Cultural Hunt

Task Objectives & Cultural Engagement Targets: 

  1. To promote interaction with the local community (Cultural engagement; Knowledge of the host site)
  2. To develop intercultural communication skills and to recognize personal barriers to rewarding intercultural engagement (Tolerance of ambiguity)
  3. To foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement toward intercultural learning and engagement (Diversity openness)

Task Description: 

Working in small groups, students interact with the local community in an attempt to obtain specific information relevant to course content. Students are assigned search tasks, which they must complete by interacting with the local community. Group experiences are shared at a debriefing session.  Depending on the nature of the course, this activity may be carried out multiple times during the study abroad program.

Recommended Procedures: 

  1. Preparing for the challenge.  Working in small groups, students draw at random a search task (for instance, “Interview a healthcare provider in neighborhood X  and find out the top three public health issues confronting his/her community” or “Visit the Hermitage Museum, identify three 19th Century works of art that utilize a complimentary color scheme, and obtain artist information from one of the museum guides“) and brainstorm culturally appropriate ways to gather assigned information.  Note:  Depending on the nature of the course and the conditions at the host site, teachers may want to add a competitive dimension to this task.
  2. The hunt.  Students are given a time limit, along with the parameters of the task (specifically, what evidence do they need to provide of their successful completion of the task:  photographs, interviews, specific objects, etc.)
  3. Debriefing.  Students share the results of their findings with the rest of the group, discuss what they learned from the experience at multiple levels (personal, professional, etc.), and reflect on how this experience can further their mastery of course content. To enhance the global engagement potential of this activity, encourage students to discuss the challenges to intercultural learning that they encountered during the completion of the task (i.e., time, language, gender role expectations, etc.), and how they were able to overcome those challenges (or why not).
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