Intercultural Communication

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intercultural Communication

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Intercultural Communications, International Communications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course is organised in close cooperation with VU-NT2 (Dutch as a Second Language) teaching staff with experience in the domain of intercultural and cross-cultural communication.

    The main goals for this course are:
    - to increase your cultural awareness on a practical level in different settings, such as the international classroom, website design, face-to-face encounters and media texts;
    - to increase your cultural awareness on a theoretical level by exploring the key concepts used in the field of intercultural communication;
    - to explore how these key concepts translate to research in communication and linguistic research by performing your own small-scale analyses of different settings in which intercultural communication occurs.

    This course offers a first introduction on the topic of intercultural communication and how that relates to communicative practice in different settings. To illustrate these settings, the course uses a book as the backbone of the course and further examples are discussed in class and in additional articles of how aspects of intercultural communication surface in different media. The examples that are presented vary from websites to face-to-face encounters and from newspaper coverage to business meetings and the international classroom. For the latter purpose, there is a collaboration with NT2 at the VU to explore how intercultural communication works in practice in the international classroom of students who learn Dutch in the Netherlands. Lectures and meetings will be geared towards presenting key theories and how these apply to relevant research in communication and linguistics and towards discussing the relevance of research for communicative practice and for your work as future communication professionals. Exercises and assignments focus on small-scale analysis of data from the above settings for a thorough understanding of how theory applies to practice.

    The meetings for this course will be interactive lectures, work session in which you will apply theory to data examples and guest lectures.

    This course is organised in collaboration with VU-NT2 and will therefore also consist of assignments in which you are asked to reflect and engage with students who follow the NT2 course programme to learn Dutch and who are participating in an 'international classroom'. The collaboration with NT2 means that you will do engage in a participatory observation assignment in the first weeks of the course, followed by a guest lecture of one of the NT2 teachers. There will be a second assignment that covers another aspect of intercultural communication in a different area that varies each year. It may involve an analysis of website features or media texts.

    Both assignments will be graded and make up a portion of your final grade. The course ends with an exam, that contributes most of your final grade and which you have to pass to successfully complete this course. We expect all students to actively participate in the course.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.