¡Viva Mexico! The Influence of a Short-Term Study Abroad Program on Speech-Language Pathology Students’ Cultural Competence
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Speech-language pathology programs utilize short-term study abroad programs to enhance students’ cultural competence. Yet, an investigation of how study abroad impacts students' cultural competence does not exist. This study’s purpose was to investigate the effects of a study abroad program in Mexico on the cultural competence of SLP master's students. A two group, pre/post mixed methods quasi-experimental design was used. Participants included a treatment and control group. Pre/post-trip surveys and semi-structured interviews were completed and analyzed for differences in cultural competence between groups and for growth in cultural competence for the treatment group from pre- to post-trip. Findings indicated that the treatment group demonstrated gains across all components of cultural competence, and had significantly higher post-trip cultural confidence as compared to the control group. Gains in the treatment group’s cultural competence were influenced by gains in cultural and general professional skills and cultural interactions. Implications for the discipline are discussed.
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