Impact Study - Student Preparation

University of Michigan Students Prepared for Global Workplace


169 students participated in a variety of faculty-led, study abroad programs in different locations around the world. The programs varied in length from 2-8 weeks.

The goal was to determine the impact of the study abroad experiences on students’ cultural intelligence. Each student completed the Pre- and Post CQ Assessment.


The study abroad office worked with the Cultural Intelligence Center to develop a strategy for effectively using the assessment and supporting curriculum to more strategically use the programs to improve CQ. The school held an In-House CQ Certification to get study abroad leaders, faculty, career services, and administrators equipped to use and de-brief the CQ Assessments. A curriculum was developed with intensive and meaningful intervention strategies including:

  • Taking the CQ Assessment Pre-Trip
  • Pre-trip CQ training
  • Team building exercises
  • Experiential activities during the trip focused on the four CQ capabilities
  • Taking the CQ Assessment Post-Trip
  • Post-Trip Reflection Paper and Discussion

In addition, other resources and tools were made available to students to support the development of their CQ through the trip.


Based on Pre and Post CQ Assessment scores, students showed significant improvement in three of the four CQ capabilities (CQ Knowledge, CQ Strategy and CQ Action).

These results have implications far beyond the students’ study abroad experiences. Research shows that CQ scores predict performance in culturally diverse situations. The increase in students’ CQ scores has positive implications for their effectiveness in the marketplace at home or abroad.

Based on the cultural intelligence research, the university can be confident that the students improved the following skills:

  • Cross-Cultural Adaptation
  • Intercultural judgment, decision-making
  • Cross-border negotiation
  • Strategic leadership effectiveness.

As these students prepare to transition into the workplace, each of their CQ capabilities will help them function effectively in the global work environment

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Complimentary Cultural Intelligence for Leaders Packet

Learn to Lead with Cultural Intelligence

Now, more than ever, companies needs effective leaders at all levels of the organization. Being able to bring together and get the best out of team members from different generations, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic roots, countries, religions and educational backgrounds requires a Culturally Intelligent Leader.

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About the Author

David Livermore, PhD (Michigan State University) is a social scientist devoted to the topics of cultural intelligence (CQ) and global leadership and the author of several award-winning books. Learn more about Dr. David Livermore by visiting his website.

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