Communication and Social Interaction across Cultures: The Case of a German and Ghanaian Educational Exchange Program

Abdul-Razak Kuyini Alhassan (1) , Muhammed Abdulai (2) , Hadi Ibrahim (3)
(1) Department of Educational Science, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), Papirbredden, Grønland 58, 3045 Drammen, Norway , Norway
(2) School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University, Narva Mnt 25, 10120, Tallinn, Estonia , Estonia
(3) Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Regional Offices and Foreign Missions, P.O. Box 163, Sunyani, Ghana , Ghana

Abstract

Using a constructivist epistemology, this paper explores the cross-cultural learning experiences of exchange students from Hochschule Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the University for Development Studies in Ghana. The findings reveal differences in the students’ commitment to agreements, tasks and time; while the German students have a high commitment to time awareness -- reporting to lectures and other meetings on time -- their Ghanaian counterparts do not. We suggest that universities preparing students for educational exchange programs should actively embark on cross-cultural education and training, providing adequate information on the context and culture of the host country, targeting all stakeholders before, during and after the exchange program. This will enhance effective intercultural relations and social interaction, and minimize culture shock.

Full text article

Generated from XML file

References

Abdulai, M., A.-R.K. Alkassan & K.M. Sanus (2019). Exploring dialectal variations on quality health communication and healthcare delivery in the Sissala District of Ghana, Language and Intercultural Communication, 19(3): 242-255. https://doi.org/10.1080/14708477.2019.1569671 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14708477.2019.1569671

Abdulai, M. & H. Ibrahim (2016). Merging cultures in international mergers and acquisitions: A case study of Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM PC Division. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 41. http://immi.se/intercultural/nr41/abdulai.html

Abdulai, M. (2018). Migration, mobility and intercultural learning in study abroad programs: The case of Germany and Ghana Educational Exchange Program. Human Arenas. 2: 245-260. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-018-0045-3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-018-0045-3

Abdulai, M., H. Ibrahim & M.A. Mohammed (2017). Communicating across cultures in multinational Ibis West Africa. Journal of Intercultural Relations, 58: 42-53. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.04.009

Adler, N.J. (1991). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. Boston: PWS-Kent Publishing.

Adler, N.J. & Z. Aycan (2018). Cross-cultural interaction: What we know and what we need to know. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology or Organizational Behavior, 5: 307-333. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-032117-104528

Alhassan, A.K. & O.C. Abosi (2014). Teacher effectiveness in adapting instruction to the Needs of pupils with learning difficulties in regular primary schools in Ghana. Sage Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244013518929 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244013518929

Alhassan, A-R. K. (2011). Unaccompanied Minor Asylum Seekers in Norway: Educational Needs and Adapted Education. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Ameny-Dixon, G.M. (2005). Why multicultural education is more important in higher education now than ever: A global perspective. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity, 8(1): 1-9.

Astin, A.W. (1993). What Matters in College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Banks, J. A. (2007). Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society (2nd Edition). London: Teachers College Press.

Blair, T.R. (2003). New Teacher’s Performance-based Guide to Culturally Diverse Classrooms. Boston: Pearson Education.

Bruner, J. (1996). The Culture of Education. London: Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674251083

Bryman, A. (2004). Social Research Methods. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chang, M. (1999). Does racial diversity matter? The education impact of a racially diverse undergraduate population. Journal of College Students, 40(4): 377-995.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approach (3rd Edition). Sage.

Guan, S. J. (1995). Intercultural Communication. Peking University Press.

Gudykunst, W.B. (1998). Bridging Differences: Effective Intergroup Communication (3rd Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage.

Gurin, P., F.L. Dey, S. Hurtado & G. Gurin. (2002). Diversity and higher education: Theory and impact on educational outcomes. Harvard Educational Review, 72(3): 330-366. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.72.3.01151786u134n051

Hall, E.T. (1976). Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Press.

Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 10(3): 301-320. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(86)90015-5

Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hurtado, S. (2005). The next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research. Journal of Social Issues. 61(3): 595-610. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2005.00422.x

Jandt, E.F. (2004). An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identity in a Global Community (4th Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage.

Johnson, R. (1995). ESTL teacher education and intercultural communication: Discomfort as a learning tool. TESL Canada Journal, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v12i2.653 DOI: https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v12i2.653

Keles, Y. (2013). What intercultural communication barriers do exchange students of Erasmus programme have during their stay in Turkey, Mugla? Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 70: 1513-1524. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.01.219

Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential Learning Experience as Source of Learning and Development. Prentice-Hall.

Kuada J, (2012). Research Methodology: A Project Guide for University Students. Samfundslitteratur.

