Intercultural Communications Competence - 395

This is an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Intercultural Communication with specific application to the students’ China experience. The course will give students a comprehensive exposure to the key theories and concepts in the field, and familiarity with the variety of approaches to the field: social science (essentialist), descriptive (process), and critical approaches. Intercultural Competence requires both an awareness of one’s own cultural perspectives as well as the target culture of origin. The course is designed to train students in making cultural observations, reflecting on their own cultural perspective, making preliminary analysis of observations and revising their analysis as more information becomes known. Students will be encouraged to practice mindful intercultural communications as part of their study in China experience.

There are no prerequisites for this course as it is designed largely as a practical training course, as might be delivered to expatriate employees in country. Basic communication theory and taxonomies of cultural comparisons are introduced at the beginner level to familiarize and support students with the academic background of the field of intercultural communications. The primary emphasis is on applying these basic theories to the students’ experience in China. The course is designed to help students of any academic major to more quickly adjust to, understand, and benefit from their overseas experience and become more competent cross-cultural communicators.

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