Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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]

ICCO8301W - Waiver: 1 ICCO credit      

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8304W - Waiver: 4 ICCO credits      

Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8512 - PowerIdentitiesIntercContexts      

Power & Identities in Intercultural Contexts

Power and privilege are relative. Individuals hold multiple, complex, and crosscutting identities and group memberships that confer relative privilege or disadvantage differently in different contexts (Collins, 1990). Derald Wing Sue posits that identity is not simply additive but multiplicative (Wing, 2003). To grow as competent global leaders, those preparing for or in careers that cross cultures, will benefit from a deep understanding of multiplicative identities and how power is negotiated within and without the boundaries of those identities.

To build intercultural competence, and succeed in intercultural communication, negotiations, and transnational business, tomorrow’s leaders will want to form a deep understanding of theories of culture, power, identity, & groups. Such theoretical foundations can facilitate a deep knowledge of intersectionality, power negotiations, improve skills in successfully building mutuality, and gain deep personal insights & critical reflective practice regarding attitudes, biases, and assumptions.

Upon examining these topics orchestrated in the integrative approach, learners will be equipped to contextualize and switch cultural frames, create mutuality despite power differentiation, and critically observe, reflect, and interpret cultural, image, media, & ethnographic literacy to resolve complex global dilemmas and confidently hone competence in intercultural communication.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8514 - IntroToInterculturalCompetence      

Introduction to Intercultural Competence addresses the theory and practice of working and living in cultures other than your own, and focuses on cultural preparation and competency building to engage successfully with diverse cultures. The content of this course identifies a variety of ways for individuals to be more successful in working with diverse groups – both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. The course is also intended to assist graduate students to develop an awareness of intercultural sensitivity and recognize its value, gain specific intercultural competencies to be more effective in the workplace, and enable students to better understand their own culture and ethnic background so they can understand others at a more meaningful level.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8515 - Intercultural Identity & Bias      

Exploring Intercultural Identity: An Ethnographic Approach

This course will illuminate key dimensions of identity by introducing intercultural theories and divergent values, behaviors and worldviews. Students will gain a greater understanding of the cross-cultural lenses of difference by discussing leading research in the field, engaging in case studies, exercises and group discussions and by applying central ethnographic methods to better understand the self and diversity at-large. Students will be encouraged to consider how active listening, observation and effective interviewing techniques facilitate our understanding of others whose values and attitudes may be contrary to our own. This seminar is designed for participants seeking heightened awareness of personal identity and effective tools of intercultural understanding and communication.

Learning Outcomes

By the course’s end, students will be better equipped to:

• Comprehend key intercultural theories and dimensions that define various cultural orientations.

• Employ ethnographic methods in gathering and analyzing information, and create culturally-appropriate strategies to enhance communication.

• Approach cross-cultural challenges with confidence and with an effective toolbox of management strategies.

• Grasp the value of reflection, open-mindedness, listening and critical thinking skills.

• Communicate more effectively, and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8516 - Trust Across Cultures      

The desire for trust is a constant across cultures. In any setting, a person must know how to create a trusting environment to increase creativity, productivity and morale. The decision to trust is influenced by one’s cultural norms, values and other life experiences which in turn, impact how people behave in organizations or groups. The behaviors of trust across cultures, driven by the desire to trust or be trusted, can be similar, contrary and many places in between. This class exposes students to intercultural and organizational theories, research, and the instructor’s 20+ years of experience with dozens of global teams in high tech, automobile, big pharma, oil & gas, entertainment, and retail industries.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8520 - Intercultural Group Dynamics      

Why do global & multicultural teams struggle and most often fail? Why does performance drop once the honeymoon of team development/team formation is over? What are the factors of successful culturally competent and diverse teams? What leadership style is appropriate when managing/leading globally diverse teams? What is your role as a team member on such a diverse team? How would you manage multicultural team members from China, India, Brazil, Russia, Kenya and the US? Why is it so hard to get things done when such a diverse team is working together? Whose responsibility is to step up when conflict emerges in a diverse team? What is the greatest challenge of a leader managing such team? Could one’s behavior be a contributing factor in such situation/s? How can you or your team achieve their desired goals? How could such diverse teams outperform homogenous team? Are you up for the challenge of working within or perhaps managing a global team? Why not join this workshop and find out how?

