Short-term study abroad programs can contribute to the multidimensional development of prospective language teachers. However, participants’ intercultural sensitivity orientations prior to the mobility period can significantly influence the quality and quantity of the outcomes gained from such programs. Therefore,in this qualitative case study, we explored the intercultural sensitivity orientations of a cohort of prospective language teachers from Turkey who prepared to study at three different universities in Italy. We also explored the participants’ perspectives regarding the potential contributions of short-term study abroad to their ongoing language teacher education processes. Following an interpretive analysis of qualitative data, our findings revealed that the participants aligned largely with ethnocentrism although there were individual differences concerning the levels of intercultural sensitivity. Their intercultural perspectives generally lacked complexity and reflected popular, unwarranted discourses surrounding study abroad. Based on these findings and discussions, we made several recommendations for further research and preparation of future participants.


Intercultural Sensitivity, Interculturality, Short-Term Study Abroad, International Exchange Programs, Language Teacher Education, Qualitative Case Study

Author Bio(s)

Emrullah Yasin Çiftçi is a research assistant at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, where he is also working on a PhD in the English Language Teaching program. He is currently working on his dissertation that focuses on neoliberalism, short-term international student mobility, and language teacher education. His research interests include language teacher education, qualitative inquiry, political economy, critical interculturality, and critical discourse analysis. His work related to intercultural communication and/or teacher education has been published in Australian Journal of Teacher Education, Educational Technology & Society, ReCALL, and Language and Intercultural Communication. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: yciftci@metu.edu.tr.

Nurdan Gürbüz is an associate professor at the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, where she has been working for over 20 years. Her areas of interest include English language teacher education, spoken discourse, teaching oral communication skills, English as an international language, and intercultural communication. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: nurdano@metu.edu.tr.

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