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International Students' Intercultural Sensitivity and Intercultural Communication Competence in Malaysia
International Islamic University Malaysia

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This study is set out to understand intercultural communication competence and sensitivity among International students in Malaysia. In the discipline of communication, intercultural communication competence (ICC) has been a subject of study for more than five decades. Over this time, many have identified a number of variables that contribute to intercultural communication (ICC). This paper examines significant relationship between international students’ intercultural communication competence and their intercultural sensitivity as per their everyday situations in Malaysia. Anxiety uncertainty management theory is applied to the study to explain the relationship between intercultural communication competence and intercultural sensitivity among international students studying in Malaysia. Gudykunst (2005) described seven factors that envisage a person’s uncertainty and anxiety levels while communicating with unfamiliar persons: motivation to interact with strangers, self-concept, reactions to strangers, social categorization of strangers, situational processes, ethical interactions and connections with strangers. These help reduce other people’s anxiety as well as their uncertainty. The study employed a quantitative research design using the survey method where a self-administered questionnaire was employed and respondents were recruited using non-random sampling to generate the data. 300 international students from international Islamic university Malaysia (IIUM) who have studies in Malaysia for over a year participated in the study. Findings show, that there is a significant relationship between students with intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communication competence. The study recommends, that further research should be done to examine whether a single mediating factor such as change in anxiety and uncertainty can affect the level of intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communication competence. The theory is also supported in the study.