Leading with Cultural Intelligence

 Faculty Led
  • Arnhem, Netherlands
Apply Now! Contact an Advisor

Leading with cultural intelligence is a skill-set essential to any 21st century career.  This program blends two weeks of online learning with a four-day, face-to-face component in the Netherlands at HAN University of Applied Sciences. Using immersive and experiential learning techniques, you will engage with UAlbany and local university students to bridge cultural understanding, develop your global network, hone your intercultural leadership skills, and develop innovative solutions to complex social challenges. Situated in the east of the Netherlands, HAN University of Applied Sciences has two distinct campuses (Arnhem and Nijmegen) about an hour drive from Amsterdam. The Netherlands offers a vibrant cultural laboratory in which to develop leadership skills in an international context.
Program specific scholarships available! More information in our Scholarships Section : Diversity Scholarship for Global Leadership Experience in the Netherlands (March 2019)

Application Deadline


Program Start


Program End


Partner University

HAN University of Applied Sciences


  • Arnhem

Program Term

  • Spring Break

Language of Instruction


Faculty Led


Program Details

Academic Program

This education abroad experience blends two-weeks of online learning with a one-week face-to-face experience in the Netherlands.  Students from UAlbany, from any academic discipline, have an opportunity to work with a cohort of students from the host university partner in the Netherlands (HAN) in an effort to advance learning and to contribute local knowledge to bridge cultural understanding.

A Cultural Intelligence (CQ) online module is utilized to provide a deeper awareness of CQ and its relevance for modern leadership, as well as provides you with the opportunity to reflect on and uncover the cultural influences that make you think and act the way you do.  The online curriculum combines new methods of content delivery and interactive learning using visual media, articles, facilitated discussions, leadership exercises and anecdotes to facilitate structured reflection and group engagement.

Emphasis will be on development of leadership skills in an international context, diversity, innovation with regard to social change, and the development of collaborative relationships.  Your application of foundational knowledge and integrated learning is demonstrated in written assignments, oral presentations, and performance.

*Program is subject to minimum enrollment.  

Learning Objectives

This course will introduce you to the leadership pedagogy of cultural intelligence. Using immersive and experiential learning techniques, you will develop: 

  • Cultural intelligence (ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures)
  • Leadership skills required to lead in situations where you have no formal authority
  • Networks, locally and globally, with fellow students, contributors and regional employers 
  • Skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues

Course Syllabus

Please refer to the Spring Break 2019 Course Syllabus for additional course information.

Course Format

The two weeks prior to travel involve online experiences that include an introduction and orientation to the course, preparation for being abroad, and expectations.  You are required to read materials and participate in online review and discussion sessions.  In addition, you will submit a Leadership Self-Reflection Paper.

The overseas portion of the course involves face-to-face experiential learning in the Netherlands (further details below).  Over seven days, working with UAlbany staff and local students as guides, you are immersed in the multifaceted reality of the Netherlands.  This provides you with the opportunity to develop cultural intelligence and reflect deeply on your own leadership styles.  Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. with all meals shared together. During this week abroad, you are introduced to InnoVenture, a technique that asks you to explore a challenge and provides a framework for your leadership learning. You are immersed into the culture through a series of visits to organizations representing different sectors. In addition, you will explore the challenge and practice the leadership skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues. You are also encouraged to explore the culture of the host organizations, and reflect on what you are learning about yourself and the way you operate in unfamiliar environments. 

The last week of the course, the week following travel to the Netherlands, involves online experiences that include debriefing sessions with group discussions and requires final submission of the Leadership Profile Project. 

Course Timing

On-Site in the Netherlands

Over the course of the week, working with UAlbany staff and local students as guides, you are immersed in the multifaceted reality of your new country.  This provides you with the opportunity to develop cultural intelligence and reflect deeply on your own leadership styles.  Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. with all meals shared together.

Day 1: Arrive to the Netherlands and get acclimated to the environment together. 

