Publication Date

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Sharon Glazer


cross-cultural competence, international, study abroad, virtual teams

Subject Areas



A program-long, longitudinal, self-report study was conducted to assess the benefits and effects of student engagement in a five-week virtual team project, called the Virtually Abroad Program (VAP). The VAP required two or three students from each country to work together as a team on a course project. Students completed questionnaires at the start (Time 1) and end (Time 2) of the project. Study variables included culture-general knowledge, culture-specific knowledge, openness to new cultural experiences, and overall program evaluation. From Time 1 to Time 2, both types of knowledge increased significantly for the U.S. sample but not for the sample from Spain. Findings also revealed that controlling for country, a high self-reported score on culture-general knowledge at Time 1 and an increase in culture-general knowledge each positively related to an overall positive evaluation of the program, which was assessed at Time 2. Openness to new cultural experiences positively related to overall program evaluation too. Analyses failed to show support for openness to new experiences as a moderator of the relationships between culture-general knowledge at Time 1 and Time 2 nor culture-specific knowledge at Time 1 and Time 2. Results from this study suggest that a VAP has utility and benefits for Organizational Psychology and Human Resources professionals.