Cross-Cultural Experience

In the classroom, you’ll learn the theory of culture. In the required cross-cultural experience (CCE) immersion, you’ll live it. Carroll offers a variety of opportunities allowing you to immerse yourself in another culture. Whether you travel near or far, you’ll learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes and build understanding for people, places and ideas that are different from your own. Carroll is one of the few schools in the United States to require a credit-bearing, off-campus experience associated with its general education requirements.

Add Value to your education

In today’s diverse and global society, it’s critical for you to interact effectively with people who may be different from you, to communicate across national and cultural divides and to understand that our own worldview is not the only one. The ability to work with people from different cultures is one of the top skills employers are looking for in new graduates. Carroll’s program gives you an edge in a job market that is placing an increasing emphasis on cultural competency.

Studies show that students who have an international or cross-cultural experience are:

Top Ten Ranking in Education Abroad

Carroll’s innovative cultural core programming continues to gain national recognition and adds valuable experience to your degree. We are consistently ranked in the top ten master’s-granting institutions for education abroad participation. Carroll was listed fifth out of 3,000 accredited institutions by Institute of International Education (IIE) for two years in a row.

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Innovative Curriculum That Maximizes the Value of Your General Education

As part of the Pioneer Core, every undergraduate student at Carroll will participate in a CCE as a requirement to graduate. The CCE requirement is completed in an off-campus setting and allows students to apply knowledge learned in previous cross-cultural classes through interactions with cultures other than their own. A variety of options are available, including domestic and international locations, 2-credit and 4-credit courses, and study abroad options. All CCEs have three key aspects: preparation, immersion and reflection.

Students studying Preparation

In the classroom, students will learn about the country and culture they are visiting, as well as learn about how to work with those who are from different backgrounds and tips on how to be a responsible traveler.

Students on the roof of the Milan Cathedral Immersion

Students must have at least 60 hours of meaningful interaction with people from a culture other than their own. It is not enough for students to read about or observe other cultures—students will experience the culture.

Male student writing a reflection on a train Reflection

Students are expected to reflect on what they have experienced—usually through a written reflection; however, many students go beyond this, creating videos, photo essays, artworks, and presentations.

Students exploring a frescoed European building

Choose an experience that speaks to you, regardless of your major.

Our CCE opportunities range from near to far, from Milwaukee to Tokyo and numerous points in between. Many of our students take a Carroll course CCE, while others complete the CCE requirement through a study abroad program under the supervision of a faculty member and the Office of Global Education. Some credit-bearing practicums or internships can count toward the requirement as well. You’ll have the flexibility to embark upon a CCE that matches your interests and your budget. While most students opt to fulfill their CCE requirement through a Carroll course CCE , study abroad programs are a great and a surprisingly affordable option. At Carroll, the world truly is your classroom.

Carroll Course CCE Option

Carroll course CCEs are the most popular choice for students looking to fill their CCE requirement. These courses offer extensive preparation with a professor before students embark for off-campus cultural immersion.

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Study Abroad Option

Studying abroad is a great way to maximize your CCE while earning course credits towards your college degree. Short-term to year-long options are available.

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Featured Articles

two women in kimonos standing next to each other.

The World Reopens


Carroll faculty and students resume globe-trotting Cross Cultural Experiences as the post-pandemic world reopens.


Alumna Helps Bring Japan to Students


Prof. Dan Becker's cross-cultural experience trip was grounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he still wanted to a meaningful cultural education to his students, from his own home to theirs. Alumna Marissa Garetto '17 stepped up to help.


Question icon over a photo of students in Nicaragua

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cross-cultural experiences.

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Health and Safety

Our students’ health and safety is always our top priority.

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Financial Aid

Carroll grants approximately $300,000 each year to support cross-cultural experiences.

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Ready for Your Own Adventure? Apply to Carroll

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