Culture Quest. Educational Programs

About Culture Quest?

Culture Quest is a strong experiential learning opportunity for middle school students. This 3-hour educational visit to Hostelling International Chicago makes culture, the world, and its people tangible for students who are working towards gaining international-mindedness. At the hostel, students experience culture in a way that is not possible in their own classrooms.

Program Goals

Through engagement in the Culture Quest program, participants:

  • Become more open-minded, caring world citizens
  • Define and identify cultural norms and learn to respect cultural differences
  • Recognize value of learning outside of the classroom
  • Learn to successfully interact with people of differing backgrounds and cultures
  • Work well in a team

Cultural awareness workshop and a taste of travel

Hostel educators lead students through an engaging hour-long workshop to help students build awareness of issues of equality and coexistence, explore how they perceive and treat difference, experience interacting with members of a different culture, and reflect on their learning. Students learn about budget travel by touring HI-Chicago, one of the world’s best hostels. Students work together to cook a meal in the hostel’s shared kitchen and converse with travelers from around the world during the meal.


Michelle Aldridge
Education Coordinator

Powerful Outcomes

“Today we saw a hostel and different cultures of the world. I had no idea what people besides me and my surroundings looked like. I really learned a lot from this trip.”

Jacob P., Student, Oscar Mayer Elementary School

 “The Culture Quest program is an extremely valuable experience for our school’s 8th grade IB students. The students greatly benefit from explicit instruction regarding cultural norms and cultural differences, as well as from interaction with international travelers. As a result, our students are given a significant advantage over their peers in other Chicago schools in preparation for the diversity of cultures, languages, and experiences that will constitute today’s high school experience.”

Elizabeth Stock, IB Coordinator, Richard Edwards Elementary School