Intercultural Competency

We believe that intercultural communication and understanding are essential for professionals pursuing careers around the globe.  

Expand Your Intercultural Competency

The process of developing intercultural competency (ICC) is a lifelong process of learning about oneself, other cultures, and most importantly our reactions to situations that are unfamiliar. Through the ICC courses offered at the Monterey Institute, students have the opportunity to expand their intercultural knowledge and skills.

Intercultural Competency Courses

Intercultural Competence courses are generally taught in English but provide speakers of all languages with skills for bridging linguistic and cultural differences.

Below are descriptions of some Intercultural Competency courses currently available.

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ICCO 8513 - Intro InterculturalCommunicatn      

This course introduces the basic concepts and theories of intercultural communication using a fresh and practical approach. Students are encouraged to examine and analyze the driving forces behind both the purposes and means of communication in intercultural settings. They are expected to find the relationships between the actors of communication and the media in which the communication and interaction among the actors take place. They are also required to study and demonstrate the types and functions of various modes of communication. Students will be asked to understand and display basic skills in interpersonal communication and leadership.

Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 8560 - Dvlp Intrcultrl TrainingInOrgs      

Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 8570 - Comm in Multicultural Settings      

This course examines the social, cultural and linguistic factors that play a role in how intercultural communication is accomplished in multilingual/ multicultural settings and will enable students to gain the knowledge and tools needed for effective participation in multilingual/multicultural communication. The course is designed for students in all programs (T&I, business, policy, and TESOL/TFL), who will find themselves interacting with people across varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds .

The goals of this course are to:

(1) gain the knowledge needed to understand and interact effectively in multilingual/multicultural settings. This includes knowledge about social, cultural, and linguistic factors in terms of how they interact with each other and how they affect and are affected by interactions in multilingual/multicultural settings;

(2) develop an understanding of the roles linguistic and cultural attitudes play in interactions across multilingual and multicultural settings and how they influence the success of such interactions;

(3) develop the awareness needed to successfully participate in multilingual/multicultural interactions. This addresses not only the knowledge and attitudes discussed above but also how communication/interaction is structured across cultures and languages, how communication is monitored while in interaction, and what factors support or hinder successful interactions;

(4) develop "tools" for understanding our own and others' ways of interacting in order to be able to participate effectively in multilingual/multicultural interactions across a range of languages and cultures.

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 8598 - Directed Study      

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9385 - IntrclturlCompetnc&EngSklsDvlp      

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9445 - Intercultural Comm USA Europe      

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9490 - IntrcltrCmptnc4PersnlProfDvARB      

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9492 - IntrcltrCmptnc4PersnlProfDvFRN      

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9510 - CognitionInChineseLang&Culture      

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9511 - Intro to Conflict Resolution      

This course is an introduction to the field of conflict resolution and is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry and application. The course is deliberately very broad and it so designed to facilitate students to pick and choose specific topics they would like to study in-depth in future. This course is both theory and skills based. Theories useful for understanding the root causes, dynamics and the resolution of the conflict (primarily inter-state conflict) will be examined. In the latter half of the course, students will focus on developing skills (primarily negotiation, mediation and facilitation) as third party interveners. Students will be encouraged to find their style of intervention, analyze complex conflict situations, develop intervention strategies and suggest methods and processes for implementing agreements reached.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9513 - Intro InterculturalCommunicatn      

This course introduces the basic concepts and theories of intercultural communication using a fresh and practical approach. Students are encouraged to examine and analyze the driving forces behind both the purposes and means of communication in intercultural settings. They are expected to find the relationships between the actors of communication and the media in which the communication and interaction among the actors take place. They are also required to study and demonstrate the types and functions of various modes of communication. Students will be asked to understand and display basic skills in interpersonal communication and leadership.

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9515 - Env Sustnablty Across Cultures      

Environmental sustainability is a global issue - one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing - and no one country can solve it alone. This workshop will focus on how to harness intercultural skills in order to achieve environmental goals domestically or across the globe. If you find yourself working in different countries or domestically with people from different cultures: Germany, Brazil, Egypt, China, India, Thailand etc., how do you get their environmental sustainability “buy in” via an understanding of their cultural behaviors, what they value and the habits that effect their belief system?

To get things done in our global village we need to take into consideration the countries and cultures of the individuals with whom we are dealing. In addition to politics, economics, policies and business practices, what are the cultural values, beliefs, habits and worldviews of one individual vs. another – eg: a Swiss person has a certain attitude when it comes to environment – and it is quite distinct from the environmental attitudes of someone from Egypt, Brazil, China, India or Thailand. What are the social norms of these cultures? Why is it that the Swiss are so strict as regards recycling policies, and how come their attitudes towards nature are different from countries where it is OK to throw trash into the natural environment and pollute? If you are asked to work with environmental issues around the world, how can you achieve your initiative through understanding the culture of the people you are dealing with?

This is a practical workshop where participants will work on a specific case of their choice to develop an initiative, taking into consideration the country and culture of the people with whom they are dealing. Students will walk away with a practical skill set immediately applicable in their work whether domestic or international. The skills learned are applicable in many settings and situations where participants find themselves dealing with sensitive and important issues across cultures.

