Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

SPCM 434 Intercultural Communication

Overview of Course

Have you ever heard the saying, “fish don’t know they are in water”? That is, until they are out of water and experience the difference. This analogy may be applied to people and culture. We all embody cultural norms, in other words, attitudes, values, behaviors, and traditions, that we have learned through previous generations, and of which we may or may not be consciously aware. Intercultural Communication will bring to the surface general cultural norms by which all cultures may be viewed and specific cultural norms in the countries to which we will travel. With greater awareness and knowledge of your own culture, the cultures of others, and how culture develops, you may develop the skills to successfully navigate cultural similarities and differences within our class, on board our ship, in the countries to which we travel, and throughout your life. Intercultural Communication will incorporate self-assessments for you to reflect on your own culture as well as your approach to other cultures; readings, audio/video recordings, and discussion to learn about theories, concepts, research and lived experiences regarding culture; and case studies, simulations and role plays to apply your knowledge and to practice your intercultural skills. Graded assignments will include, but are not limited to, a reflective journal, a comparative experiential project that will explore one topic, e.g., conflict management, in some depth across multiple countries, and a field experience in a port country that will mimic a day in the life of a cultural ethnographer.