Decision Making Style and Intercultural Sensitivity of Adolescents Who Are/Are Not Going on an International Exchange Program

Aušra Lazauskienė, Vaiva Rimienė


An international student exchange program is a well-known program of intercultural mobility which helps the youth gain skills that are useful in a global and culturally interrelated society. Scientific literature that analyzes international students’ exchange often stresses that these students experience a lot of changes and acquire a number of competences during an exchange year. However, there is a lack of research that analyzes differences between students who choose to go on an exchange program and those who do not.

The aim of this research is to determine the relationship between decision making styles and intercultural sensitivity of students who are going for an exchange year and of those that are not. This study compares decision making styles and intercultural sensitivity of adolescents aged 14 to 17 who are going on an exchange program with “YFU Lietuva” (n = 20) (M age = 16.10; SD = 0.85) and those who are not (n = 84) (M age = 15.88; SD = 0.96) as well as the relationship between their decision making styles and intercultural sensitivity. The following measures were applied in this research: Rational / Experiential Multimodal Inventory, REI-A (Marks et al., 2008) and Intercultural Sensitivity Scale, ISS (Chen, Starosta, 2000).

The results of this study have revealed that adolescents who choose to participate in an exchange program have a higher score in rational decision making and intercultural sensitivity than those who choose not to go. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation was found between intercultural sensitivity and rational decision making among students who participated in an international exchange program.

The findings of this study should be beneficial to organisations that manage student exchange programs, either for selection of participants or their training, or both.

Keywords: decision making style, intercultural sensitivity, international student exchange programs.

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