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Intercultural Scavenger Hunt

Intercultural Scavenger Hunt

Tool Objectives:

  1. To jumpstart the cultural integration process by building confidence in navigating the local community.
  2. To develop intercultural communication skills and recognize personal barriers to rewarding intercultural encounters.
  3. To foster among your cohorts an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement toward intercultural learning and engagement.

Tool Description:

The scavenger hunt is an experiential learning opportunity that is ideally facilitated as part of an arrival orientation. Working in small groups, students must engage the local community in an attempt to learn about the host culture and its social organization. Students are assigned five tasks, which they must complete in a high-paced, competitive environment. In doing so, students must use the local language (as needed) and rely on shared knowledge of the local community and expanded approaches to information gathering. Group experiences are subsequently shared in a “Show-n-Tell” presentation format.

Tool Procedures:

  1. Form groups of 3-5 students, depending on class size. Explain the rules of the scavenger hunt and the geographic parameters for the local site.  Each group should draw at random a scavenger hunt focus area (see Appendix 4). Brainstorm culturally appropriate ways to gather assigned information. If students will be using local transportation, it may be necessary to review emergency protocols.
  2. Allow students approximately 3 hours to complete the tasks. Information must be gathered from primary sources, such as through interviews, observations, documents (i.e., newspapers, flyers, etc).  Internet use should be discouraged.  Establish a time and location for all groups to rendezvous.
  3. Allow groups approximately 45-60 minutes to prepare a show-n-tell presentation, and up to 10-15 minutes for each group presentation.  The presentations should include an initial response to each of the five tasks as assigned followed by a brief presentation of something that the group found interesting, puzzling, confusing, or an otherwise significant occurrence during the scavenger hunt. The presentations can be delivered in the form of a narrative, a skit, a slideshow, etc. Allow time for discussion of each presentation.
  4. After the presentations, facilitate a discussion of the scavenger hunt, giving particular attention to when students relied on preexisting ideas about the local community rather than on what they learned during the scavenger hunt. Discuss what students learned and how this knowledge can better inform their experiences in the local community. Discuss potential barriers to intercultural learning (i.e., time, language, gender role expectations, etc.).

Tool Evaluation:

Grading is unnecessary. It may work best as a group-oriented, competitive activity facilitated as part of an arrival orientation. Each of the five tasks could be allotted up to two points with two bonus points for outstanding show-n-tell presentations, for a maximum total of 12pts. The group with the highest number of points wins. If appropriate, a prize or special privileges could be awarded to the winning group. For more fun, award an honorable mention prize for a particularly creative approach taken during the scavenger hunt.

Tool Time Requirement:

Half-day minimum, but preferably three hours for the scavenger hunt and 1-2 hours for presentations, discussion and awards (in-country)

Tool Author(s):

Adapted by L. Usher and A. Ogden, 2009 from Peace Corps training materials.

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
Intercultural Scavenger Hunt Handout

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.