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Intercultural Communication in Tourism (5 cr)

Code: MT00CI56-3001

General information


27.01.2025 - 19.05.2025

Number of ECTS credits allocated

5 op

Mode of delivery



School of Business


Main Campus

Teaching languages

  • English


20 - 45

Degree programmes

  • Bachelor's Degree Programme in Tourism Management


  • Barbara Crawford


  • MTM24S1
    Bachelor's Degree Programme in Tourism Management
  • ZJAMTM24S1
    Avoin AMK, marata, AMK-polut, Tourism Management


The tourism and hospitality industry is perhaps the most international and intercultural profession in a world, where most every aspects of the profession is exposed to components of intercultural interaction. In addition, the field requires a wide variety of “soft skills” to complete tasks within one’s own culture and in another’s. These skills include, for example, problem solving, successful interpersonal engagement, professional writing, presentation skills, teamwork, communication competency, and many more. Thus the objective of this course is to expose you to a variety of basic concepts of intercultural interaction as well as to use many soft skills as a means to put that knowledge into action, thereby increasing your professional competencies.

The goal of this course is to help you develop knowledge of many concepts that influence interaction within the tourism industry--not just when you are abroad but also within your home culture--and how these apply to your future clients, your professional interaction, and your own attitudes and behaviors.

Additionally, this course will lay the foundation for your learning how to work with dissimilar others that will facilitate not only your academic studies and social interaction on campus and beyond but also your career goals within the tourism and hospitality industries.

internationalization and multiculturalism, ethics, and learning to learn

Learning objectives
The Intercultural Communication in Tourism course provides content, knowledge, and learning experiences that meet the above competences in the following way:

You become familiar with the impact of your cultural background on many activities and are able to develop operating methods that take into account the multiculturalism of your work community. In the case of this course, the emphasis is as much on the your recognition of yourself and others as cultural beings, but also on the interaction of these various aspects in your perceptions, interactions, and more. (Competences: Internationalization and multiculturalism; learning to learn)

You begin developing capabilities in understanding the interdependence of cultures and cultural behavior and the inherent ethical dilemmas and decisions that arise from contact and interaction among cultures. (Competences: Internationalization and multiculturalism; ethics)


Several of the topics this course presents include
The nature of culture
Dimensions of cultural variability
Cultural values and expression
Culture’s impact on communication
How to apply meta-communication
The non-neutrality of knowledge
Conflict negotiation and management
Culture’s impact on teamwork

Oppimateriaali ja suositeltava kirjallisuus

Most materials used in the class will be distributed through Moodle by the teacher and, when appropriate, guest teachers. Typically, these are peer-reviewed academic journal articles or materials prepared by the instructor. The instructor may also require you to identify, read, and reflect on peer-reviewed journal material that you personally gather from reliable academic sources (i.e., library databases).

By design, you will not be provided with a syllabus for the course; the course proceeds with information only a week or two in advance. Among other skills, this perspective provides an opportunity to practice for tolerance for ambiguity, an essential intercultural skill in which people must operate in environments and contexts where not everything is known.

Teaching methods

This course is a mixture of lecture, experiential learning activities, independent work, and exercises that teach/reinforce several of the "soft skills" so necessary in the tourism industry: multicultural group work, reflective assessment, presentation skills, academic research, etc.

Employer connections

All the content presented in the course (intercultural and cross-cultural topics) and learning processes (group work, presentation skills, academic research and writing) are key foundations for developing competencies important in both one's internship experiences and working life. Additionally, interaction with peers from multiple cultures provides students insights and working skills useful in an international professions such as hospitality and tourism.

Exam schedules

This course, by its experiential and social constructivism focus, does not have exams, although there are in-class tests. Assessments involve both individual and group work assignments. If a student requests a re-take of an assignment, this can be discussed with the teacher within 3 weeks of receiving a final grade in Peppi. If the assignment in question is the result of group work, the student may need to join a group the following semester to complete that assignment.

International connections

There may be international visitors who present course content, either in person or online.

Vaihtoehtoiset suoritustavat

Degree students have the right to apply for recognition of prior learning (e.g., university studies completed elsewhere) that can be accredited toward the degree you are currently completing. The recognition of prior learning is possible in three primary ways: accreditation (replacement or inclusion), recognition of informal learning, and studification. More precise info: JAMK Degree Regulations, Section 17.

Student workload

The 5-credit course translates into a total 135 h, which typically breaks down into the following student responsibilities:
Lectures 35 h
Assignments 40 h
Identifying and reading materials 20 h
Out-of-class multicultural group work and similar activities, 30 h
Preparation for in-class tests 8-10 h

Further information

Because of the first-person learning through in-class lectures, activities, and group work, the course is offered only in person and on campus.

The course assessment is based on written assignments, two in-class tests, individual and group presentations, and course-ending reflective paper.

This course aims to contribute to your engaging two of the Tourism Management Program's competences: Interculturality and Multiculturalism and Learning to Learn. In the former, the entire content of the class is to expose you multiple dimensions of cultural dissimiliarity in perspectives, knowledge, behaviors, and practices. In the latter competence, you will be engaging in activities, academic practices associated with reading and presenting information that demonstrates your academic competence, which also supports competences useful in the professional world of tourism and hospitality.

Evaluation scale


Arviointikriteerit, tyydyttävä (1-2)

1 (Sufficient) You have achieved the just the basic knowledge and applicability of cultural issues within the industry and soft skills practices. Thus, you may be able to identify aspects of culture and intercultural interaction but possess only a superficial understanding of the complexities that international or intercultural environments bring to interpersonal and professional activities.

2 (Satisfactory) You have demonstrated a general understanding and applicability of cultural concepts and developed a basic ability to express those concepts through the soft skills necessary for a professional career in the hospitality and tourism industries.

Arviointikriteerit, hyvä (3-4)

3 (Good) You are able to present a clear understanding of the various elements of intercultural interaction and can demonstrate through the soft skills the relationship between knowledge and practice in intercultural contexts.

4 (Very Good) You can demonstrate understanding of intercultural issues, perspectives, and concepts, how these relate to the tourism and hospitality industry, and can present well many of the soft skills introduced during the course.

Assessment criteria, excellent (5)

5 (Excellent) You consistently demonstrate your ability to synthesize various perspectives on and concepts related to culture and intergroup interaction as well as reflect well on how those components of culture impact your own life and future work in the tourism and hospitality industries. Additionally, you can demonstrate significant skill in the various soft skills introduced throughout the course.


There are no pre-requisites for this course.