Intercultural Awareness and Competence

Welcome to the Online Intercultural Certification Program. We hope you’re ready for an engaging, rewarding online learning experience with plenty of reading, thinking, and writing.

Brock’s Human Rights and Equity’s (HRE) Intercultural Awareness and Competency training is a structured approach to building awareness and understanding of different cultural behaviours. This online workshop will help you create an environment where people of diverse cultures and backgrounds work together more easily and effectively.

Why do we need to become interculturally competent?

Our community is diverse. We all are surrounded by people who look, speak, think, or feel differently. Differences exist on many levels, including cultural and personal. Sometimes, these differences may get in the way of our daily interactions, though we may not even realize it. This intercultural certification workshop is aimed at increasing the capacity of our communities to work well across differences. Through this workshop, we aim to foster and develop a culturally inclusive, diverse, and safe environment for all.

land acknowledgement iconLand Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the land on which Brock University was built in the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people.

The Two Row Wampum Belt

The Two Row Wampum Belt. source:

video iconWelcome Video

Thank-you for joining us in this online course from Brock’s Human Rights and Equity (HRE). In this brief introductory video, Trecia McLennon will explain to you what you will learn over the next three modules.

modules iconWeekly Modules

The side navigation menu gives you access to the weekly materials that you are required to cover each week. Each week comprises lecture videos, along with related materials such as content slides, videos, assignments, quizzes, etc. There are three modules other than the course Welcome page in this course. You are encouraged to complete the modules in the following sequence. These are listed below for reference.


course description iconCourse Description

The purpose of this course is to provide you with a starting point to learn about intercultural communication, awareness, and diversity in educational settings. By the end of this course, you will know some key concepts related to culture (definitions, understanding of how cultures differ, the relation between culture and identity, and stereotypes). You will get an opportunity to reflect on what intercultural competence is and how it can be developed; and you will learn some strategies to overcome barriers to cross-cultural communication, and also become aware of how to deal with intercultural situations.

course objectives iconCourse Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify surface and deep level elements of culture
  • List elements of your own cultural identity
  • Identify at least one inclusive practice that you can use in your work or life on campus
  • Identify self and others’ values
  • Compare cultural dimensions from two or more countries
  • Identify when a speaker is using a high or low context communication style
  • Identify the definition of unconscious bias
  • Participate in the Implicit Association Test to uncover and reflect upon what biases you may have on a range of topics
  • Craft/draft an interculturally effective vision of yourself at your highest and best

question iconHow will the course work?

This course will introduce you to and engage you in discussing and practicing the essential attitudes, knowledge, and skills of intercultural competence.

There are three weeks in the course and each one contains short articles, videos, and discussions. Each week should take you no longer than two hours to complete, and you are free to move faster or slower through the steps, according to your available time. On most steps, we encourage you to personally reflect and make note of these reflections.

reflection iconReflection Note

Whenever you see this icon and title indicate a reflective activity that requires you to record your notes. You can do this in any way that you prefer – Word document, PDF, PPT, visual, audio, video, etc. We have also provided you with online forms so that you can capture your reflections and export a copy of your work. These notes might also be helpful aids in the synchronous discussions that vital to your learning and developing intercultural competency.

Brock’s Human Rights and Equity’s (HRE) Intercultural Awareness and Competency workshop is designed to develop cultural acumen and provides strategies for dealing with culturally diverse behaviours and approaches. Research shows us that building intercultural competency helps us to form more constructive relationships and yield improved results in our connections. Developing a value for different perspectives and ways of doing things gives us greater confidence in working with others respectfully and effectively. Over 90% of participants who have completed the intercultural certification program have indicated that they are now better able to manage cultural differences more skillfully.

poll iconIntercultural Sensitivity Test

This polling activity will indicate your level of intercultural awareness before you begin this course. Remember that this is not a test, so make your best guess. The results will give you an idea about the other participants’ experiences when it comes to intercultural interactions. Note that this activity is built in Google Forms. None of your personal information will be recorded.

checkmark iconAre you ready to move on?

☐ Read the information on the course introduction page
☐ Viewed the Let’s Get Started video of the instructor
☐ Read all the course information provided (description and objectives)
☐ Understand how the course is going to operate
☐ Completed all poll questions for the Intercultural Sensitivity Test

next icon What’s coming up?

You can now move on to 1.0 What is Culture? by using the menu at the left or the navigation at the bottom of this page.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intercultural Awareness and Competence Copyright © 2021 by Trecia McLennon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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