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8560 - 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 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8561 - Leading Across Cultures      

How does culture impact peoples’ values, beliefs, and assumptions surrounding leadership? What if our values, beliefs, and assumptions about leadership differ from those we are leading or who are leading us? How can we operate effectively, appropriately, and authentically in such culturally complex situations? How can we adapt our leadership to the cultural context while remaining authentic and retaining our own morals? How can we harness diversity as a strength and strategy for powerful and creative leadership? These are all questions we will explore in this course, which focuses on developing leadership from the inside out – learning to take leadership of ourselves in the face of ambiguity, change, and challenging circumstances and people (hallmarks of an intercultural experience).

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8563 - ExplrPrspctvsIntrcltrlComptnc      

Spring 2016 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8570 - 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 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO8598 - Directed Study      

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Summer 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9385 - IntrclturlCompetnc&EngSklsDvlp      

EAPP 8385 is a course open to international students interested in honing their English skills while learning about key intercultural concepts and integrating these tools into their repertoire. Students will study and research cultural issues of race, religion, language, and power in the United States while reflecting on these issues in their native cultures. Students can expect to work on their speaking and listening skills through formal presentations and informal engagements (interviews and discussions) inside and outside the classroom. In addition, reading and writing skills will be developed through weekly reading response journals requiring summary and critical analysis skills. A final project allows an autobiographical, multimedia approach to the topic of identity and culture. This format is designed to increase our exposure to multiple ideas and perspectives.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9424 - Workingw/Self,Othrs&Institutns      

It will be hard, and not satisfying, for you to be a productive and happy professional if you neglect your whole-person development. And you won’t be as efficient if you’re unsure of who you are and how to grow (mostly) happily over time and through life’s circumstances… This is why this class allows you to develop your emotional intelligence, your self-management, your social skills and communication skills; and to apply them to social and professional situations. Our class borrows from neuropsychology, cognitive sciences, cognitive psychology, archetypal and transcendental psychology, neurolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, social psychology, positive psychology and intercultural competence (ICC) studies. We spend about 5-6 weeks on “self-as-other,” on self-observation, self-knowledge and self-development, and another 5 weeks on key ICC theories and concepts or tools, tips, and frameworks to help you understand yourself and others. Then we study Americans as “the Other” and look deeply into the culture, psychology and emotional dynamics of the 11 American nations (yes, eleven: E Pluribus Unum, indeed!); and what this means for you as an individual, a professional, and a citizen—or a foreigner residing in this country, or as a hyphenated American, etc.

Our class mixes skids and activities that engage your whole identity (cognitive, affective, behavioral-attitudinal, archetypal, and physical), reading and discussions of texts and theories, reflections and self-observation outside the classroom, and internalizing tricks and tips to develop your emotional intelligence and your social intelligence. Expect to learn (cognitively) a lot in terms of theories and ICC, but expect also to be intrigued and internally transformed—this is what happens when you connect your “self,” your “persona,” with deep psychology and meta-truths. Also expect to be surprised and disconcerted at least occasionally.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9510 - CognitionInChineseLang&Culture      

Fall 2016 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9511 - Intro to Conflict Resolution      

Conflict is a complex phenomenon and its study requires a systematic analysis of its elements and its context. This includes identifying and understanding the root causes, attributes and dynamics of conflicts. Strong analysis lays the ground for the resolution and transformation of conflict and for the development and choice of intervention processes and tools.

This course gives students an introduction to the field of conflict analysis, resolution and transformation and is intended to provide a solid foundation for further inquiry and application. This course will provide students the theories, models and conceptual frameworks required for a holistic understanding of conflicts and will familiarize them with the existing terminology and concepts in the field. It will also introduce them to various intervention strategies, the skills and tools available for intervention, and help them recognize the assumptions upon which these tools rest. Using the reflective practice model and through classroom simulations, students will develop their personal ‘toolkit’ for intervening in conflicts.

Importantly, the course will connect theory to practice through application of models and frameworks, research and case studies analysis of events and interventions from all over the world.

It is hoped that students will leave class with more questions than answers. If this happens, the course will have met its intended goal of provoking inquiry into issues previously unquestioned.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9523 - Nepal Practicum      

As a part of the policy wraparound course progression, a maximum of 35 MIIS and Middlebury students will deploy to two research sites, Nepal and Peru, over the 2015 J-Term. Each student team will collect data and carry out field research related to key policy research questions during approximately three and a half weeks during January 2015.

