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Intercultural Relations, sometimes called Intercultural Studies, is a relatively new formal field of social science studies. It is a practical, multi-field discipline designed to train its students to understand, communicate, and accomplish specific goals outside their own cultures. Intercultural Relations involves, at a fundamental level, learning how to see oneself and the world through the eyes of another. It is a broad rather than deep discipline that seeks to prepare students for interaction with cultures both similar to their own (e.g. a separate socioeconomic group in one's own country) or very different from their own (e.g. an American businessman in a small Amazon tribal society).
The study of intercultural relations incorporates many different academic disciplines. As a field, it is most closely tied to anthropology and sociology, although a degree program in Intercultural Relations or Intercultural Studies may also include the study of history, research methods, urban studies, gender studies, public health, many various natural sciences, human development, political science, psychology, and linguistics or other language training. Often, Intercultural programs are designed to translate these academic disciplines into a practical training curricula. Graduate programs will also prepare students for academic research and publication. Especially in today's global and multicultural world, yes, students of Intercultural Relations can use their training in many fields both internationally and domestically, and often pursue careers in social work, law, community development, religious work, and urban development.
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