Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
The aim of this study is to deepen the knowledge of international exchanges in a school
context, focusing on what effect the exchanges have for, mainly, the students involved. The
legitimacy of the study has arised from the increasing interest in international exchanges,
particularly in the school context, and the focus of globalization and international issues in
the curriculum for the Swedish school.
The work has been realized through interviewing students who have participated in an
exchange trip to Tanzania. They were asked to describe the learning which they believe
took place in connection with the trip. In parallel the students’ intercultural competence
have been measured and compared to a group of students who have not taken part in an
exchange. The underlying aim is to broaden the understanding of the effects of international
exchanges. In addition the effects are put in relation to the ambition of internationalisation
described in the curriculum for the Swedish upper secondary school.
The results of the study is partly ambiguous. The students mean the exchanges did lead
to a considerable learning, but this learning – in particular the effects on their intercultural
competence – can in some cases be regarded as poor. On the other hand: in comparison to
the the group who have not participated in an exchange the intercultural competence is higher,
which can prove positive effects of the exchange. This conclusion is similar to those of
earlier research on the field, and inspires to continued and increased studies.