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Intercultural Competency

Students combined interests in sustainability and volunteerism during a spring break trip to Florida.

Intercultural Competence -- the ability to communicate with, understand, and work with people of various different backgrounds, values, world views and behaviors -- is critical to achieving...

  • Positive/effective intercultural interaction and learning
  • Professional effectiveness
  • Inclusivity
  • Improved community relations in multicultural environments

Dickinson is a diverse community that values the lived experiences of its members and the expression of a variety of perspectives.
We recognize that difference and diversity enrich community -- but can also divide. The intercultural competency initiative addresses this challenge.
We define intercultural competence as the ability for community members to engage with each other across cultural difference in order to deepen learning and build mutual understanding and community. 

Intercultural Competence Skills

  • Self-awareness (experiences, biases, styles)
  • Recognize difference
  • Empathy
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Flexibility in thought and behavior
  • Patience
  • Curiosity
  • Active listening


  • Understand how culture shapes our perceptions of ourselves and others
  • Recognize differences between people as stemming from differing cultural backgrounds and experience
  • Participate in civil interactions with others across difference
  • Foster an openness to learn about and better understand the worldview of others
  • Enact solutions that build a more culturally inclusive and interconnected campus, community and world