The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of intercultural communication competence (ICC) of international students living in Malaysia. This study considered the culture-general factors of integrated model of ICC (IMICC) established from the West with an addition of empathy and further addressed these influencers on the international students from a Malaysian university. It is proposed that empathy, sensation seeking, ethnocentrism, attitude and motivation have a direct influence on ICC.
A quantitative research methodology was considered to address the relationship between the variables of this study. Data were collected through a survey by visiting different parts of the university campus. A total of 388 international students took part in the study voluntarily. Data were analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and structural equation modeling-analysis of a moment structures (SEM-AMOS).
The findings revealed that empathy, sensation seeking and attitude are the antecedents of ICC. However, ethnocentrism and motivation do not influence ICC significantly.
Through the findings of this study, a series of training sessions can be conducted by Malaysia (host country training) and sender countries (home country training) to educate international students regarding ICC. Furthermore, ministry of higher education (MoHE) Malaysia and higher education institutes (HEIs) can improve their infrastructure and services in terms of hosting and accommodating more international students by considering the findings of this study. These approaches could help international students to adjust in a new cultural setting of Malaysia.
Nadeem, M.U., Mohammed, R., Dalib, S. and Mumtaz, S. (2021), "An investigation of factors influencing intercultural communication competence of the international students from a higher education institute in Malaysia", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-03-2021-0111
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