Study Abroad and Perception of Cultural Distance: A Case from Turkey

With the progressive acceleration of globalization in the world, the study of cultural studies is accordingly developing on especially international level. It seems that globalization has affected education at all level as well as higher education (Budak, Çakmak and Gündüz, 2015). In the process of globalization, new values have also emerged with their different dimensions and contents (Budak, Çakmak & Gündüz, 2015). Relating one’s culture to the host culture demands a readiness to reflect, confront oneself and above all, to play a mediating role (Risager, 1998) between both cultures, and indeed to change (cited in Martinez et al. 2016, p.340). Neverthelessthis change or intercultural learning “can only be grasped by inferring it from changes in people’s behaviors” (cited in Borghetti, Beaven, & Pugliese 2015, p. 44). Becoming more aware of their own identity and the way they are perceived by members of thehost culture will help students to explain and accept differences. Byram (2006) views culture with reference to an individual and global perspective and according to Byram, key contention is that in a world of globalization, we do not only exchange information or communicate, but above all, we interact, which requires analysis, interpretation and understanding of other people’s perception of reality, identities and cultures (cited in Piatkowska, p.397).The present study focuses mainly on analyzing Turkish Erasmus students’ perception of culture after their study abroad experience. In this study, main data is collected by using a questionnaire from university students who had and a small amount of data is collected via semi-structured interviews.The data is analysed in order to develop a deeper understanding of their perception of cultural distance and the speaking challenges they experienced during their study abroad. It is hoped that the findings of this piece of research study will provide some food for thought on a number of pedagogical and theoretical issues.
Citation Formats
M. Gündüz, “Study Abroad and Perception of Cultural Distance: A Case from Turkey,” presented at the The 2017 WEI International Academic Conference (2017), Boston, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: