Developing Cultural Intelligence Through Short-Term International Travel Experiential Learning


  • Margaret Arrison Nolan Arcadia University
  • Peggy Hickman Arcadia University


The growing globalization of business, education, and other sectors has illuminated the need for institutions of higher education to prepare students to adapt, interact and perform effectively in culturally diverse work environments (Arnett, 2002; Brislin & Yoshida, 1994; Williams et al., 2017). This qualitative, phenomenological, case study explored undergraduate students’ perceived cultural intelligence (CQ) outcomes based on their participation in full semester courses, at a specific university, that embedded short-term (7-15 days) international travel experiential learning (SIT). This study delved into participants’ perceptions of the role varied pedagogical elements of SIT played in their CQ development. Nine (9) phenomenological themes and multiple subthemes emerged across participants’ recall of their lived SIT experiences using their own words, feelings, examples, and oral stories about their perceived CQ outcomes.