Day 2 and 3: Through a series of highly participatory sessions, you will reflect deeply on your strengths, blind spots, and how to develop as a leader.  You will be introduced to InnoVenture, a technique that asks you to explore a challenge (such as, “what makes a city resilient?), and provides a framework for leadership learning. You will be immersed into your new city through a series of visits to organizations representing different sectors. You will explore the challenge and practice the leadership skills required to quickly understand and address complex issues. You are also encouraged to explore the culture of the host organizations, and reflect on what you are learning and the way you operate in unfamiliar environments. 

Day 4: You will continue to connect with senior leaders during further immersion visits and organizations across the city.  You are encouraged to consider your own default positions and challenge yourself to operate in different ways.  In groups, you will begin to innovate potential solutions to the challenge. At this point, you will be joined by mentors and external consultants who provide a further opportunity to observe and reflect on different leadership styles, different approaches to problem solving, and different ways to work with diverse groups.

Day 5: You will receive a masterclass on pitching in preparation for your final group presentation, which is delivered to a panel of experts and city leaders.  You will present your project ideas, as well as your external perspectives on the city and the challenge. You will receive immediate feedback on your idea, your group presentation, and how you have worked as a collective group.  After the pitch, you will reflect on the leadership skills and cultural intelligence you have developed, and how you can use these to create change at the University at Albany, in your communities, and in your future careers.

Day 6: You will complete a qualitative and quantitative evaluation using methodology built on the Kirkpatrick Model and focuses on your behavior change after the program and will be repeated three months later to evaluate how that change created an impact in your organizations, cities, and communities. You will have meals together and will participate in a group excursion/activity.  Group Leadership presentation will be due.

Day 7:  You will return home. The remainder of the class will involve online learning.

Course Credit

This program counts as a 1-credit course. The course is equivalent to EAPS 487 (EAPS 687 for graduate students) – Institute in Higher Education: Leading with Cultural Intelligence.

General Education Information for UAlbany Students

Credits earned on this program will automatically satisfy the International Perspectives requirement. No additional approval is required for you to earn these general elective credits.

Major/Minor Information for UAlbany Students

Courses may also satisfy major and minor requirements, upon approval by the department.


All courses taken abroad count towards UAlbany General Elective credits. Credits and grades will appear on your UAlbany transcript. You may file a request to have additional courses approved for equivalency as necessary. NOTE: This course is S/U graded (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).

This course is taught by Professor Martha Asselin. Dr. Asselin is the Director of UAlbany’s Center for Leadership and Service, with more than 30 years of professional experience in higher education.  She is also a visiting professor for the Educational Policy and Leadership program.  Dr. Asselin is the instructor for this course.


You will reside near the HAN University campus.  More information on the accommodations will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.


Most meals in the Netherlands, except snacks, are included as part of the program. More information on meals will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.

Spring Break 2019

Estimate of Costs

Netherlands: (Faculty Led) Leading with Cultural Intelligence Estimate of Costs 2019

More Information

Program specific scholarships available! More information in our Scholarships Section : Diversity Scholarship for Global Leadership Experience in the Netherlands (March 2019)

Click for more information on Program Costs and Financial Aid.

Remember to speak with the Office of Financial Aid at your home campus to determine how your aid package could apply towards your program abroad.

Academic Requirements

The program is open to all students in good academic standing. Students with a major or interest in Business, Cultural and Area Studies, Education, International Business, Leadership, Public Policy, and/or Social Welfare will find the course of particular interest.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning plays a critical role in your program experience. Both the overall program and individual courses include a number of cultural and historical excursions* to important and influential sites. As part of the course, you will participate in local business and non-profit site visits, as well as cultural excursions.  

*Excursions are a mandatory part of the program and specific destinations vary by program and availability.

**Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Funding Opportunities

Diversity Scholarship for Global Leadership Experience in the Netherlands (March 2019)

The Center for Leadership and Service has been awarded a one-time grant of $5000 to support our institutional commitment to expanding the diversity of students who participate in the Global Leadership Experience (a short-term, educational abroad experience) that will be held during spring break (March 15 – 26, 2019) in Netherlands. Specifically, this funding is to support students who have been traditionally underrepresented in experiences related to study abroad (such as first generation college students, students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, students with disabilities, first time to study abroad, etc…).


