Cross-cultural simulations are used in international education as a mechanism to prepare students for a study abroad experience. Some popular simulations are Barnga, Bafá Bafá and The Albatross. While studies have been done attempting to assess the usefulness of simulations within the classroom environment, little or no research has been done on the impact a cross-cultural simulation has on a U.S. students study abroad experience. This study examines the impact of a cross-cultural simulation, The Albatross, on students' behavior while participating in a three-month study abroad program in Cuenca, Ecuador. It also seeks to determine if the cross-cultural simulation supports students' understanding of cross-cultural encounters. Ten participants responded to a three-page questionnaire distributed after their return to the United States. The respondents were assessed based upon two models: the four factors of successful adjustment by Kenneth Cushner and Richard W. Brislin and the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity by Milton Bennett. They were also asked to identify situations in which they reflected upon the learnings of the cross-cultural simulation. The questionnaires were summarized and examined for commonalities. Due to the small number of respondents, the results were inconclusive. However, the data showed some support for cross-cultural simulations and as a result, recommendations are given that could potentially increase the usefulness of utilizing a cross-cultural simulation in preparing students for a study abroad experience.
Huber, Catherine A,, "Simulations : more than just a game?" (2002). Capstone Collection. 289.