Promoting the Development of Intercultural Competence in Higher Education Through Intercultural Learning Interventions

Keywords: Intercultural competence, intercultural learning intervention, study abroad, intercultural development inventory, higher education, global citizen


Introduction. This article analyses the impact of an intercultural learning intervention in a Spanish university post-European Higher Education Area implementation. Objective. Our research’s main objective consisted of measuring the development of intercultural competence in the first cohort of a Translation and Intercultural Communication bachelor’s degree in a Spanish university, before and after taking specific courses in intercultural studies and spending a study abroad semester. Methodology. A mixed methodology was implemented, in which the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) was used as a measuring instrument. Additionally, in-depth personal interviews were conducted to complement the data obtained. Results. The results of this study show that the programming and sequencing of specific courses, together with experiences abroad, contribute to the development of intercultural competence. Conclusions. More intercultural learning interventions are needed in higher education courses to develop and build an intercultural campus and educate global citizens. When applying intercultural learning interventions and intercultural methodologies, students develop their intercultural competence, a key competence for 21st-century graduates.

Author Biographies

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo, Universidad San Jorge

Maria Luisa Sierra-Huedo, PhD in Education and M.A. in Comparative International Development Education from the University of Minnesota. Professor of Intercultural Communication and Research & Innovation in Social Sciences in the School of Communication and Social Sciences, Universidad San Jorge, Zaragoza, Spain. Investigator of the research group Migration, Interculturalism and Human Development. Member of multiple internationally funded research projects such as MEDCHANGe, LIFe and CATCH21. Published in different international journals,


Almudena Nevado-Llopis, Universidad San Jorge

Almudena Nevado Llopis, holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting and a Ph.D. in Translation, Society and Communication by University Jaume I (Castellón, Spain). She is currently lecturer in the Translation and Intercultural Undergraduate Program, the Nursing Undergraduate Program, the Master’s Degree in Specialized Translation, and the Research Master on Health Sciences of San Jorge University (Zaragoza, Spain). She is member of the MIDH research group (Migrations, Interculturalism and Human Development) recognized by the Aragonese Government. Her research interests are intercultural communication, intercultural mediation and medical interpreting. She has experience in Erasmus + programs, collaborating in two projects related with intercultural competence development in higher education: 2017-1-BE0 51-KA203-024756, 2018-1-ES01-KA203-050800.


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How to Cite
Sierra-Huedo, M., & Nevado-Llopis, A. (2022). Promoting the Development of Intercultural Competence in Higher Education Through Intercultural Learning Interventions. Revista Electrónica Educare, 26(2), 1-21.
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