Multicultural Competence Awarness Among International Students


  • Edith Romano Galindo Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta
  • Erna Andriyanti


culture, multicultural competence, international students, intercultural communication


When individuals move to a place where more than one culture coexists, they are now part of a multicultural society. In this respect one of the many reasons of the existence of multicultural societies is the student mobility phenomenon in which many students decide to live abroad to pursue their academic goals. Accordingly, these students face new cultural situations and there is no doubt that they need to use their multicultural competencies. However, are they aware of their own multicultural competence? Has the way they conceptualize it ever helped them to achieve their professional goals? In the present study such questions highlight the relevance to focus on the existing knowledge about multicultural competence of international students which might provide insights about the role of multicultural competence as an inherent aspect of life to achieve personal or professional goals and strength their intercultural communication. There are many studies that focus on the teachers’ multicultural competence and the importance of incorporating it in the programs. However not many of them focus on the way students conceptualize it and perceive it in their lives. Thus the purpose of this study was to describe and interpret the characteristics of multicultural awareness of seven international students studying tertiary education in the post graduate studies department at YSU. By using a qualitative research and making use of a questionnaire as main instrument, the findings showed that students have a high level of awareness and they mostly conceive it as a tool to achieve they professional goals.


Adam, H., Obudaru, O., Lu, J., Maddux, W., & Galinsky, A. (2018, May 22). How Living Abroad Helps You Develop a Clearer Sense of Self. Harvard Business Review.

Altan, M. Z. (2018). Intercultural Sensitivity. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 46, 1–17.

Arasaratnam, L. A., & Doerfel, M. L. (2005). Intercultural communication competence: Identifying key components from multicultural perspectives. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29(2), 137–163.

Aspers, P., & Corte, U. (2019). What is Qualitative in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Sociology Journal, 42(2), 139–160.

AUN. (2017, November). Crisis Management: Framework for International Student Mobility. ASEAN University Network.

Clyne, M. (2017). Multilingualism. In The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (pp. 301–314). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Colbert, P. J. (2010). Developing A Culturally Responsive Classroom Collaborative Of Faculty, Students, And Institution. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC), 7(11).

Department of Educational Foundations, University of Botswana, Major, T. E., & Mangope, B. (2014). Multicultural competence in student affairs: The case of the University of Botswana. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, 2(1).

Džalalova, A., Raud, N., Raud, N., & Raud, N. (2012). Multicultural Competence and its Developement in Students of Teacher Education Curricula. Problems of Education in the 21st Century Journal, 40.

Flowers, D. L. (2004). Culturally Competent Nursing Care. Critical Care Nurse, 24(4), 48–52.

García, M. R. (2013). Comunicacion e Interculturalidad. Reflexiones en torno a una Relacion Indisoluble. Global Media Journal Mexico, 10(19), 26–42.

Gay, G., & Howard, T. C. (2000). Multicultural teacher education for the 21st century. The Teacher Educator Journal, 36(1), 1–16.

Giddens, A., & Sutton, P. W. (2009). Sociology. Polity Press.

Gunawardena, C. N. (2012). Culture and Online Distance Learning. Routledge Handbooks Online.

Huber, J. (Ed.). (2012). Intercultural competence for all: Preparation for living in a heterogeneous world. Council of Europe Publ.

Iverson, S. V. (2012). Multicultural Competence For Doing Social Justice: Expanding Our Awareness, Knowledge, And Skills. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 1(1), Article 1.

Kivel, P. (2007). Multicultural Competence. Paul Kivel.

Korstjens, I., & Moser, A. (2018). Series: Practical guidance to qualitative research. Part 4: Trustworthiness and publishing. European Journal of General Practice, 24(1), 120–124.

Lehman, C. L. (2017). Multicultural Competence: A Literature Review Supporting Focused Training for Preservice Teachers Teaching Diverse Students. Journal of Education and Practice, 8(10), 109–116.

Mio, J. S., Barker, L. A., & Tumambing, J. S. (2012). Multicultural psychology: Understanding our diverse communities, 3rd ed (pp. xix, 396). Oxford University Press.

Moloi, C., & Bam, M. (2014). Exploring Cultural Competence from a Sociological Point of View. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3), 332.

Nadan, Y. (2017). Rethinking ‘cultural competence’ in international social work. Journal of International Social Work, 60(1), 74–83.

NCOA. (2011, November). Cultural Competence & Benefits Access. NCOA.

OECD. (2013). How many students study abroad and where do they go? Education at a Glance 2013 Highlights.

OECD. (2021). Students—International student mobility—OECD Data. TheOECD.

Pang, V. O., Stein, R., Gomez, M., Matas, A., & Shimogori, Y. (2011). Cultural Competencies: Essential Elements of Caring-Centered Multicultural Education. Action in Teacher Education Journal, 33(5–6), 560–574.

Pope, R. L., & Mueller, J. A. (2005). Faculty and Curriculum: Examining Multicultural Competence and Inclusion. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6), 679–688.

Pütz, P. M., & Mundt, N. (2018). Expanding the Linguistic Landscape: Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource. Multilingual Matters.

Tritschler, K. (2008). Cultural Competence. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 79(1), 7–8.

Trumbull, E., & Pacheco, M. (2005). Leading With Diversity. 298.

UNESCO. (2013). The International mobility of students in Asia and the Pacific; 2013. 89.

Vincent, S. K., & Torres, R. M. (2015). Multicultural Competence: A Case Study of Teachers and their Student Perceptions. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(2), 64–75.

Yılmaz, F. (2016). Multiculturalism and multicultural education: A case study of teacher candidates’ perceptions. Cogent Education Journal, 3(1), 1172394.


Abstract 163  .