Date of Award



© 2018 Kevin J. Ottoson

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Leslie Hitch

Second Advisor

Laura Bertonazzi

Third Advisor

Robert Croker


This phenomenological study investigated the lived experience of seven Japanese university students who participated in short-term study abroad programs in Southeast Asia. The seven participants were a part of groups of twenty-four Japanese students who studied the local language and conducted fieldwork projects with local university students in Thailand or Malaysia. Results of this study showed that four themes emerged across each case’s description of his or her short-term study abroad experience: (a) recognizing, (b) interacting, (c) developing, and (d) maintaining. Furthermore, the analysis revealed participants described development in their attitudes, knowledge, and ability to relate and interact across cultures. Participants described their fieldwork interactions and daily interactions with local university students as the situations that promoted this development. This study suggests that intercultural competence, as conceptualized by Deardorff’s (2006) process model of intercultural competence, could be self-reported by the seven participants describing what it was like to participate in Southeast Asia. Finally, this study discusses the relevance of the results to Deardorff’s (2006) process model of intercultural competence.


Ed.D. Dissertation

Kevin’s presentation on this topic for the UNE CGPS Virtual Research Symposium 2019 can be found here: