TitleDefinitions of an Intercultural Encounter: Insights Into Internationalization at Home Efforts
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRoot, E
JournalNorthwest Journal of Communication
VolumeVol. 42
Start Page35
IssueIssue 1
Date Published03/2014
Type of ArticleAcademic
Accession Number95028265

"Internationalization" has become a popular term in U.S. higher education. Some internationalization efforts shift the focus from enrolling students in study abroad programs to using what happens domestically, a concept called Internationalization at Home (IaH). In order to implement effective IaH efforts, considering how a specific study body conceptualizes an intercultural encounter is helpful. Through the collection of 32 narratives of U.S. students' experiences, this study investigates how participants at a largely culturally homogeneous university define themselves as culturally distinct from others during what they categorize as an intercultural encounter. The results indicate two main ways participants designate cultural difference, that of national identity and that of racial or ethnic identity. These ways of designating cultural difference indicate a master narrative of what an intercultural encounter is, typically exotic, short-term, impersonal, and often linked to travel. Identifying this master narrative of intercultural interactions provides insights for the development of IaH curriculum and training.