Cultura makes use of online communication to help develop students’ intercultural competence. Typically based in a language class, a Cultura exchange involves two groups of students from two different cultures who participate in online discussion forums and compare similar materials from their respective cultures. First created in 1997 as an exchange between American and French students within a French language class at MIT, it has been adapted by other schools in other languages, connecting students in the US with students in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, China, Japan, and other countries.
Cultura has received support and funding from the Consortium for Language Learning, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the French Initiatives Endowment Funds, and Global Studies and Languages at MIT.
It was awarded a Special Recognition award from the American Council on Education for its "Innovative Use of Technology to Promote Internationalization" in 2010.