Cultural Kitchen

Cultural Kitchen is a meaningful educational program that empowers young people to explore the world around them. Through the program's engaging, standards-based curriculum, youth learn about hostelling, the culture of a country of their choice, work together to cook a meal from that country to share with people from around the world, and have the opportunity to present their learning to an international audience.

As one participant describes Cultural Kitchen's outcomes:

"Cultural understanding is a benefit because with it there will be less prejudice towards people who have different cultures. I know this because my Cultural Kitchen program taught me to accept new people, cultures, and experiences throughout my life. Learning about other cultures and learning to welcome new things is essential in today's world."

Ian, 17-years-old
Chicago, IL

To learn more about opportunities near you or your destination, please complete the form below:

CK Form

Support Cultural Kitchen

Cultural Kitchen gives participants the skills to travel through their lives and our world. Can you help Hostelling International USA provide more educational opportunities for young people? Please consider helping with a donation or by becoming a volunteer.


Cultural Kitchen in the Eyes of the Participants!

Your support of Cultural Kitchen and all of HI-USA’s programs will help us fulfill our mission to help all - especially the young - gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling. Please contribute now!



From the Participants



This experience was totally awesome because it opened my mind. I did not know people from other countries because around my neighborhood are just black and Mexican people. So this was an opportunity for me to meet different people. I learned that we are our own person so I love it here.
- Donbrell H., 15

This trip educated me so much in the sense that I have never been so open-minded. From what I’ve learned, the world’s cultures seem so exciting, and I want to learn much more. Overall, this trip has changed my want to travel from “OK, I’ll go sooner or later” to “Let’s go!”
- Roderick W., 16

I learned a lot from the travelers. They taught me to respect other people’s cultures. I am so happy to finally see something new instead of being in the hood all my life. Hostels rock!
- Toni W., 15

Visiting the Chicago hostel has been one of the best experiences I have had that has made me realize the variety of cultures that exist in this world. Learning about so many of the world travelers allowed me to see myself in their shoes. I would like to one day visit many countries just as they do. Having an understanding of many cultures will help make me a better person and shape the rest of life.
- Erik, 17

Cultural Kitchen Mini Quiz!

Can you beat the teenagers in our program? Answer these true-or-false questions about hands and fingers in other cultures:

  1. An Ethiopian puts one finger to her or his lips to show silence when motioning to a child, but uses four fingers when motioning silence to an adult.
  2. In Thailand and Cambodia, touching a child on the top of the head is said to bring misfortune.
  3. In Egypt, pointing with one finger is considered rude.
  4. In Singapore standing with your hands on your hips is considered an aggressive gesture.

ANSWER: All true! How did you do?