Intercultural Communication (Section 1)

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Cain
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0925
End: 1040
Field Work: Day 6 - Thursday, 24 September | Italy Download Syllabus


Because the world has rapidly changed – global interconnectedness and changing demographics – the study of intercultural communication is more important than ever. The ability to work with and understand others from multiple frames of reference is a necessity, not a luxury. This course is designed to provide both an historical and theoretical understanding of the field combined with the practical application to the countries visited during the semester.  The course explores the complex relationships between culture and communication processes using social, psychological, interpretive and critical perspectives. The course also considers the importance of social, historical and cultural context in intercultural interactions.


Field Work

Country: Italy
Day: 6 - Thursday, 24 September

The Field Lab will be an “Intercultural Interaction Activity” whose purpose is to apply the theoretical concepts and approaches to the ports they visit, as well as have an in-depth understanding of intercultural challenges and benefits. Students will apply the Cross-Cultural Adaptation Skills (CCAI) learned in class and assess the application in several venues. Students will listen to key business executives who work in Naples about how they have adapted to Italian culture and approach to business, largely in formal business situations. In contrast, students will understand the perspective on NGOs operating in Italy by meeting with representatives from selected NGOs who practice intercultural communication with all levels of society and within a variety of venues. Other options for conversations with “intercultural communicators” in Naples include talking to a teacher or representative from an English Language School, a foreign journalist or a Fulbright researcher or teacher in Italy. The field lab experience in Naples, Italy will focus on the role of culture in the “real world” and students will write a reflection essay on Intercultural Communication incorporating their research and experience with the communities in Italy. Academic objectives: 1.  Apply the CCAI skills in real world contexts and learn how to improve in skill areas. 2.  Experience the application of intercultural communication skills in several different contexts. 3. Understand the importance of “changing shoes” to effectively interact with other cultures.