University student indigenous intercultural sensitivity and short-term study abroad
There is an extreme underrepresentation of indigenous peoples within American study abroad programs, and student participants rarely gain an authentic experience, awareness, and intercultural sensitivity towards such groups. This case study seeks to address this disparity through the creation of a new geography short-term study abroad program titled, "Resources and Indigenous Peoples of Oceania", at the University of Missouri. This program is based on providing geographic opportunities for students to experience the diverse physical landscapes of New Zealand and interact with the local Maori indigenous people and their culture. The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) is used both before and after the study abroad program to measure changes in student participants' indigenous intercultural sensitivity, as well as student program journal entries and final papers. The goal of this case study is to discover whether or not a study abroad program with a focus on elements of indigenous culture can actually improve students' intercultural sensitivity towards such groups.