printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Communicating Across Cultures (MQ802)

This workshop provides a hands-on experience in adjusting to variations in cultural values and communication styles found in overseas work and life. Participants will identify key cultural values, identify personal reactions to cultural differences, and explore effective strategies for living with cultural diversity.

Participant Feedback:

"For me, I learned to appreciate all over again how difficult it is when first entering the Foreign Service lifestyle. Despite years of experience in adapting to a different culture, each country presents new challenges."

"I think everyone at State should take this course, especially before going overseas. It's also helpful in dealing with people of different countries/cultures in Washington, DC."

"It reminded me and raised my level of awareness about things that are culturally different. Things to be more relaxed about were brought to light and also confirmed cultural issues that I already knew existed. Thank you!"


Course Dates and Times
17 September 2015      9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
4 December 2015     9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
24 March 2016      9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
24 June 2016      9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
15 September 2016      9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This is a tuition-based course.
Tuition for non-State participants: $195


Virtual Resource Table

The following links and documents represent materials made available at the resource table during the class.

Department of State Resources

  • CultureGrams – Discover the culture of your assigned country! Find the most up-to-date information about the people, customs, lifestyle, transportation, climate, and much more. View photos, read interviews from in-country experts, and explore the video gallery. CultureGrams also features a separate Kids Edition so the whole family can learn together! Foreign affairs community members can email the Overseas Briefing Center for logon information.
  • What is Culture – Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs video

Learn More About Cross-Cultural Communication

Personal/Interpersonal Skills

  • Skills You Need – Article on how to build strong personal/interpersonal skills. Also includes an assessment on your current personal/interpersonal skills and how to improve them
  • Developing Your Interpersonal Skills – Book Chapter about how to develop strong interpersonal skills. The book comes from a series of books developed from a career development publishing company


Publications & Magazines

Books (For All Reading Levels/Ages)

  • America's Midlife Crisis: The Future of a Troubled Superpower [Gary R Weaver and Adam Mendelson, Intercultural Press, 2008]
  • Beyond Culture [Edward T Hall, Anchor Books, 1976]
  • Communicating Across Cultures [Stella Ting-Toomey, Guilford Communication Series, 1999]
  • Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot - And Cold - Climate Cultures [Sarah A Lanier, McDougal Publishing, 2000]
  • Intercultural Relations: Communication, Identity and Conflict [Gary R Weaver, Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013]
  • The Art of Crossing Cultures [Craig Storti, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007]
  • What is Culture? [Bobbie Kalman, Crabtree Publishing, 2009]
  • That's Not What I Meant! [Deborah Tannen, HarperCollins Publishers, 1987]
  • Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress [Lawrence E. Harrison, Basic Books, 2001]
  • Perception & identity in intercultural communication [Marshall Singer, Intercultural Press, 1998]
  • Intercultural Communication: A Perceptual Approach [Marshall Singer, Prentice Hall College Division, 1987]


The information provided is FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, by the Department of State. Links to websites outside the U.S. federal government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names are for the convenience of the user and do not constitute an official endorsement or approval of any private sector website, product, service, or privacy policy.


Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.