To be considered for the Diversity Scholarship, student must:

  • Submit a completed application for the educational abroad experience by November 12, 2018.
  • Be from a traditionally underrepresented study abroad group.
  • Be a degree seeking student at the University at Albany in good standing.
  • Attend and participate in the program in Netherlands, March 15 – 26, 2019. Should a selected recipient withdraw from the program before departure, they will not receive the scholarship funds.
  • Submit a 250 word essay following the guidelines below to: Dr. Martha Asselin at masselin@albany.edu by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 12, 2018
Essay Guidelines
  • Submit a 250 word essay that answers the question: “How do you envision this experience broadening your personal, academic and career goals?” Please limit your essay to 250 words, double-spaced with 12 point font.
  • The essay should include:
  • Information about the underrepresented group/s to which you identify with along with your 1) full name, 2) UAlbany ID number, 3) UAlbany email address, 4) major and class year.
  • Please feel free to include anything else you believe will make your essay stronger.
  • Submit the essay electronically to: Dr. Martha Asselin, masselin@albany.edu, before 5 p.m. on November 12, 2018

External scholarships, listed on our website, are a good way to partially fund your study abroad experience. In addition, the Center for International Education and Global Strategy offers two scholarship programs for UAlbany students studying abroad on UAlbany or 4-year SUNY programs.

More information on applying to these scholarships is located on the Scholarships web page.

In Their Own Words

“It has been eye opening to witness the process that is this program and experience the outcome. I would do this 10 more times and I am sure, I will learn something new every time.“

Cheryl, Education, University at Albany

“I loved this program so much! I’m thankful for this opportunity to connect with a diverse group of people and great leaders. I hope there will be more sessions like this that can be available for more and more students to educate everyone.”

Rica, Heriot-Watt University

“This program was a confidence boost and such a unique way to validate me in the sense that my leadership confidence teeters because they are so centralized in small communities, but seeing myself apply all of that knowledge and experience and have it be well received was amazing. The variety in simulations, group dynamics and overall thoughtfulness of the program is much appreciated. You should be so proud of your work! I am honored to participate.

Vianne, Political Science, University at Albany

“It has been a life changing experience! I am honestly a changed person, and feel so much better about myself after the program. The speakers and the team was brilliant.”

Edel, Heriot-Watt University

“I am so surprised at how much this course has affected me. I have loved every single day – every day has been a new challenge, a new reflection, I’ve deepened another skill and the people I have met have also taught me so much about the world and myself. After taking this course I feel more confident that I can be a leader and I can use constructive criticism to better myself. I’m sad the week is over but can’t wait to take what I have learned and put it into action.”

Katie, Heriot-Watt University

Program Advisor

Stokes, Jay


About the City

HAN University of Applied Sciences has campuses in Arnhem and in Nijmegen. Both cities are situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands, close to the German border. The area has excellent rail and road connections to anywhere you might like to travel in the Netherlands or other European countries.


Arnhem is the capital city of the province of Gelderland and has a rich and eventful history. It has a great shopping area, especially for fashion lovers. The ‘Korenmarkt’ and ‘Jansplein’ are 2 popular market squares packed with pubs, cafes and restaurants.

But Arnhem is not just for city dwellers. It is very green with lots of parks and gardens. In fact, HAN’s Arnhem campus is located in the middle of a park. The city is also in close proximity to the spectacular green surroundings of Veluwe national park.


The lovely university town of Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. Nijmegen has everything a student could wish for: museums, theatres, excellent sports facilities, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Nijmegen is surrounded by forests with excellent hiking and bicycle trails. The city is famous for its Four Days Marches, where people from all over the world walk together for 4 consecutive days. The walking event takes place each July.

Check out this video about Nijmegen!