These linked practica are closely integrated with the Field Methods course (IPSG 8609) offered during the Fall 2015 semester. In the Field Methods course, students apply policy-research concepts learned in the Field Methods and the earlier Policy and Data Analysis (IPSG 8500) courses to the design of a country-specific, client specified field-research project, which they will carry out in these J-Term practica (participants in these research practica are entirely drawn from the participants in the Field Methods course). Students returning from the three experiences may enroll in a follow-up course during the Spring 2015 semester -- Advanced Topics in Policy Analysis -- in which they will learn data-analytical techniques to be used in analyzing the data they collected from the three sites, and they will collaborate in the elaboration of final research deliverables.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9532 - Peru Practicum      

As a part of the policy wraparound course progression, a maximum of 35 MIIS and Middlebury students will deploy to two research sites, Nepal and Peru, over the 2015 J-Term. Each student team will collect data and carry out field research related to key policy research questions during approximately three and a half weeks during January 2015.

These linked practica are closely integrated with the Field Methods course (IPSG 8609) offered during the Fall 2015 semester. In the Field Methods course, students apply policy-research concepts learned in the Field Methods and the earlier Policy and Data Analysis (IPSG 8500) courses to the design of a country-specific, client specified field-research project, which they will carry out in these J-Term practica (participants in these research practica are entirely drawn from the participants in the Field Methods course). Students returning from the three experiences may enroll in a follow-up course during the Spring 2015 semester -- Advanced Topics in Policy Analysis -- in which they will learn data-analytical techniques to be used in analyzing the data they collected from the three sites, and they will collaborate in the elaboration of final research deliverables.

Spring 2016 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9535 - EconStatecraft:Culture&ConRes      

The growing dominance of economic relations among nations requires a keen understanding of economic statecraft. Statecraft is the resolution of conflicts between governments and private parties. An essential skill for economic statecraft is to understand conflict.

To facilitate our exploration of conflict, the course draws from the field of conflict analysis and resolution, a field which seeks to intervene constructively in conflicts. However, constructive intervention demands that we think critically about conflict in order to discern its underlying causes and to understand its dynamics. From such an understanding, you may develop meaningful objectives to address, resolve, or perhaps even transform the conflict into something constructive. Moreover, objectives grounded in a thorough understanding of the conflict should drive the intervention strategy. If the linkage between analytic findings, objectives, and strategy is present, then the likelihood of a constructive outcome increases substantially. The course is designed to help you to think more critically about conflict, providing you with some tools to structure your analysis, shape your intervention objectives, and develop your strategy to achieve those objectives.

This course is inherently multi and interdisciplinary, drawing on conceptual frameworks derived from psychology, sociology, anthropology, international relations, political science, economics, and other social sciences, but also informed by all fields of human inquiry. Students will critically apply theories to seek a better understanding of conflicts, to intervene constructively, and to advance theory and practice related to statecraft.

This course explores a wide range of conflict-related theories. We begin by considering conflict narratives and discourses and our ability to think critically about conflict. Then, we will examine the major, often overlapping theories at work in the field, loosely categorized as theories of social structure, theories of human nature, and theories of culture and meaning-making.

Theories of human nature and identity – viewing each individual as a unit of analysis; accounting for “what is inside of you” with an emphasis on what lies beneath the conscious level

Theories of social structure – viewing a social institution, typically comprising sustained, hierarchical, and multi-layered relationships, as a unit of analysis; accounting for “what you are inside of” ?

Theories of culture – viewing an epistemological system of meaning-making as a unit of analysis; accounting for “what is inside us” with an emphasis on shared interpretive lenses with which to understand intercultural social phenomenon.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9542 - SPR:Communicating Change World      

Communication skills are of particular relevance to Development Practice and Policy (DPP) students who intend to work in diverse intercultural settings to promote social change for social justice. We believe that communication is the center point of what constitutes development (defined as furthering social justice). The communications field has traditionally been understood as public relations and marketing but in this course, we focus on identity, perceptions, listening and advocacy dimensions and how our internal landscape affects how we act, speak and listen in intercultural contexts. Many projects have failed because development has simply been understood as imitation of more developed countries and transfer of information and knowledge leading to desired changes in behavior. In this sense, communication becomes purely instrumental. It has become clear that we must pay attention to the process and intent of the communication between the varied stakeholders: the donors, recipients, government representatives, community leaders, and people who live in those communities. Thus, we would like to define communication for development as the use of communication processes, techniques and media to help people toward a full awareness of their situation and their options for change, to resolve conflicts, to work towards consensus, to help people plan actions for change and sustainable development.

