Frequently Asked Questions: Intercultural Studies

Have questions regarding the UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies, UBC Award of Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion, or UBC Award of Achievement in Intercultural Communication? See some frequently asked questions and answers below, or contact us for more information.

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What's the difference between the UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies, the UBC Award of Achievement in Intercultural Communication and the UBC Award of Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion?

The UBC Award of Achievement in Intercultural Communication appeals to those interested in building a basic understanding of the effect of culture on human interaction. The UBC Award of Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion is applicable to those professionals who are currently involved in diversity and inclusion work in organizations. The UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies is for those seeking a more comprehensive program that encompasses all these aspects. The awards of achievement require you to take one prerequisite course and two elective courses. The certificate requires you to take one prerequisite course and four elective courses. If you decide to pursue the UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies, you have the option to transfer completed courses from either award of achievement toward the certificate.

What are the program course fees and availability?

View the Program Fees and Policies and the Curriculum section of each certificate or award of achievement's webpage for upcoming courses.

I am new to the field of intercultural communication. Are these programs for me?

Our training is designed to capitalize on the experience of our participants while providing access to leaders in the field. Participants must have some prior intercultural experience so that each member of the class benefits from the insights of the others. Relevant experience may include but is not limited to: international business or management experience, experience with diverse groups in your workplace or community, international development work, travel or study abroad programs.

What will the above programs do for my employment or salary prospects?

These programs provide professionals with the opportunity to develop their intercultural skills. Such skills provide new perspectives, knowledge and awareness, adding value for creating inclusive workplaces, communities and organizations regardless of the field one works in. Participants have reported an increase in job performance, productivity and satisfaction when interacting with people from other cultures. Few people have formal training in the field of diversity, inclusion and intercultural communication. The UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies, the Award of Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion and the Award of Achievement in Intercultural Communication are recognized and credible qualifications that will be valued by prospective employers.

How long will it take me to complete the certificate requirements?

If you are working full-time, we suggest that you schedule one course every other month for optimum learning. At this rate, you will complete the five courses within 12 to 18 months, depending on scheduling and course availability. Completing the certificate program should take no longer than three years.

Can I take a course in the program before applying for the certificate?

Yes, you have the option to register and take the prerequisite course, Strategies for Effective Intercultural Communication, without applying to the CIS program BUT you must apply and be accepted into the CIS program before you can continue and register for the CIS elective courses. Please view the Admissions and Registration section of the UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies webpage for details.

Do I have to have access to the Internet in order to participate?

Yes. You must have regular access to a computer with email and Internet capabilities.

How much time will I spend online?

Over the four- to seven- week course period, you will need to set aside approximately seven hours for reading, reflecting, posting assignments, and responding to the submissions of your fellow participants each week. There are no exams or research papers.

If I applied for the award of achievement and I want to switch to the UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies, do I have to submit a new application?

No, you do not need to submit a new application. However, you must notify our office that you wish to pursue the certificate by contacting us.

How do I register for all five courses at the same time for the full certificate program fee?

The full certificate program fee is not available for online registration. If you would like to register for all five courses at the same time please call us at 604.827.4203.

I work in the private sector and am responsible for leading a diverse team. How will these programs be of benefit to me?

In order to improve the performance of your team, we suggest taking Strategies for Effective Intercultural Communication as well as Thriving in Diverse Teams and Leadership in Intercultural Contexts. These three courses will contribute to your understanding of how leadership works in a diverse environment and multicultural and international team effectiveness and give you the opportunity to practise the skills needed to create, lead, build, and motivate a successful intercultural team. You will develop your ability to communicate effectively as a leader and provide feedback to your team in a way that empowers them to work effectively and productively together.

I'm interested in your programs but I don't live in the Vancouver area so can’t easily attend the face-to-face workshops. How can I complete my program?

Increasingly people from across Canada, the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America have been completing the program. Many of our courses are 100% online and do not require you to come to Vancouver. Please view the Curriculum section of the certificate or award of achievement webpage you are interested in for details.

Where can I stay when I attend my face-to-face session in Vancouver?

There are a number of accommodation options at UBC and in Vancouver to choose from. Please check the Tourism Vancouver website for details.

Can I obtain a student loan to pay for a program?

The UBC Certificate in Intercultural Studies (CIS) program is a part-time, non-credit certificate program with UBC Extended Learning and is not eligible for a student loan. Student loans are limited to students enrolling in and attending a recognized full-time post-secondary level program leading to a formal credential. Part-time programs, due to their duration and course load, are not eligible for student loans at this time.