Intercultural Competence: Coursework & Immersion Experience


Engaging thoughtfully and fluidly across cultures begins with one's own self-awareness.  With this learning objective, you will deepen your cultural agility through a mix of three introspective courses and an intercultural immersion learning experience in which you learn about others while reflecting upon your own self in relation to others. The goal is for you to build your capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relative cultural differences.  



You will take one of the core courses described below as well as two of the elective courses. Many of the IWU courses that meet the general education requirement for Encountering Global Diversity meet this learning objective. Courses given this designation introduce students to the ways in which diversity has shaped and continues to shape identity and experience in the world. 

Choose 1 of these core courses:

  • ANTH 171       Cultural Anthropology
  • SOC 230           Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC/PSCI 395 Action Research Seminar
  • INST 240          Introduction to International Studies
  • INST 222/322 International Human Rights: An Introduction
  • PSCI 103          Comparing Nations
  • PSCI 104          Multiculturalism & its Critics

Choose 2 electives from the list of core courses (above) or these additional elective (below):

  • ANTH 252       Gender in Cross-cultural perspective
  • ANTH 274       Peoples and Cultures of East Africa
  • ANTH 310       Re-Imagining Culture and Fieldwork
  • ANTH 330       Language, Communication and Culture
  • ANTH 350       Health and Healing in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH 360       Race, Racism, and Anthropology
  • ART 355           African Expressive Arts
  • BUS 360           Travel Seminar: Effects of National Cultures on Business Decision Making
  • BUS 451           International Business
  • ECON 355       Economics of Developing Countries
  • EDUC 225       Education and Social Justice
  • EDUC 373       Education and International Development
  • ENGL 129       Third World Women Speak
  • ENGL 249       Writing in the Third World
  • ENST 240        Health and the Environment
  • ENST 361        Globalization and the Environment
  • HIST 343          Migration, Ethnicity, and Race
  • HLTH 280        Perspectives in Global Health
  • HUM 104         World of Ideas: The Modern Era
  • INST 373          Education and International Development
  • PSCI 215          Politics in Developing Societies
  • PSCI 326          Globalization and Development
  • PSYC 354         Identity, Social Justice, and Psychology
  • REL 110           Religions of the World
  • REL 204           Native American/African Religion
  • SOC 277/377   Travel and Fieldwork in Sociology
  • SOC 314           Communities and Urban Sociology
  • SOC 354           Gender and Globalization
  • SPAN 230         Medical Spanish and Cultural Competency for Health Care
  • SPAN 240         Spanish for Social Justice
  • SPAN 316         Latin American Culture and Civilization
  • SPAN 320         Studies in Cultural History

Is there another course in the catalog that you feel meets this requirement?  Please discuss it with your Peace Corps Prep Coordinator.


Intercultural Immersion Experience 

There are many opportunities at IWU that can offer an intercultural immersion experience including study abroad, alternative breaks, internships, independent study, or honors research. Prolonged intercultural experiences - such as studying abroad, supporting new immigrants or refugees acculturate to the United States, teaching English as a second/foreign language, or volunteering in diverse schools - would also strengthen your Peace Corps candidacy significantly.  This part of the learning objective aims to prepare students for the on-the-ground, human-to-human, intercultural realities inherent to Peace Corps service.  While this experience is not required to be in the Peace Corps Prep program, it is highly encouraged.