World Travel Geography and Cultural Awareness

From high level business negotiations to casual conversations among friends, every interpersonal interaction is shaped by cultural norms and expectations. Seldom is this more clearly brought to light than in encounters between people from different cultural backgrounds, when dissimilar communication practices may lead to frustration and misunderstanding. This thought-provoking class will present a new framework for understanding the impact of culture on communication and to help students build inter-cultural communication and awareness competence. With illustrative examples from around the globe and frequent hands-on experiences of different cultures, this class will show that verbal and nonverbal communication involves much more than transmitting a particular message – it also reflects each participant’s self-image, group identification and values, and privacy and relational needs. The class will learn to move effectively and appropriately through a wide range of trans-cultural situations by combining culture-specific knowledge with mindful listening and communication skills. (Spring Semester)