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Presentation

Abstract

The UMontana app is one of the current marketing strategies that the University of Montana is using to make information more easily accessible to students. Our team designed a tile for the UMontana app that would provide specific local information about UM’s twenty-one partner universities. This information will be used to help UM and international students better prepare for their study abroad experiences at these host universities. Our research shows that students studying abroad struggle to gain intercultural competence during their experience abroad because of factors like culture shock, language barriers, or sociocultural differences. The goal of this project is to increase the intercultural competence of UM students and international students coming to study at UM so that students can spend less time adjusting to their host university, and more time enjoying their study abroad experience and becoming competent global citizens. This app tile will answer practical questions like Where can I find feminine hygiene products? and What is the best bank to use in my host city? but also culturally specific questions like What are some important social customs? and What are the attitudes towards gender identity? The app is populated with survey information gathered from students that have already completed their study abroad experiences, but the page is now self-sustaining with a social media platform embedded in the tile. As students complete their experiences abroad, they can add their input into the tile, filling in the gaps from another student’s answers, and even posting pictures of their trip. Eventually, the project will expand to encompass more than the partner universities. With the help of the Global Engagement and Information Technology offices, this project became a reality.

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Humanities

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Apr 28th, 11:40 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 PM

Fostering Global Citizens: Using Technology to Improve Intercultural Competence Among Study Abroad Students

UC North Ballroom

The UMontana app is one of the current marketing strategies that the University of Montana is using to make information more easily accessible to students. Our team designed a tile for the UMontana app that would provide specific local information about UM’s twenty-one partner universities. This information will be used to help UM and international students better prepare for their study abroad experiences at these host universities. Our research shows that students studying abroad struggle to gain intercultural competence during their experience abroad because of factors like culture shock, language barriers, or sociocultural differences. The goal of this project is to increase the intercultural competence of UM students and international students coming to study at UM so that students can spend less time adjusting to their host university, and more time enjoying their study abroad experience and becoming competent global citizens. This app tile will answer practical questions like Where can I find feminine hygiene products? and What is the best bank to use in my host city? but also culturally specific questions like What are some important social customs? and What are the attitudes towards gender identity? The app is populated with survey information gathered from students that have already completed their study abroad experiences, but the page is now self-sustaining with a social media platform embedded in the tile. As students complete their experiences abroad, they can add their input into the tile, filling in the gaps from another student’s answers, and even posting pictures of their trip. Eventually, the project will expand to encompass more than the partner universities. With the help of the Global Engagement and Information Technology offices, this project became a reality.