For Instructors

7 Good Reasons to Join X-Culture:

  1. Enhance student learning
    Our research shows X-Culture improves cultural intelligence, international and virtual collaboration competencies, problem-solving skills, and interest in cross-cultural interactions.
  2. Improve your teaching evaluations
    Students recognize the value of X-Culture. We see a significant improvement in teaching evaluations on every dimension in treatment (X-Culture) vs. control (no X-Culture) condition.
  3. Research and publish
    X-Culture is a great research platform that provides high-quality multi-source multi-level longitudinal data.
  4. Expand your professional network
    Hundreds of established and rising-star International Business scholars and educators, as well as business professionals on the X-Culture team.
  5. Documented proof of your achievement
    Instructors whose students successfully complete the project receive X-Culture Global Educator certificates and support letters sent to the Deans/Department Heads (if requested). You do a great job; we make sure the world knows about it.
  6. X-Culture certificates for your students
    Students who successfully complete the project receive a Global Collaboration certificate, which tends to help when applying for a job or promotion!
  7. Change the face of International Business education
    Learning about International Business in the classroom is like learning to swim on a football field. The X-Culture team is developing new teaching methods for the new today. New global collaboration and education tools are introduced every day and we are putting them to good use in the classroom and workplace.

How X-Culture Works


In very simple terms:

  • You send us the names of your students.
  • We put them on global virtual teams, each of about 6 students, each from a different country.
  • Real businesses submit real international business challenges, and the students spend the semester working on those challenges.
  • We collect detailed performance data (peer evals, quality of their work) and you receive weekly progress and performance review on each of your students.
  • In the end, the students receive X-Culture Certificates, and many even get job offers from our partner companies.
  • We bring our best students for a face-to-face meeting at the X-Culture Symposium.
  • We also use the data for research and publishing.

More Details

  • X-Culture runs every semester. Each season has an “early” and a “late” track to accommodate academic calendar differences at different schools.
  • Two months before the season starts, X-Culture sends out a call for participants. Instructors interested in making X-Culture part of their IB course apply online.
  • Within a few days after applying, instructors receive a decision on their application. X-Culture is open to all qualified instructors/students, but the enrollment is competitive and not all applications are approved.
  • Successful applicants receive all materials several weeks prior to the start of the X-Culture project, including instructions and guidelines for students and instructors, training materials and other information.
  • Before the project start, instructors and students are required to review X-Culture training materials and take a readiness test. The test ensures that all participants are sufficiently familiar with how X-Culture works, the task the teams will be working on, deadlines, available communication tools, and other project-related issues. Most students pass the test, but a few fail and are asked to review the training materials more carefully and retake the test.
  • Students who successfully pass the readiness test are randomly assigned to global virtual teams (typically 7 students, all from different countries) and receive personal emails on the first day of the project with the names and contacts of their team members.
  • Students work in global virtual teams over a 2-month period. During this time, they have to meet weekly deadlines. Three days before each deadline, each student receives a personal email with a deadline reminder and a personalized link to an online progress report form. The information is aggregated and the instructors receive detailed weekly reports on the performance of each of their students. The students also receive weekly feedback, suggestions, and updates on how their teams are doing compared to other teams.
  • Although most of the coordination, communication, and performance monitoring are managed centrally by X-Culture, instructors regularly communicate with their students and provide coaching and guidance. Instructors normally devote at least a few minutes each lecture to discuss student progress, address concerns, and answer questions.
  • At the end of the project, student teams submit their international business proposals via Turnitin, an online platform that checks submissions for plagiarism. The students also complete an online post-project survey that include-peer evaluations.
  • Once received, the team reports are evaluated by the instructors using standardized rubrics. Normally, each instructor evaluates the reports from the teams that had his/her students in them. Since every student is on a different team, this means that normally instructors have to evaluate as many reports as there are students in his/her course and that each student report is independently evaluated by seven instructors.
  • The instructor evaluations of the team reports are then aggregated and used to select the best student teams.
  • All students receive X-Culture Global Collaboration Experience Certificates and the members of the best teams receive Best Team awards ($1,000 per team, contingent upon funding availability).
  • During the project, instructors receive rich multi-source longitudinal data on the performance of their students, including performance on the pre-project readiness test, ability to meet weekly deadlines, brief weekly and detailed post-project peer evaluations, and multi-dimensional evaluation of the quality of the team reports. Instructors are free to use this information as they see fit for determining their students’ course grades/marks.
  • At the end of each X-Culture season, instructors and students are invited to the X-Culture Symposium (e.g., the most recent X-Culture Symposium hosted by Mercedes-Benz). Subject to funding availability, members of the best student teams may receive travel stipends to attend the meeting.
  • The data collected by X-Culture are used to study global virtual teams, international collaboration, experiential learning, and related issues. Instructors have the opportunity to get involved as research collaborators and co-authors of the resulting scholarly publications.

