Intercultural Communication (Europe and the Islamic World) Study Abroad in France and Spain

Intercultural Communication (Europe and the Islamic World) Study Abroad in France and Spain
2 weeks: July 31 to August 13, 2016

The Department of Communication Studies at Kansas State University announces its 2016 summer seminar in France and Spain and invites applications from undergraduate and graduate students across the United States.

Admission is competitive; deadline for application is February 1, 2016.
Students may contact program director, Professor Soumia Bardhan

This 2-week summer program on culture and communication is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in an academic and intercultural experience in a foreign culture. The goal of this course is to enhance student intercultural competence and an understanding of the long-term intercultural interaction/ relationship between Western cultures and Islam.

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In this course, culture will be studied through four levels. These levels correspond to communications scholar Bernard Saint-Jacques’s conception of culture: (1) High culture- the achievements of society in terms of the most esteemed forms of literature, art, music; (2) Culture as behavior- the ways people agree to behave, act, and respond; (3) Culture as ways of thinking-modes of perception, beliefs and values, shaped by history, society, media, religion, politics, etc; and (4) Culture as language. Through an in-depth review of intercultural theories and concepts, and competence development activities, the course will focus on the ways in which culture and language – and more broadly communication – are linked; it will help students gain a greater understanding of when and why communicative misunderstandings occur and how to overcome them; and it will allow students to appreciate communicative differences resulting from cultural dissimilarities and recognize that interacting with people from different backgrounds brings opportunities for growth.

In addition, the course will focus on the history, evolution, and manifestation of Islam in Al-Andalus (south Spain) and the intercultural interactions between Western and Islamic cultures, as well as Christianity, Judaism, Islam in Spain and France. It will illustrate the enormous influence Islam exerted on these countries through art, religion, history, and politics. The program will also focus on the debates concerning the Muslim population in Europe, covering concepts of religion and secularism, immigration, human rights, feminism, religion and fundamentalism, and modernity.

The academic component will consist of a series of briefings from the faculty leader and other leading academic, literary and political personalities and experts on the European relationship with the Islamic World. Participants will attend daily lectures and meetings with the program director and other scholars/ experts in the fields of intercultural communication, politics, art history, history, religion, law, gender studies, linguistics, and actively engage in numerous formal and informal intercultural discussions and interactions with ordinary citizens. Study sites include: France (Paris, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille) and Spain (Seville, Granada, Madrid, and Córdoba).

To access program description, eligibility, itinerary, tuition and associated investment, application deadlines and for more information on this academic and intercultural experience, visit Kansas State University’s Study Abroad Office.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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