Exploring Cultural Intelligence Skills among International Postgraduate Students at a Higher Education Institution

Faizah Idrus


Recognising the importance of Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is crucial to any Higher Education Institution (HEI) hosting international students. Thus, the investigation seeks to explore postgaduates experiences, perceptions, challenges and strategies in accommodating their friends’ from diverse cultural backgrounds in their daily academic and social lives. A qualitative research design was employed in that 15 international postgraduate students from 5 faculties were interviewed (using semi-structured interview protocol) in relation to their experience, understanding and behaviour towards cultural knowledge and skills. Rigourous thematic analysis following Braun & Clark (2006) was carried out. The main findings indicated that international students faced huge challenges during the acculturation and adaptation processes trying to be accepted or to blend in, unaware of Cultural Intelligence. Positive reactions from international students prevailed. External and internal factors posed as huge setback to their success in communication and studies. It can be concluded that with prior awareness and understanding of CQ and cultural diversity, international students could be more prepared in adjusting to academia, thus be more successful in their studies. The findings of this study are of paramount importance to HEIs, International and Student Admission offices around the globe.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v10n4p220


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email: ijhe@sciedupress.com

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