The Netherlands

Commonly referred to as Holland, the Netherlands is a small country with 12 provinces, bordered by Belgium and Germany. In the low-lying country of the Netherlands, the Dutch are most well known for windmills, clogs, tulips, bicycles and their unique political and social tolerance. Visitors to the Netherlands can anticipate an annual visit from Sinterklass (Saint Nicholas) in December and celebrate Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) every April with a citywide festival in Amsterdam. The Netherlands is also home to several National Parks that are available for recreational purposes, as well as nature and environmental education, nature-oriented recreation and research.

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required to participate in this program.  If you are a permanent resident or international student, a visa may be required. More information regarding the visa application process is available upon acceptance to the program.

Application Availability

Applications become available online one semester before the program start date, based on the following timeline:

  • Spring Break programs: July

Spring Break 2019

Program Dates

03/16/2019 to 03/24/2019

Program Schedule

Three-week Blended Course

This program includes three weeks of blended coursework that takes place before and after the on-site portion of the program in the Netherlands.

On-site in the Netherlands

March 15/16: Depart the U.S.

March 16/17: Arrive in the Netherlands

March 18-21*: Onsite Experience in the Netherlands

March 23: Depart for the U.S. (overnight flight back to the U.S)

March 24: Arrive in the U.S.

Please refer to the 2018 Program Schedule. The 2019 schedule is forthcoming.

*Schedule is tentative and subject to change

Flight Information

Optional Group Flight

You may elect to participate in an optional group flight, departing from either Albany, John F. Kennedy airport (in New York City) or Newark International airport (in New Jersey). A UAlbany staff member will accompany the group flight and coordinate taking you to your housing. More information regarding the group flight is available upon acceptance.

Independent Flight Arrangements

If you are making your own flight arrangements, be sure to contact UAlbany before you leave to let us know whether you plan to meet the group at the airport in the Netherlands or go directly to your housing on your own and at your own expense. If you do not take the group flight, you will NOT be met at the airport in the Netherlands and must make your own arrangements (at your own expense) to meet up with the group. You should plan to be in the Netherlands on the date the group flight arrives. This is considered the beginning date of the program, and orientation will begin that day. If you are traveling beforehand, be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the Netherlands by the arrival date. You are expected to remain in the Netherlands and participate fully in the program each day; early departures not permitted. 

About the Program

UAlbany has partnered with Common Purpose to create a leadership experience in the Netherlands to complement the EAPS 487 – Institute in Higher Education: Leading with Cultural Intelligence course. Common Purposes is a not-for-profit leadership development organization that specializes in cross boundary leadership.

Your journey begins online with preparatory coursework, where you are introduced to the leadership pedagogy of Cultural Intelligence (CQ).  As you get to know the other students in your class, you will develop ways of working that enable you to maximize the week-long, face-to-face experience in the Netherlands.  The course finishes back at UAlbany, both in-person and online, to complete the objectives of the course.

Throughout the stages of the experience, you will work towards the following learning outcomes:

  • Developing Cultural Intelligence
  • Expanding leadership skills in an international context
  • Broadening networks
  • Exploring Innovative solutions to complex problems

While in the Netherlands, working with local students as guides, you will be immersed in the multifaceted reality of your host city, giving you the opportunity to develop Cultural Intelligence and reflect on both yourself and your leadership.  During the program you will learn from senior leaders from various organizations.

Program Orientations

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation. During this time, you will have the opportunity to meet other program participants, discuss in-depth the details of your program, and prepare of the overall education abroad experience.

Upon arrival in the Netherlands, you will attend a mandatory program orientation.  This is an important and informative set of sessions organized by the Faculty Leader and Common Purposes. 

The information at these sessions includes:

  • A familiarization tour
  • Information outlining life in the Netherlands, including cultural difference, and safety information
  • An introduction to academic expectations
  • A welcome meal — this is a great opportunity to meet with other students on the program

Support Services

Your Faculty Leader is responsible for guiding all aspects of the program and will be available throughout the on-site portion of the course to manage  any concerns or questions you may have while abroad. The faculty accompany you on all program activities and outings.

UAlbany’s Office of Education Abroad staff assists you during the application process, in your preparation to travel abroad, and on-site if necessary.