The purpose of this study was to identify the most salient components to be included in an international leadership experience. A three round Delphi procedure was used to solicit expert opinions concerning the aspects needed to provide an effective international leadership experience. Results revealed a variety of important components that broke down into two categories: knowledge gained and concrete experiences. Specifically, the five highest rated knowledge components were: respect for other cultures; effective global interaction; critical thinking about leadership models students embrace; recognition of the interconnection between different contexts and an acquaintance with local indigenous people. The top five concrete experiences were: multicultural experiences focusing on local values; interaction with local students; frequent debriefing, personal logging and self-reflection through the process; incorporation of three learning stages – prework, experience, postwork – within the overall experience and a gamut of specific encounters with what is working in the local society and what is not. Educators may consider these expert suggestions when developing curriculum or coursework for international experiences focused in leadership, whether for traditional students, non-traditional students or Extension agents. Ideally, incorporation of these factors into leadership programs will encourage the development of more globally minded leaders.
Keywords: international experience, Delphi, leadership, concrete experience, curriculum development, global mindedness