Course Description

Course Name

Intercultural Communication and Competence

Session: VSJW1120

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course name: Intercultural Communication and Competence
Course code: COMM 3200
Total contact hours: 48 hours

This course provides an introduction to the field of intercultural communication, enhances the development of intercultural competence (in the course participants and indirectly in their work and intercultural relationships), and explores implications and applications towards shaping one?s world view. The course examines theoretical aspects of culture and world view; communicative and intercultural competence; intercultural contact and entry processes; issues of diversity and commonalities among human beings; and implications and applications for work settings and for oneself as a member of multicultural groups.

1. To become acquainted with the field of intercultural competence and communication and its implications for global work relationships.
2. To further the development of intercultural competence for oneself and colleagues.
3. To integrate culture and intercultural exploration as intrinsic dimensions of personal work experience.
4. To investigate connections between work relationships and culture, and how they mediate in shaping one's cultural identity and world view.
5. To examine the dynamic components of intercultural competence.
6. To consider intercultural contact and entry processes in terms of stages, models, options and consequences.
7. To examine diversity and commonalities among people of various backgrounds.
8. To explore socio-cultural dynamics - such as power, dominance, and other factors - that
affect all human interactions.
9. To identify models, methods and techniques for incorporating cultural and
intercultural aspects in personal and work relationships.
10. To apply frameworks that help assess and monitor the development of one's
own intercultural competence.

Whereas the first part highlights the field, explores theory, and derives implications; the
second part of the course focuses on teaching ways to incorporate cultural and
intercultural dimensions into personal life and intercultural relationships. The
development of the participants? intercultural competence is implicit the entire course.
The course is conducted through lectures, readings, discussions, videos, case studies,
exercises, research, presentations and other tasks. Students undertake various
projects, some of which may be conducted individually or with a study partner (s).
Requirements include attendance, participation, projects and presentations, and selfevaluations.

This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad
program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners
so a few native student could enroll in this course.

Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication
devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn
all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be
used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the
use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply
with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Students are only allowed 2 absences (justified or not). The student will fail the
course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students will have a 0 on any
assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations, field trips, etc.) if he/she
is absent in this class, unless an official document is presented to justify the
absence the class after the absence. In this case the assignment will be done this
day. An unjustified absence to a fieldtrip will immediately mean failing the
course. You can only have two total absences in your elective courses
HOWEVER, if you miss more than one day of class in a given month, YOU
WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT for that particular course.

Professors have the right to expel a student from the classroom should he / she:
1) be disruptive in the classroom
2) be under the influence of alcohol or even smell like alcohol
3) Behave in a disrespectful way.
If you tend to be late for class, you will lose 25% of your total grade

Session 1:
Globalization and Cultural Identities
Course Introduction
Explain Syllabus
Explain evaluation system
Globalization and Cultural Identities
Session 2:
Understanding Culture and the Concept of the Self
Linking Values to Behaviors
Cultural Values Orientation
Session 3:
How we differ? What we share?
Polychromatic/Monochromatic Societies
Individualism vs. Collectivism
High-Low Power Distance Cultures
Universalism or Particularism in Cultures
Activism and Fatalism
Session 4:
PRESENTAION: Understanding and Coping with CC Adjustment Stress (400-111)
Culture Shock
From Ethnocentrism to Ethno-relativism
Coping Strategies
Session 5:
Fundamentals of Culture
Rules of the house
Interacting with a host country family
Assertive Techniques
Session 6:
Observation and Participation
PRESENTATION: General Ideas about American Culture (400-108)
Observation and Interpretation
In the Mind of the Beholder
Session 7:
PRESENTATION: Comparing Communication Styles across Cultures,
Communication Techniques (400-110)
The Ostrich
Session 8
Non-Verbal Communication
Project outside campus (poc)
Gestures, Eye Contact and Conversational Style
Facial Expression, Personal Space and Touching
Romantic Relationship
Session 9:
Non-verbal Communication Project
Presentation of Project
Session 10:
Case Studies 1
Activity vs. Results
U.S. women in foreign countries
Cultural Differences in the Division of Labor
Session 11:
Case Studies 2
Who is expected to pay?
Bribery and Legality
Four levels of IC Awareness
Session 12:
Developing Global Managers
Session 13:
Intercultural Competence
PRESENTATION: Trainer Competencies for International and Interculturas Programs (400-111)
Advances on Final Project
Q/A Session for Mid-Term Test
Session 14:
Mid-Term Test
Session 15:
Workplace and Values
Observing the workplace
Source of Status ? Achived or Ascribed
Session 16:
International Negotiation 1
PRESENTATION: Negotiations, culture and social psychology. The players and the situation (400-108)
Critical incidents
Session 17:
International Negotiation 2
PRESENTATION: Styles of Decision Making. How much does ?National? affect Negotiation (400-108)
Critical incidents
Session 18:
Gender Issues
PRESENTATION: Considering coping with cross-cultural noise. Trusting
Interpreters and Translators (400-108)
The Gender Factor
Relative Status of Women
Quiz 2
Session 19:
Direct Approach
Privacy and Personal Matters
Favors Trough Contacts: How to get things done
Indirect Approach vs. Direct Approach
Session 20:
More on Intercultural Competence
Beyond Cultural Identity: Reflections in Multiculturalism
Becoming a competent Communicator
Transcultural Communication Competence
Session 21:
Reentry Process
The Intercultural Reentry of Student Sojourners
Session 22:
Final Project Presentations
Participation 10%
Presentation 10%
Project outside campus 15%
Mid-Term Test 20%
2 Quizzes (10 p. each) 20%
Final Project 25%

Readings in Binder & Reserve Shelf/Library
? Paige, Michael. Education for the IC Experience 400-111
? Storti, Craig. Figuring Foreigners Out 400-110
? Althen, Gary. American Ways 400-108
? Bennet, Milton. Basic Concepts of Intercultural Com. 400-109
? Fisher, Glen. International Negotiation 400-108
? Lustig & Koeper. Among Us 300-147
? Intercultural Competence 300-148

*Course content subject to change