Bridging Cultures

Queensland University of Technology

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Bridging Cultures

  • Host University

    Queensland University of Technology

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Intercultural Communications, Multicultural Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Completion of 24 credits or more of study

  • 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

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This unit develops students' awareness, understanding, sensitivity and ability to deal with individuals and organisations from different cultural backgrounds. It takes a practical approach to the issues involved by providing not just a theoretical framework for interpreting differences in cultural behaviour, but also skills and strategies which can help in appropriately responding to culturally different situations. This unit will be of particular value to students about to embark on in-country study or exchanges, to incoming international students, or to anyone with a general interest in intercultural communication. It will be a useful complement to the study of a second language, but does not require or assume prior language study.
    Learning Outcomes
    Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to:
    1. Identify factors (knowledge, attitudes and skills) which can influence the effectiveness of communication in a range of cultural settings and with those from diverse cultural backgrounds;
    2. Explain how these factors contribute to the complexities of communicating with individuals, groups and organisations from other cultures;
    3. Implement appropriate processes and behaviours to communicate effectively in a range of cultural settings and audiences and with those from diverse cultural backgrounds;
    4. Evaluate the capabilities and limitations that you and others bring to interactions in varying cultural contexts.
    5. Reflect on the importance of intercultural knowledge and skills with reference to your chosen business discipline.
    • Cultural intelligence and intercultural communication
    • Definitions of Culture - visible and invisible
    • Impediments to effective intercultural communication - ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice
    • Dimensions of cultural patters - power, time, directness, high and low context, face, politeness
    • Language and culture - variations in communication function
    • Communication styles
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Case studies in culture
    • Study, work and life internationally
    • Strategies to develop cultural intelligence
    • Adapting to different cultures - transitions, culture shock
    Approaches to Teaching and Learning
    There will be a one-hour lecture and two-hour workshop each week which aims to both inform and engage learners with concepts relevant to developing cultural intelligence. Sessions will be interactive and require prior reading and thinking about topics, issues and examples. Students will complete a cultural intelligence self-assessment at the commencement of the unit, and again at the completion of an international study, work and travel experience. The self-assessment examines capabilities and cultural value orientation against worldwide benchmarks and norms.
    Assessment name: Case Study
    Description: Each student prepares a written case study which analyses a range of situations and identifies value perspectives. The case study draws on workshop activities throughout the semester.
    Length/Duration: 2,000 words (maximum)
    Formative or Summative: Formative and Summative
    Relates to objectives: 1, 2, 3, 4
    Weight: 40
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Individual
    Due date: Week 13
    Assessment name: Essay
    Description: Each student develops and essay focused on cultural intelligence, including transitions between cultures in within diverse cultural communities. The essay demonstrates knowledge and application of theory. Length/Duration: 1,500 words (maximum)
    Formative or Summative: Formative and Summative
    Relates to objectives: 1,2 and 5
    Weight: 30
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Individual
    Due date: Week 9
    Assessment name: Presentation
    Description: In small teams (3 or 4 students), students prepare and deliver a presentation which discusses and reflects on a cultural issue or aspect of culture.
    Formative or Summative: Formative and Summative
    Relates to objectives: 1, 2, 3 and 5.
    Weight: 30
    Internal or external: Internal
    Group or individual: Group
    Due date: Weeks 5 - 8

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.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.