Ten Australian pre-service teachers engaged in a mobility program in Malaysia.

Intensive interaction with Malaysian peers promoted intercultural learning.

Participants developed critical self-awareness, affiliation, empathy for diversity.

A short term mobility program should be embedded in teacher preparation courses.

This study investigates the intercultural learning of 10 Australian pre-service teachers participating in a short term mobility program in Malaysia. Drawing on Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach, intercultural learning is conceptualised as developing three capabilities: critical cultural self-examination; affiliation with and towards others; and building narrative imagination. Our findings confirmed that participation in this structured mobility experience promoted critical professional self-awareness regarding cultural diversity; built trust and intercultural understanding through intensive interaction with Malaysian peers; and developed participants as more culturally responsive teachers. We recommend that a structured short term mobility experience be embedded within teacher education programs.

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