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9518 - Women's Human Rights:Xcultural      

This course will focus on the global women’s human rights norms as embodied in legal instruments such as CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) and the Beijing Platform for Action and their acceptance, reinterpretation, redefinition or rejection in national and local contexts. How do religious, cultural and traditional norms complement and/or contradict global norms on women’s rights? What types of advocacy efforts at local, national and international levels are under way to establish a dialogue among different constituencies with different worldviews on women’s rights? We will explore different rights, such as the right to be free from violence of all forms, the right to freedom of movement, the right to political participation, to education, work and reproductive rights. We will examine some theoretical works, as well as case studies of different countries’ experiences, with a special focus on countries with Muslim majority countries.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9535 - SrvcLrng:Intl&DomstcCommPrtnrs      

How and why do we bring learning out of the traditional classroom context and into broader communities? In what ways does this process expand what counts as knowledge? What skills of intercultural communication are necessary to facilitate bridging these different cultures, and what abilities does one develop as a result? And how do issues of hierarchy, status, power, and identity play a role in diverse interactions among students and community partners?

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9543 - ResearchIn IntrculturalStudies      

This course is designed to assist students to conduct a small scale research project in the field of intercultural studies. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts and theories of intercultural competencies and intercultural communication. They will have an introduction to quantitative and qualitative designs and methods of measurement and statistics. Students will develop a research proposal, collect data, analyze it and present the findings and the results to the class.

Fall 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9544 - Crossing Cultures      

This course will focus on the dynamics of crossing cultures. Through readings, discussion, and experiential activities, students will explore the challenges and processes of cultural adaptation. Examples will be drawn from immigrant stories, study abroad, and international business contexts.

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9545 - Culture and Conflict      

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9552 - Comunicatng/SoclMdia/WrldEvnts      

Students will examine major means of intercultural communication such as mass media, internet, social media, travel abroad and consumer markets. They will analyze the impact of world events in shaping the intercultural perceptions, expectations and actions of the individuals and organizations. Students will reflect on their own interactions with social media and how they influence and are influenced by global events and media.

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9560 - Dvlp Intrcultrl TrainingInOrgs      

The workshop is a comprehensive, hands-on introduction on how to design intercultural training programs and gain the knowledge needed to design and deliver cross cultural awareness programs within organizations - whether they are educational, governmental, not-for-profit or for-profit. This workshop is designed for anyone working in domestic or global settings. Designing any training program requires specific sequencing, skills and techniques. Participants will learn methodologies of cross-cultural training design, how to analyze an audience, structure and deliver an effective cross-cultural training program. Students will have the opportunity to learn practical skills immediately applicable and increase their cross-cultural training capabilities. By learning these skills, students will expand their toolbox and become a greater asset to any organization.

Spring 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9562 - Biculturalism&Multiculturalism      

This course will focus on the experiences of people who identify as Bicultural or Multicultural. Though reading first-person accounts, engaging with experiential activities, and studying theories of identity development, the dynamics of biculturalism and multiculturalism will be explored. The course will conclude with recommendations for supporting individuals with bicultural and multicultural identities.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9563 - ExplrPrspctvsIntrcltrlComptnc      

Exploring Perspectives on Intercultural Competence: From Theory to Practice

What is intercultural competence? How this concept viewed from varying disciplinary and cultural perspectives? In order to be most effective in developing intercultural competence in others, it becomes imperative to gain a deeper understanding of this crucial concept in the 21st century. Given the over five decades of work on this concept by scholars, there is a plethora of definitions and frameworks around intercultural competence. This course explores a variety of perspectives on this concept, as well as practical implications in regard to development and assessment of intercultural competence.

Spring 2014 - MIIS

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ICCO 9570 - Comm in Multicultural Settings      

Spring 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9578 - Women & War      

War is increasingly recognized as a gendered phenomenon. In today’s global context the need to study the impact of war on women as separate from men is very pertinent. This is because the changing nature of warfare has created many new roles and therefore new experiences for women in war. This course primarily focuses on the experiences of women, as combatants, victims and peacebuilders, in situations of violent conflict. Through an inter-disciplinary approach, students will learn to analyse the intersections between women as an identity group, culture, security, nationality and peace in periods before, during and after war. The use of case-studies in this course will provide a context specific analysis of the various dynamics of gendered warfare. Further, the political, social, cultural and legal measures initiated to mitigate the negative impacts of war on women and to promote a more prominent role for women as decision-makers will be examined.

Fall 2013 - MIIS

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ICCO 9643 - SemPwr&Idntity/MultiCultrlWrld      

In order to gain Multicultural Competence, we first need to know ourselves, and reflect on our own identities. Our ethnic, gender, religious, national identities define who we are and shape our interaction with others. In this seminar, we will first examine our own identities and the cultures we identify with in a reflective and critical way. We will then focus on conditions and activities that are designed to foster shifts of perspective, expanded awareness and emotional states that allow empathetic understanding to develop. We will embrace a holistic approach to intercultural training, focusing on individuals’ emotional, physical and intellectual experience of cultural difference. Activities will focus on the development and conscious application of key intercultural competencies, including mindfulness, frame shifting, and stretching beyond our comfort zones. The more we are able to be mindful, the more we understand our own stories and learn to extend themselves beyond their comfort zones, the more empathetic we can be when we make cultural transitions.

The second half of the seminar will focus on the political and sociological factors that shape national, ethnic, religious and gender identities through case studies of particular interest to seminar participants. What are the structural factors that constrain and what choices do we have as we construct our identities? We will examine the nation building projects in developing countries that constructed new ‘national myths’ and new identities in tension with existing ethnic, racial, religious and other identities. How has nation building empowered particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Whose cultures have been privileged, others suppressed? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? Has globalization brought with it even greater identification with local cultures? This seminar will attempt to explore these issues in order to provide a deeper understanding of Power and Identity in a Multicultural World as students prepare to make cultural transitions.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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