Intercultural Communication and Competence

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intercultural Communication and Competence

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study

    Communication Science and Disorders, Communication Studies, Intercultural 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

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

    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
    QUIZ 1
    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 Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.