Cultural competence/Sociocultural Adaptation Scale

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The Sociocultural Adaptation Scale was developed by Ward and Kennedy (1999) [1]

The instrument is adaptable to local contexts and then usually includes 20-23 items.

1 All items

1	Making friends
2	Using the transport system
3	Making yourself understood
4	Getting used to the pace of life
5	Going shopping
6	Going to social events/gatherings/functions
7	Worshipping in your usual way
8	Talking about yourself with others
9 	Understanding jokes and humor
10	Dealing with someone who is unpleasant/cross/aggressive
11	Getting used to the local food/finding food you enjoy
12	Following rules and regulations
13	Dealing with people in authority
14	Dealing with the bureaucracy
15	Making yourself understood
16	Adapting to local accommodation
17	Communicating with people of a different ethnic group
18	Relating to members of the opposite sex
19	Dealing with unsatisfactory service
20	Finding your way around
21	Dealing with the climate
22	Dealing with people staring at you
23	Going to coffee shops/ food stalls/restaurants/fast food outlets
24	Understanding the local accent/language
25	Living away from family members overseas/independently from your parents
26	Adapting to local etiquette
27	Getting used to the population density
28	Relating to older people
29	Dealing with people of higher status
30	Understanding what is required of you at university
31	Coping with academic work
32	Dealing with foreign staff at the university
33	Expressing your ideas in class
34	Living with your host family
35	Accepting/understanding the local political system
36	Understanding the locals’ world view
37	Taking a local perspective on the culture
38	Understanding the local value system
39	Seeing things from the locals’ point of view
40	Understanding cultural differences
41	Being able to see two sides of an intercultural issue

2 Typical questionnaire

A typical questionnaire administered in a given context includes 20-23 items (e.g. items 1–22 and 35–41) were applied to a sample of 108 Singaporean students abroad.


  1. Colleen Ward, Antony Kennedy, The measurement of sociocultural adaptation, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 23, Issue 4, August 1999, Pages 659-677, ISSN 0147-1767, (