International aid agencies are now calling more and more for the kinds of ‘soft skills’ that help aid workers enter new communities, to come across as human beings who are self-aware and present, who listen before talking or telling, who are also aware that communication is much more than just ‘verbal’. A central premise of this course is that communication is a whole-body experience and that it involves a dynamic and fluid interchange between a person’s internal and external environments. A second premise is that when we naturally connect with ourselves, we connect better with others and truly share practical wisdom and insights. Drawing from the Intercultural Communication literature and from the literature on ‘Whole Body Intelligence, as well as case studies drawn from both development agencies’ experiences and alumni working in the field, we will investigate how we ‘arrive’ in a new community, how we use our voice, how we listen, and how we use space. We will examine how understanding our nervous system helps us deal with conflict. We will explore our own perceptions and biases as development workers, how projections may lead to ‘othering’ and to conflict. We will investigate how the languages we employ shape the way we communicate. We will focus on our own identities, as well as how others perceive us and how identity interplays with power. We will study different modes of communication: verbal and nonverbal, as well as virtual. Art and food traditions will also be explored as significant avenues of communication, enhancing intercultural values and dialogue.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9544 - Acculturation:CrossingCultures      

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 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9562 - 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.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9568 - Story Telling for Change      

Stories are an integral part of human life; they inform people’s emotional lives and are a cultural and social expression for societies around the world. Stories can reflect and help individuals and communities to examine their values, stereotypes and prejudices. The ability to tell stories can be empowering for marginalized communities by giving them the space to tell the truth and to put on record their demand for justice. For communities in conflict, stories often serve as an opportunity to deal with their past and as a platform to raise awareness about their suffering. As much as telling stories is natural to humans, storytelling skills to improve communication and listening can be learned. When storytelling is effective, it functions as a creative tool to transform conflicts while providing a voice to those who are voiceless. In this class, students will learn to use stories (telling, listening and developing) to build greater understanding and respect among individuals and communities in conflict and thus lay the foundations for effective change – social, cultural, institutional and political.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9578 - Women in 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.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9610 - Fieldwork and Reporting      

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9615 - Allies at MIIS      

Many in the U.S. experience race in much of their social, political and economic interactions. While conversations about race are taking place at various levels and through different forums, it is just not enough. And the ones that are the loudest in demanding that we not only bring these conversations more to the forefront but that we also develop tools to deal with race related conflicts are students and academics in educational institutions, especially those of higher learning.

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) is no exception. There are calls for acknowledgment of explicit and implicit racial bias in academic life and the need for deeper conversations about diversity on campus.

In order to encourage more sensitivity and develop better competency in dealing with race-related issues, the Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) has launched the program “Allies at MIIS”. The program invites students interested in being trained to become an ‘Ally for Racial Equity’. As an ally, the student participant will undergo a couple of sensitivity training sessions, will engage in research related to the topic of racial equity, engage with peers on campus and will present their work to the broader MIIS community through a variety of forums.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

More Information »

ICCO9686 - DPMI:Health,Educ,GendrInRWANDA      

Credit: course can be taken for no credit or for 4 units on a Pass/Fail basis. A certificate of completion will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all assignments.

Instructor of record: Dr. Beryl Levinger

The program will focus on use and mastery of tools and frameworks that represent “embedded theory.” Tool mastery will prepare participants to foster sustainable development. The tools to be featured in the program are widely used by bilateral and multinational organizations including USAID, the World Bank, and UNDP.
Note: While there may be some content overlap with current DPMI offerings, the examples and projects will all be Rwanda-specific and focused on HIV/AIDS, education or gender.

Students who enroll will be eligible to participate in DPMI8650A (DPMI+). Students who have already completed DPMI 8698 A and/or 8698 B are also eligible to enroll. For students who have previously participated in a DPMI session, this program will allow them to hone their skills further with more elaborate assignments.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS

More Information »