Intercultural Competence

Intercultural Competence, Students Talking, Picture

We in the Intercultural Competence (ICC) program believe that intercultural communication and understanding are essential for professionals pursuing careers around the globe.  

About the Program

The development of intercultural competence (ICC) is a lifelong, ever-changing, and dynamic process that involves learning about oneself and others, and includes an intentional focus on perspective-taking and empathy. MIIS offers a number of ICC courses that provide students with the opportunity to expand their intercultural communication skills.

Intercultural competence (ICC) is the active possession of qualities that contribute to effective intercultural communication (communication between individuals or groups of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds). ICC involves a meta-level ability to recognize and analyze patterns and relationships. Cultures are considered those structured manifestations of human behavior in social life within specific national and local contexts (e.g., political, linguistic, economic, institutional, professional). Culture is comprised of ideologies/worldviews, practices/actions, participation, and communication.

*The concept of culture includes ethnic and national cultures, and also religious, linguistic, gender, socio-economic, regional, and organizational cultures. Individuals have many cultures that shape their identities as they participate in various communities of practice.

Learning Outcomes

Through self-reflection, exploration of ICC theories and models, experiential activities that capitalize on students’ diverse backgrounds, MIIS ICC courses facilitate students’ increased learning in the following areas:

Cognitive/Knowledge:

  1. Theories and models in intercultural studies
  2. Developments, challenges and issues in intercultural studies
  3. Theories and models in identity development
  4. Theories and models in related to issues of power and intergroup interactions in macro and micro contexts

Performative/Skills:

  1. Demonstrate communication skills in intercultural contexts
  2. Observe and interpret cases, situations, and developments taking place in intercultural settings
  3. Engage in critical reflection
  4. Create intercultural environments conducive to facilitating other’s contributions and participation
  5. Switch cultural frames of reference
  6. Display ethnographic skills

Attitudes:

  1. Self (e.g., openness, curiosity, appreciation of diverse cultures and ideas)
  2. World Views (e.g., understanding multiple realities, objectivity)
  3. Ethics (e.g., respect for others’ views)

Sample Courses in Intercultural Competence (ICC)

  • Introduction to Intercultural Communication
  • Development of Intercultural Training in Organizations
  • Introduction to Conflict Resolution
  • Women's Human Rights
  • Biculturalism & Multiculturalism
  • Power and Identity in a Multicultural World
  • Multilingual Communication in Multicultural Settings