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Intercultural and International Communication | SIS

Core Courses

International Communication

International communication as a field of inquiry and research: perspectives, theories, and assumptions underlying communication between nations and peoples; international flow of information and its implications in relations among nations and cultures. Usually offered every term.  


Intercultural Relations

This course examines the contribution of relevant social and behavioral sciences and the humanities to the study of intercultural and cross-cultural communication. Analysis of culture as communication and value-systems as essential communication. Usually offered every term.

Public Diplomacy Courses

U.S. Public Diplomacy 

Public diplomacy is generally defined as understanding, engaging, informing, and influencing foreign publics. This course provides an understanding of the history and dynamics of U.S. public diplomacy; knowledge of strategies and techniques for advocating policy and influencing opinion and behavior of international audiences in a Web 2.0 age; skills to communicate, especially in writing; an understanding of how to analyze key data, including opinion polls and audience surveys; and an ability to engage with the key moral, political, and practical dimensions of public diplomacy.


Global and Comparative Perspectives on Public Diplomacy

This course provides an introduction to the conceptual and theoretical foundations for public diplomacy programs, new media public diplomacy initiatives, and how media outlets are used by international actors to influence global public opinion. The course covers issues and theories related to soft power, strategic communication, and media-based international relations. It reviews contemporary debates on U.S public diplomacy and explores cases outside the United States, including among other nation-states and non-state actors. This course is not intended as an overview of U.S. public diplomacy. Rather, it is a critical, comparative inquiry into assumptions that continue to justify and define the evolving range of public diplomacy policies across the globe.

Transnational Education Courses

Theory and Practice of International Student Advising

This course focuses on the theory and practice of international student advising. Topics to be covered are roles and responsibilities of the international student advisor; cross-cultural counseling and advising; immigration regulations governing student and exchange visitor programs; intercultural programming; crisis management and ethics. This course provides a multi-dimensional framework for conceptualizing and understanding the complex nature of the international student advising profession and the competencies and skills needed to perform effectively in a rapidly changing international education landscape. The course will draw from an extensive body of literature as well as case studies, critical incidents from the fields of immigration regulations, cross-cultural communication, student development theories, multicultural counseling, and international education.


Managing International Education and Exchange Programs

This course examines the cultural, political, and economic dimensions of managing international and intercultural programs in the context of internationalization of university and college campuses. It includes international student and scholar programs and services, study abroad initiatives, and curriculum transformation. Students conduct related research including the use of case studies, and various assessment tools and models.


Foundations of Transnational Education

In our increasingly globalized world, the traditional boundaries between “international” and “domestic” education theory, policy and practice are no longer sufficient to meet the dynamic and interconnected nature of global educational challenges and opportunities. These separations represent false dichotomies given that the lines are blurred.

This innovative course will prepare the next generation of global educational leaders with the knowledge and skills for educational transformation and social justice domestically and abroad. Drawing on both international and US-based educational theories, this course will synergize key educational concepts, frameworks, and practices from an interdisciplinary perspective (incorporating sociology, anthropology, critical theory, history, political science, and intercultural communication).

This course will explore how and why contemporary education has become a quintessentially transnational phenomenon with powerful implications that are simultaneously global and local. We will consider how broad educational narratives —ideas about what education is, what it is for, and who deserves it—are thus being shaped and reshaped. Drawing from a critical perspective, we will examine the educational actors involved in current policy and practice, and will consider their interests and relationships. We will also evaluate the impact of this phenomenon for global social institutions, nation-states, communities, and individuals.  

Transnational Educational Politics and Policy in a Globalized-Glocalized World

This course will consider the relationship between transnational education and global politics, considering its role in fostering nationalism, nation branding and global competitiveness. It will consider education’s utility as a tool for public diplomacy, and its role in human, social and economic development. We will carefully examine the relationship between culture, power and education in national and international systems. We will examine the role of donors and international organizations and institutions in education governance, and will explore how state and non-state actors shape and disseminate national and transnational educational policies and reforms. This course will have a special focus on culturally relevant policy analysis and implementation.

Global Health Courses

Global Health, Culture, and Communication

Global changes in migratory patterns, the increasing health inequalities faced by the poor in the U.S. and around the world, and the health risks faced by communities at the margins of global societies have drawn much attention to the relevance of studying culture to understand health and health communication processes across global cultures. This course adopts a culture-centered approach to health communication. Adopting the case study method, we will examine immigrant and refugee populations in the U.S. and international health case studies to explore why culture matters and the values underlying health communication interventions. Effective and culturally responsive health communication requires an understanding of theoretical perspectives coupled with strategy and creativity to capture the attention of the target audience, convey a health message that resonates with the audience, and ultimately enhance individual, family, and/or community health. To this end, students will learn not only important theories in this area of study but also concrete tools such as how to develop audience-centered health messages, how to design an effective and culturally tailored health communication flyer, and how to analyze and evaluate the key elements of a media health campaign.

Health Communication Across Borders

This course focuses on low-income immigrants and refugee populations in the U.S. and applies a family and community perspective to the study of their health and well-being.  A community perspective recognizes the impact of economic, political, and socio-cultural context on health in general, and of inequalities rooted in policies and conditions from the global (e.g. the need for family remittances in the face of poverty) to the local (e.g. access to a livable wage) on the health of immigrant populations in specific.  A family centered perspective recognizes the influence of family and cross-generational dynamics in the decision to immigrate and to seek health care, as well as the contribution of grandparents, mothers, fathers, and children to a family’s economic and physical well-being.  Both perspectives assume the critical role played by people in determining policies and designing programs that affect their lives. Moreover, we will learn about the importance of adopting a multicultural approach to understanding community problems and assets, and designing and evaluating interventions with ethnically diverse communities.

Intercultural Relations Courses