by Cara Cummings and Meghan McNamara

Are you planning to study abroad or take a travel course? Do you plan on working for an international company? Intercultural Communication (COM211) will help prepare you for all of these experiences and more. As our world continues to become increasingly globalized, competence in intercultural communication has become a vital skill students can learn before they graduate and enter into the workforce.

Intercultural communication is an enriching experience both personally and educationally as you explore new countries and gain a deeper understanding of various cultures and their own traditions, values, and beliefs that are different to your own. Whether you’re engaging in new business across foreign borders, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people while traveling internationally or studying abroad, there are endless advantages to taking a course in intercultural communication.

In COM 211 you will discuss concepts and ideas such as:

  1. Cultural Relativism
  2. Cultural Identity
  3. Communication Accommodation Theory
  4. Ethnocentrism (and the issues that arise with it)
  5. A comparison of various cultures across a spectrum of variables, including the difference between high context and low context cultures
  6. Cultural norms, values, beliefs and how they relate to our understanding and interaction with other cultures.
  7. Culture shock, and best practices for handling it.

(Small class sizes make class discussion more enriching and allow students to actively participate)

In this class, you may discuss traveling abroad, and how to handle situations that may be uncomfortable, like culture shock, language barriers or differences in cultural norms and communication styles. Additionally, you will compared various cultures, discussed their differences and how to communicate effectively despite cultural differences. The importance of cultural relativism is discussed to assist students in understanding that every culture is unique, and norms, behaviors and values are all relative to the greater culture to which they belong. 

Major concepts explored in the course help students explore and gain a stronger understanding of the complexity of cross cultural communication. Over the course length, students will cultivate their awareness of their own cultural as well as other cultures different identities. Students will be exposed to new communication styles and cultural values that differ from their own culture, allowing them to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the cultural differences that will help students to be able to adjust to any various cultural practices that they might encounter throughout their lifetime.  

By taking this (required) course, you are setting yourself up for successful cross cultural communication, whether you plan to study abroad or are entering the international workforce

(Intercultural Communication is a great class for those who want to study/do business abroad)