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Article

The role of intercultural competence, in the relationship between intercultural experiences and creativity among students

We studied the interplay of intercultural competence, intercultural experiences, and creativity among Russian students from Moscow (N = 272). We expected the students from culturally diverse groups, attending the courses on cultural issues, to be more creative. We based our expectation on the idea that cultural diversity and cultural learning are associated with a higher level of intercultural competence that might contribute to students’ creativity. We measured the intercultural experiences by cultural diversity of study groups (a number of foreign students in the groups and the intensity of friendly contacts with them) and by cultural learning (a number of culture-related courses that students attended). We measured creativity by the “Many Instances Game” from the Runco Creativity Assessment Battery (rCAB). We measured intercultural competence by the adapted scale of Fantini and Tirmizi. We discovered positive associations of intercultural experiences in the university with students’ creativity. Such components of intercultural competence as attitudes and skills (the adaptability of behavior), played an important role in the students’ creativity. The attitudes were positive and the skills were negative, related to the creativity. We also revealed that these two components of intercultural competence mediated the relationship between the intercultural experiences and creativity of students. Based on the results, we discussed the factors of the educational environment which may enhance or prohibit creativity.