As a result, instructors:

  • Provide a unique experiential learning opportunity for their students;
  • Improve their course evaluations;
  • Become part of a large international academic and research team;
  • Expand their personal and professional network;
  • Get to co-author scholarly articles and present their work at international conferences;
  • Make a meaningful contribution as educators and researchers, thereby making the world a better place.
  • Receive a certificate and, if requested, a support letter to the Dean/Dept. Head commenting on the instructor’s contribution and achievement.

What to Expect:

  • Profit-free, but not a free ride: X-Culture is a not-for-profit project … but it’s not a free ride. The project runs on the effort and time of our team members – your time and effort.  You probably won’t have to spend much more time than what you spend on “domestic” team projects in your courses, but the quality and reliability demands of X-Culture are much higher. Skipping your chores is not an option – too many people depend on you. So get ready to get busy.
  • Doing more with less: X-Culture is loved and praised by the academic and business communities, but we are yet to raise any noticeable funds. To remain effective with limited resources, we rely on efficiency. Much thought is put into optimizing interactions, coordination, and information management within our Team to reduce the transaction cost – and it works! That means, get ready for very detailed and demanding guidelines for most of your steps.  All participants must submit the requested materials on time, using the right templates, and always read the instructions first. Every time you slack or don’t follow the template, somebody has to fix it, and we don’t have that somebody to fix it for you.
  • Evolving and deliberately loose rules: Most of the time though our rules are deliberately loose. What we do is very new and we simply don’t know the best way to do it yet. Therefore, we keep our policies flexible and minds open. If you see a better way to do things, share your insights. X-Culture is very much a work in progress and we could use good advice.
  • Collegiality is the key: Collaboration and interdependency, limited resources, and changing environment – add to that dozens of papers in development that can make or break somebody’s career and you got yourself into a high-stakes game with a lot to lose and gain. Collegiality is how we keep it conflict-free, fair, and enjoyable for everyone.
  • Frustrating at times, always rewarding in the end: And no matter how well it goes, there will be times when you will be overwhelmed and frustrated; there will be times when you may regret you got involved. But somehow, in the end, you will be happy you did.

Participation Fee

X-Culture is a not-for-profit project.
We charge only a participation fee to cover our basic administrative expenses.


Sponsor University


$250 per university, up to 50 students ($350 if more than 50 students)

  • If the professor/university cannot pay the full fee, the professor can apply for a partial or full participation fee waiver (pay only $100 or $0).
  • The waivers are available for professors/universities from “developing” countries, professors who receive no support from their universities, and must pay using their own funds, or from countries where banking regulations do not permit payments overseas.

up to $1,000

  • If your university can support X-Culture at a higher level, we welcome sponsorship of up to $1,000 per university per semester.
  • In exchange, we will fully acknowledge the sponsoring institution, share information about the university programs on the X-Culture website, and assign a teaching assignment to the professor to help with evaluating reports and managing the class otherwise.

$15 per student

  • Starting this semester, professors can choose to assign the payment to their students.
  • In this case, instead of the university/professor paying $250 for the entire class, each student pays $15 directly to X-Culture.

Now accepting applications for


January 22 – March 10, 2024

Application deadline:
January 10


March 4 – April 28, 2024

Application deadline:
February 25


August 26 – October 13, 2024

Application deadline:

August 25, 2024


October 1 – November 17, 2024

Application deadline:

September 23, 2024