Kuada, J. (1994). Managerial Behaviour in Ghana and Kenya: A Cultural Perspective. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press.

Långstedt, J. (2018). Culture, an excuse? A critical analysis of essentialist assumptions in cross-cultural management research and practice. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 18(3): 293–308. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1470595818793449

Mannheim, K. (1949). Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Martin, J. (1994). Intercultural Communication: A unifying concept for international education, in G. Althen (ed.), Learning Across Cultures (9-30), NAFSA, Association of International Educators.

Miksch, K.L. (2002). Legal issues in developmental education: Diversity as a key element of educational mission. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, 191(1): 55-61.

Neuliep, J.W. & J.C. McCroskey (1997). The development of intercultural and interethnic communication apprehension scales. Communication Research Report, 14(2): 145-156. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08824099709388656

Neuliep, J.W., M. Chaudoir & J.C. McCroskey (2001). A cross-cultural comparison of ethnocentrism among Japanese and United State college students. Communication Research Report, 18(2): 137-146. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08824090109384791

Neuman, W.L. (2014). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (7th Edition). Person Education Limited.

Nteliou, E. & O. Kehajia (2016). Intercultural perceptions among undergraduate students in English for Business and Economics courses. International Language, Translation and Intercultural Communication, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.12681/ijltic.10345 DOI: https://doi.org/10.12681/ijltic.10345

Ozturgut, O. (2011). Understanding multicultural education. Current Issues in Education, 14(2).

Parsons, T. & E.A. Shils (1951). Toward a General Theory of Action. Cambridge MA, USA: Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4159/harvard.9780674863507

Pricope, M. (2013). Pedagogical objectives of teaching intercultural communication competence education. Educatia 21, 2013(11): 54-61.

Rijamampianina, R. (1995). Effective management in multicultural organisation-creating a learning-based order with a sharing principle. Economic Journal of Hokkaido University, 25: 119–167.

Samovar, L.A. & R.E. Porter (1997). Intercultural Communication: A Reader. (8th Edition). Belmont, CA, USA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Samovar, L.A. & R.E. Porter (1995). Communication Between Cultures. Belmont, CA, USA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Schein, E. (2004). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Shulman, J. & H. Messa-Bains (1993). Diversity in the Classroom: A Casebook for Teachers and Teachers’ Educators. Hilldale, NY, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Tetreault, M.K.T. (2010). Classrooms for diversity: Rethinking curriculum and pedagogy. In J.A. Banks & C.A.M. Banks (eds.), Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives. John Wiley & Sons.

Ting-Toomey, S. (1999). Communicating across Cultures. New York: Guilford Press.

Yin, R.K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. London: Sage.

Zhao, Y. (2007). Cultural conflicts in an intercultural classroom discourse and interpretations from a cultural perspective. Intercultural Communication Studies, 16(1).

Authors

Abdul-Razak Kuyini Alhassan
Abdul-Razak.Alhassan@usn.no (Primary Contact)
Muhammed Abdulai
Hadi Ibrahim
Author Biographies

Abdul-Razak Kuyini Alhassan, Department of Educational Science, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), Papirbredden, Grønland 58, 3045 Drammen, Norway

Abdul-Razak Kuyini Alhassan, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Science at the University of South-Eastern Norway. His research interests include special and inclusive education, multicultural education and multicultural social work / child protection.

Muhammed Abdulai, School of Governance, Law and Society, Tallinn University, Narva Mnt 25, 10120, Tallinn, Estonia

Muhammed Abdulai is a PhD candidate at the School of Governance, Law and Society of Tallinn University, Estonia, and lecturer at the Faculty of Communication and Cultural Studies in the Department of Communication, Innovation and Technology at the University for Development Studies, Ghana. Over the past eight years, he has taught, supervised, and reviewed numerous student projects and dissertations in African and European universities. His research interests are communication, culture and media, cross-cultural management and leadership, migration, and mobility.

Hadi Ibrahim, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Regional Offices and Foreign Missions, P.O. Box 163, Sunyani, Ghana

Hadi Ibrahim has a background in marketing at the bachelor’s level from Takoradi Technical University and GIMPA in Ghana. He holds an MSc in International Business Economics from Aalborg University in Denmark. He has immense industrial experience and currently works with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana as a senior commercial officer. He is actively involved in several research projects leading to publications in respected journals with particular focus on intercultural and cross-cultural management and leadership.

Alhassan, A.-R. K., Abdulai, M., & Ibrahim, H. (2020). Communication and Social Interaction across Cultures: The Case of a German and Ghanaian Educational Exchange Program. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 20(2), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v20i2.301

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_
Views
  • Abstract 171212
  • PDF 100

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.