Learning How to Work in Multicultural Teams: Students’ Insights on Internationalization-at-Home Activities

Belem Barbosa, Stephanie Swartz, Susan Luck, Claudia Prado-Meza, Izzy Crawford


Internationalization-at-home activities present relevant opportunities for innovation in the teaching-learning process. These activities provide a very broad set of advantages, including the development of soft skills and increased motivation of students. This article aims to contribute to the debate on internationalization of higher education institutions by exploring students’ perceptions and experiences after participating in an international collaboration project involving 153 students in 5 universities in Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Scotland and the United States of America during the Fall/Winter semester 2017. The focus of this study is students’ satisfaction and perceptions. Results demonstrate that although students found the idea of collaborating with peers from other universities very appealing, high levels of satisfaction depended on commitment, both their own and that of their peers. The feelings during the project were predominantly positive, although students recognized that they should have communicated more with their partners and put more effort in the collaboration. This article provides useful evidence for instructors that are considering an international collaboration activity for their students. It demonstrates the deliverables of such initiatives as well as the clear advantage gained by receiving students’ feedback. Hopefully it will inspire other instructors and contribute to the diffusion of international collaboration as a teaching-learning practice.


international collaboration; globalization; international activity; higher education; intercultural skills; international teams; virtual teams; student experience; student commitment; student satisfaction; students’ emotions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v13i2.378