Those who work in adolescent short-term cross-cultural organizations agree that group leaders perform a valuable role in helping participants gain as much as they can during their time abroad. While there is much written about the role of leadership in adult based long-term international and cross-cultural programs, there appears to be little that focuses on the role of leadership in short-term international and cross-cultural programs for high school students. This paper explores the competencies of leaders for one such program, The Experiment in International Living. The introduction discusses the author's interest in the topic and its relevancy. The following literature review examines existing leadership research in the social sciences and international educational field. The author then discusses the methods and analysis of his own qualitative research. He concludes that Experiment in International Living group leaders do need to possess many of the same competencies and skills as successful organizational leaders and intercultural trainers of longer-term adult based international programs. This research can shed insight into the competencies and skills needed for effective leadership in short-term high school cross-cultural programs, help similar organizations better prepare leaders and participants and provide knowledge and perspective to the broader international education field.