The purpose of this mixed methods research study was to assess the impact and influence of a pre-international experience course on Arizona State University (ASU) students before they study or intern abroad. Currently, the study abroad pre-departure orientation for ASU participants consists of online modules and a two-hour face-to-face orientation. In this action research study, the practitioner-researcher re-designed an ASU School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS), one-credit course that focused exclusively on cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity. A needs assessment was distributed to a sample of 800 returning study abroad participants and was used to influence the study, along with an extensive literature review and two cycles of action research. The dissertation research and study was conducted during the ASU fall 2013 semester. Quantitative data and qualitative data were collected using eight different measures. To better understand the impact of a pre-international experience curriculum for ASU study abroad and international internship participants before they go abroad, this research study investigated the following research questions: (1) What cultural impact does a pre-international experience course have on students who complete the course before studying or interning abroad? (2) What specific cultural competencies are gained by the participants after participating in the pre-international experience course? (3) How has developing the curriculum, teaching the curriculum and implementing the innovation influenced and informed my practice as an international educator and the Assistant Director of the Arizona State Study Abroad Office? The following five assertions were identified within the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the collected data to answer the three research questions: (1) Students are more confident in their abilities to cross cultures after successfully completing taking the new course; (2) Students are more aware of other cultures and their own culture after successfully completing taking the new course; (3) Students gained important knowledge about understanding others' worldviews after successfully completing taking the new course; (4) Students gained general openness toward intercultural learning and to people from cultures different from their own after successfully completing the new course; (5) Developing and implementing a pre-international experience course changed me as a leader, instructor and researcher. Implications for future implementation and research are discussed.