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Abstract

Due to a shifting global environment and unique personal circumstances, traditional in-person learning experiences that foster cross-cultural interactions and learning, including study abroad programs, have become unavailable to many. In light of this issue, we investigated how a virtual cross-cultural course, such as Global Social Justice in Education (GSJE), could allow undergraduate and graduate students to explore their cultural identities and enhance their intercultural sensitivity. Data for this study was collected via three distinct GSJE reflections completed by a single cohort of 11 Purdue graduate and undergraduate students who interacted with international participants. Purdue participant reflections were analyzed and coded for descriptors using an emergent identity framework created for this study. Textual evidence was then gathered from participant reflections and was used to inform which cultural identities participants reflected on most often in the context of GSJE and how exploration of cultural identities enabled participants to develop their intercultural sensitivity. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that GSJE enabled undergraduate and graduate students to draw personal connections between themselves and diverse others, address personal bias, and gain awareness of diverse perspectives.

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