What is Your Cultural Intelligence? Youth Study Measures How to Be Successful in Today's Globalized World

People to People Ambassador Programs Partners with the Cultural Intelligence Center; Pilot Study Confirms Educational Travel Program Structured to Enhance Student's Cultural Intelligence

Sep 27, 2010, 07:00 ET from People to People Ambassador Programs

SPOKANE, Wash., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- People to People Ambassador Programs, the leader in global educational travel experiences, today announced the results of a pilot study conducted with The Cultural Intelligence Center of East Lansing, Michigan. The pilot study measured the Cultural Intelligence (CQ) of Virginia high school students that traveled internationally with People to People Student Ambassador Programs to discover the impact the program had on the students' individual CQ – a research based, proven way to measure and develop the ability to adapt to a variety of cultural situations.

CQ is similar to IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) in that it quantifies a set of capabilities believed to be important to both personal and professional success. It is unique in that it focuses specifically on the skills needed for success in unfamiliar cultures.

"Cultural understanding and engagement have always been core values in how we structure our educational travel programs, in fact long before CQ became a recognized concept," said Peg Thomas, president of People to People Ambassador Programs. "But this study helped confirm the cultural immersion benefits and opportunities we offer with our programs. Additionally, we are thrilled to confirm via the research findings that our inspirational teachers who lead our travel experiences are big drivers for both enhancing and improving a student's CQ."

Using the CQ Self-Assessment, the only academically tested CQ assessment in the world, students measured their CQ before and after traveling abroad on a People to People experience. CQ is measured in four areas: Drive – What's my interest in this cross-cultural assignment?; Knowledge – What cultural information is needed to fulfill this task?; Strategy – What's my plan?; and Action – What behaviors do I need to adopt to do this effectively?

Key findings from the pilot study concluded that students had significant enhancement in their CQ after traveling abroad with People to People, saw comprehensive CQ enhancement across all four areas: Drive, Knowledge, Strategy, Action and that the People to People program had the highest impact on Action, the most difficult of the four CQ areas to increase.  

"It's not a foregone conclusion that students who travel abroad see an increase in CQ," said David Livermore, PhD, author of Leading with Cultural Intelligence and senior research consultant with the Cultural Intelligence Center. "The big difference is that People to People intentionally structures its programs to enhance CQ. In fact, we have found that many of the most well intentioned service-based mission trips and family travel experiences do not impact or increase CQ."

People to People Ambassador Programs travel to more than 49 countries on all seven continents and program participants come from over 100 nations. The organization trains more than 5,000 teachers each year who lead students on educational travel experiences, and 84 percent of students who have traveled on a People to People program report being accepted into their college of choice.

"The next generation of leaders needs to start working now on their CQ," said Cynthia Beath, professor emerita, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin.

Along with People to People Ambassador Programs, there are a number of companies, government agencies and nonprofits tapping into the benefits associated with CQ, including Bank of America, IBM, U.S. Department of Justice, Georgetown, Stanford, the Red Cross and World Vision.  

About the Cultural Intelligence Center

The Cultural Intelligence Center (CQC) is a private business dedicated to improving the understanding of Cultural Intelligence (CQ). The center offers the first academically validated instrument to measure cultural intelligence. The center also sponsors research, conducts training, and presents workshops and information sessions on CQ to audiences around the world.

About People to People Ambassador Programs

People to People Ambassador Programs is the world's most recognized and respected educational travel provider. Since 1963 more than 400,000 people from around the world have traveled with People to People Ambassador Programs to help further global understanding through cross-cultural exchange. Offering unmatched safety measures and unparalleled access to foreign cultures and countries, People to People Ambassador Programs promotes personal success in a globalized world and fosters international friendships for both students and professional adults.

People to People Ambassador Programs is the exclusive educational travel provider of People to People International (PTPI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote peace through understanding worldwide. Together, PTPI and People to People Ambassador Programs are united in a mission to bridge cultural and political borders through education and exchange. For more information, please visit www.peopletopeople.com.  

About Ambassadors Group

Ambassadors Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPAX) is a socially conscious, education company headquartered in Spokane, Wash. Ambassadors Group is the parent company of Ambassador Programs Inc. (which administrates People to People Ambassador Programs), World Adventures Unlimited, and BookRags, an educational research website. The company also oversees the Washington School of World Studies, an accredited travel study and distance learning school. Additional information about Ambassadors Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.ambassadorsgroup.com.

SOURCE People to People Ambassador Programs