This website is a collaboration between the International Cultural Gatherings club, the Language Studies Department, Intercultural Competence Committee, and the Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) at Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Monterey, California.

In fall 2019, a group of MIIS students (Arabic learners, international students, and other students) and Professor Rana Issa, Arabic Studies department, met and decided to collaborate on hosting some international events on campus. The group named itself MIIS International Cultural Gatherings. We found common ground in our love of all things international: culture, cuisine, dance, art, and music. We organize events where students, faculty, and staff can meet and learn about the various cultures represented at MIIS!

Our goals:

To deepen understanding of the various cultures on campus and have FUN. There might be times of uncertainty, disconnection, and challenge — that’s the time to be positive and connect, engage, detox, and rejuvenate.

Connect: to facilitate broader connection and interaction among MIIS students, faculty, staff members, campus clubs and organizations, and alumni and local community.

Engage: to facilitate familiarity and appreciation through social interaction, to create new opportunities and spark creativity, to help build trust and honesty and a more connected campus.

Detox: to get to know each other to help dispel possible negative impressions that could generate from misunderstandings or stereotyping, and to foster bonds between individuals and groups.

Rejuvenate: to generate new understanding, closeness, and interaction for the benefit of our community.

The Intercultural Competence (ICC) committee is made up of current faculty, staff, and students. With an emphasis on intercultural knowledge, skills, and attitudes, they focus on curriculum and assessment, preparing students for domestic and international immersive learning experiences, and cultivating partnerships across campus and beyond.

Throughout all of the programs at the Middlebury Institute, we emphasize intercultural competence, which is central to many aspects of the Envisioning Middlebury framework, including full participation in diverse communities, effective communication and influential expression, and educational collaboration and partnership.

The MIIS ICC curriculum offers students a range of course offerings each semester, selected based on an ICC course application process the ICC committee oversees. These courses are delivered in diverse formats (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid, online, semester-long, half-semester, weekend workshop) by full-time MIIS faculty as well as adjunct faculty and practitioners. The courses are themselves intercultural spaces, with students from diverse programs across campus. Sample topics include Trust Across Cultures, Power and Identities in a Multicultural World, Developing Intercultural Training in Organizations, Persuasion in Politics (in French), Service-Learning: International and Domestic Community Partnerships, and Introduction to Conflict Resolution

The Middlebury Institute also offers an Intercultural Competence specialization to help develop essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes to expertly lead and train multicultural teams, sensitively interact with diverse stakeholders, and create effective ICC assessments and training materials.