 3, p. 356-370
Keywords [en]
Cultural competency, healthcare professional education, higher education, international experience, professional identity, student reflection
National Category
Pedagogy Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-212583DOI: 10.1080/00131881.2019.1632725ISI: 000473343200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068091924OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-212583DiVA, id: diva2:1785926
Available from: 2023-08-07 Created: 2023-08-07 Last updated: 2023-08-07Bibliographically approved

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Kaelin, Vera C.

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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