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Abstract

The dynamics of globalization mean we face a reality wherein leaders are called upon to communicate effectively in cultural situations unfamiliar to them. This situation brings new challenges for communication and leadership educators. Our article describes a cultural immersion experience called The Cagli Project, where communication and leadership students learn effective intercultural communication skills for leadership formation while studying in Italy. The philosophical and experiential aspects of the program are described along with leadership outcomes. The article ends with a discussion of the transferability of this model to alternative programs.

Perhaps nothing has had a more profound effect on human communication and hence leadership in the past half century than the movement of people around the globe and the growing diversity of world society. Globalization is the mantra that seems to be driving much that is new in higher education today. It has its roots in the “global economy” and seems most relevant to the business disciplines, but there is a sub-text to globalization that resonates throughout all our institutions, and that is diversity (Caputo, 2011).