Cross-Cultural Experience

In the classroom, you’ll read about and discuss culture. In the required cross-cultural experience (CCE), 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 increasing emphasis on cultural competency.

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

Ranked In Top Five For Study Abroad

Carroll listed fifth out of 3,000 accredited institutions by IIE
A group of female Carroll students exploring Florence, Italy

Understand Others by Discovering Yourself

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


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 savvy traveler.

Students on the roof of the Milan Cathedral


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


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, art works 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 requirement through study abroad under the supervision of a faculty member. Some practicums or internships 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 courses are a great option. At Carroll, the world truly is your classroom.

Carroll Course Option

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

Experience a Carroll Course CCE

Study Abroad Option

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

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Featured Articles

Young women in traditional Japanese dress

Carroll ranked in top five for study abroad

Independent ranking rates Carroll fifth in nation for rate of students studying abroad.

students walking along a border

CCE visits the US/Mexico border

Students find their beliefs challenged on a cross-cultural experience to the United States-Mexico border.


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 immersion experiences.

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