Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Rather than focus solely on communication skills, we emphasize overall intercultural competence—helping students to actively understand and possess qualities that contribute to effective communication between individuals or groups of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The Intercultural Competence (ICC) specialization equips students with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes to expertly lead and train multicultural teams, sensitively interact with diverse stakeholders, and create effective ICC assessments and training materials.

Learning Outcomes

ICC specialization students will:

  • Develop an awareness of theories of culture and intercultural interaction.
  • Become aware of the ways in which power, identity, language, and group dynamics impact communication.
  • Develop participant observation skills that enable critical reflection.
  • Engage in ongoing self-reflection.
  • Question assumptions that guide diverse interpretations of and approaches to interaction.


ICC specialization courses integrate experiential, practical, and theory-based approaches, and are taught by practitioners, educators, and researchers who are engaged in ongoing work in intercultural communication. Courses vary in length (full-semester, half-semester, workshops) and delivery (classroom, online).

  • The specialization consists of 16 credits (10 core credits and 6 elective credits).
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required in this course work to receive the specialization.

The following core courses provide students with a strong basis in relevant ICC theory, research, and practice:

  • Introduction to Intercultural Competence (2 credits)
  • Intercultural Group Dynamics/Organizations (2 credits)
  • Power and Identities in Intercultural Contexts (2 credits)
  • Multicultural and Multilingual Communication (2 credits)

Graduates with the ICC specialization are sought out for expertise in training and/or assessing others’ ICC competence. Students therefore select ONE of the following TWO core courses, and the remaining six units can be selected from the suite of ICC electives available every semester.

  • Intercultural Training in Organizations (Prerequisite: Introduction to Intercultural Competence) (2 credits)
  • ICC Assessment (Prerequisite: Introduction to Intercultural Competence) (2 credits)


Professor Netta Avineri
Chair of the Intercultural Competence Committee