Turkish Teacher Candidates' Challenges Regarding Cross-cultural Experiences: The Case of Erasmus Exchange Program

Ersoy A.

EGITIM VE BILIM-EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, vol.38, no.168, pp.154-166, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 168
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.154-166
  • Keywords: Cross-cultural experience, multi-cultural, student mobility, Erasmus, INTERCULTURAL EDUCATION, PRESERVICE, IMPACT, FIELD, DIVERSITY, VIEWS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This study aims to understand the cultural problems of Turkish teacher candidates in the countries they visited through the Erasmus Program. Phenomenological research method was employed in this study. The participants of the study were six teacher candidates who went abroad through the Erasmus Program in the 2008-2009 academic year. Thematic analysis was employed in order analyze the data that were obtained through focus group interviews. At the end of the study, the participants defined culture as the whole of what individuals have learned from their individual experiences. During their time abroad, the participants encountered some problems regarding the issues of not being able to speak English effectively, cultural differences, and cultural bias in their cross-cultural experiences. Therefore they applied some strategies to cope with the problems they faced such as being present in English speaking environments, examining the reasons of cultural differences, and introducing their own culture to members of the host culture. In conclusion, the teacher candidates who participated in Erasmus Program stated that they experience helped them to understand how important learning foreign language is for professional development, increasing their cultural awareness and eliminating their bias. Hence more participation of teacher candidates in student exchange programs should be encouraged.