The Intercultural Competence Conference is for K-16 educators and students in fields related to Foreign Languages, Social Sciences/Studies and Humanities, featuring experts in Intercultural Competence from across the U.S. and internationally.

Intercultural competence is [the ability] “to see relationships between different cultures – both internal and external to a society – and to mediate, that is interpret each in terms of the other, either for themselves or for other people.” It also encompasses the ability to critically or analytically understand that one’s “own and other cultures’” perspective is culturally determined rather than natural. – Byram, M.



Seventh International Conference on the
Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence

Internationalizing the Curriculum:
The Role of Intercultural Competence

January 2020, in Tucson, Arizona, and Online

Keynote Presentation
Adriana Diaz (University of Queensland – Australia)

Plenary Presentations
Marianne Larsen (Western University – Canada)
Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia – Canada)

In this current era characterized by porous geographical boundaries across which ideas, people, services, and goods circulate rapidly, institutions of higher education are re-conceptualizing the kinds of intercultural knowledge, mindsets, and skills they say their students need to live and work in this inextricably interconnected world. Backed by economic, political, academic and sociocultural rationales (see de Wit, 2013), tertiary institutions have implemented and continue to rethink and develop various strategies for internationalizing their educational programs with the stated goals of equipping their students with the abilities and dispositions they will require to fully participate in an increasingly globalized society. While internationalization seems to be a core principle around which a wide range of stakeholders in education can rally, it is also a shifty signifier, which references a wide range of at times seemingly incompatible priorities and initiatives and many questions remain about what kinds of efforts and initiatives can genuinely prepare graduates for the complex cultural and linguistics landscapes created through globalization. Over the past few decades, strategic plans to internationalize education have focused on, for example, cultures and languages across the curriculum, service learning and sojourns abroad, the recruitment of international students, and more recently the development of ’offshore’ or ‘transnational’ campuses through alliances with universities and stakeholders, and/or the creation of dual and joint international degrees. In addition to the divergence of interpretations of what internationalization of education ought to entail, scholars have noted the disconnect that exists between policies, practices, and research and the role of intercultural and multilingual competences is often understated (see Agnew, 2012; Dlanska, 2013; Diaz, 2013 & 2018). Too often, the emphasis is on the internationalization of the institution itself, and not of the curriculum, which leaves the role of intercultural competence unclear. These efforts furthermore often reflect an Anglo-centric mindset (Bolsmann & Miller, 2008; Kubota & McKay, 2009; Brooks & Waters, 2013; Stein, Andreotti, Bruce, & Suša, 2016), which potentially puts the burden of internationalizing on international students, without any critical consideration on how English is positioned within these markets.

Hosted by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL) at the University of Arizona, the 2020 ICC conference will take stock of current models for internationalizing curricula as well as the genealogies of these discussions. The organizers are interested in accounts of best practices as well as critical examinations of current trends and conceptual think pieces around what it might mean to internationalize higher education.

See the full CFP. Proposal submission deadline: May 31, 2019.

See the archive of previous Intercultural Competence conferences at the past conferences link in the menu bar above, including links to presentations.