The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Isolde Mueller

Second Advisor

Michael Scwartz

Third Advisor

Eddah Mutua Kombo

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Intercultural competence, service learning, study abroad


The aim of the study was to find out undergraduate students’ perceptions of their international service-learning and the role it played in their cultural learning, as well as the impact the service site played in the participants’ levels of intercultural competence. Data was gathered from six participants involved in semester-long international service-learning and was collected through a series of two interviews. The interviews took place at the start and the end of the service-learning experience. The transcripts from the two interviews were analyzed using parameters from Chen and Starosta (1997) Intercultural Sensitivity model and Deardorff’s (2006) Process Model. From the analysis, it was found that the intercultural competence levels of all of the participants grew over time. The participants who were involved in a reciprocal service-learning environment, at a site that facilitated interaction among participants, developed higher levels of intercultural competence than did their peers. All participants encouraged that cultural learning took place throughout the duration of their service-learning experience. From this study, it is recommended that service-learning take a larger role in the development of intercultural competence during study abroad.


Thank you to those members of my committee, Michael, Eddah, and especially Isolde. I couldn't have done this research without their help, insight, and guidance. Also, thank you to my family who pushed me to pursue my dreams of teaching and supported me the whole way.