This paper provides an insightful perspective to the common problem facing many global leadership educators across the U.S.: helping students understand “global leadership” while they sit in U.S. classrooms. The instructor of an undergraduate leadership course addressed this problem by recreating for U.S. students in local “cultural groups” a “culture shock” similar to that experienced by expatriates in foreign cultures. The culture shock experience is important for cross-cultural leadership development because culture shock produces challenges of uncertainty, anxiety and stress similar to those challenges needed to be overcome by an effective cross-cultural leader. The author discusses course structure and design (i.e. experiential-reflection project utilizing participant observation to write multi-stage report) along with student feedback, illustrating that teaching global, cross-cultural leadership can start in one’s backyard.

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