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Culture in International Studies

The Culture learning stream in International Studies aims to train students to think critically about issues of language and culture in both local and global contexts. Linguistics and cultural studies can be key to the success of culturally informed future International Studies professionals.

Objectives of the Culture pathway

A first objective, therefore, is to introduce undergraduate students to these fields by exposing them to the diversity and dynamicity of sociocultural approaches understandings. In this way, the culture pathway provides a natural platform for branching out to the eight regional foci of the programme. The second major goal of the culture pathway is to provide students with the tools to critically analyse questions of language and culture, and thus with a critical lens through which the conceptual tools of the other pathways can also be approached. Thirdly, the culture pathway naturally connects with the foreign language requirement in the International Studies programme. That is both because language learning is itself infused with cultural learning, thereby strengthening the case for a co-examination of the two, and because learning a new language provides an opportunity for hands-on application and exemplification of many of the theoretical tools introduced in the courses in this pathway.

Culture pathway in the programme

These stated goals are pursued through a sequence of courses that include two broad introductions to the fields of sociolinguistics and cultural studies, respectively, in the first semester, followed by applications of the relevant concepts to the student’s region of choice in the second semester. In the first semester of the second year, students can choose between two courses: Cultural Interaction: Conflict and Cooperation, or Communicating across Cultures. Cultural Interaction takes a micro and a macro approach to interaction between people, cultural artefacts and cultural groups. The course Communication across Cultures examines the details that make communication work within and across cultures around the world.
Ultimately, the role of the culture pathway in International Studies is pivotal in providing students with deeper insight into matters of language and culture, but also in effectuating links between the various components of the programme, as well as between the academic contents of the programme and the experiences of our largely international student demographic outside of the classroom.

Culture Courses:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Area Culture & language
  • Introduction to International Studies
  • Cultural Interaction: Conflict and Cooperation or Communicating Across Cultures

All course information is included in the e-prospectus.

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