This is a FREE facilitated online opportunity for students who would like to increase their intercultural understanding and communication skills through developing self-awareness. Participants identify cultural influences, gain insight into their own cultural rules, norms and biases and use empathy to discuss the interconnection and complexity of culture and communication. Participants will also understand the impacts of colonialism on Indigenous peoples in Canada and develop tools and strategies to work across differences.

The course is designed knowing you are busy. It can take about 1 hour per week and is 6 weeks long. The course is instructed through videos and infographics so there is not a lot of reading. There will be an expert facilitating the discussions in the course.

96% of employers agree that:

"all college students should have experiences that teach them how to solve problems with people whose views are different from their own."

Register Now

Sign in through myExperience > Experiential Learning > Events Calendar > Select the "List View" tab > click the Filter button > type “Effective Intercultural Communication” in the title search bar. 

EIC is offered every semester. Find registration dates on myexperience.

This opportunity is recognized on the Co-Curricular Record (CCR), an official University document that tracks students’ co-curricular involvement at SFU. Learn more about the Co-Curricular Record.

The Course Is Divided into Five Modules: 

Week 1:

Getting Started

What Do You Need to Do to Pass?

Why Is This Important?


What does Intercultural Development Mean?

A Story Behind Your Name

Week 2:

The Foundation 

Culture and Communication

Influences on Intercultural Interactions

Communication Styles

High Context and Low Context Communication

Week 3:

Barriers in Intercultural Communication

The Stories We Don’t Want To Tell

Power and Privilege

Taking Action

Reflecting on Power and Privilege 

Week 4:

Challenges in Intercultural Communication

Truth Telling

Being Uncertain 

What’s Happening?

What’s Happening? Part 2

Week 5:

Strategies for Your Intercultural Development

Stress and Mindfulness

Emotional Intelligence, Empathy, and Resilience

What Does Reconciliation Mean to You?

Week 6:

Going Forward

Keep in Mind

Scenario: Who Belongs?

Going Forward – Reflection of Learning

Course Evaluation

Student Testimonials

"This course has taught me to be more self-aware of my assumptions and unconscious biases that sometimes leads me to miscommunication in my everyday life...This is important because by working on my intercultural communication I can be more conscious of the harmful effects of stereotypes, biases and the colonial mindset. I also learned that it is important to accept and be open about the uncomfortable truths be it my own culture or other cultures. This is especially important in terms of reconciliation and intergenerational healing for our Indigenous communities and fellow Canadians....I will be sure to practice empathy, mindfulness, active witnessing and all that I have learned to engage my diverse communities with inclusion, respect and understanding. I am thankful that this course has helped decolonize my mind!"

- Shared with permission from student

"It is a well-known fact that Canada is highly multicultural. However, we still regularly see or hear about incidents involving conflict and race dynamics. Being a person of color, I often wonder if people perceive me differently which sometimes leads to uncomfortable interactions with people who I see as different than me.

I took EIC to explore these feelings and biases further and I was amazed at how much I learned from the course. It made me aware of my own prejudices and privileges and think about aspects of my identity on a deeper level. I was surprised how this course was packed with meaningful information on difficult topics (culture, racism, colonization) but still had minimal reading and was mostly visually instructed.   

It has enhanced my mindfulness, empathy and ability to build respectful relations with people from other cultures. It has sparked my interest in so many topics I didn’t know much about before.

To top it all, this course is free so I would hands down recommend this to everyone!"

- Shared with permission from student