Summer Institute on Communication and Culture

The Summer Institute on Communication and Culture provides a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in English language and American cultural immersion. The program is designed for students to experience the use of English in authentic settings and provide a cross-cultural lens for understanding communication and media. Program participants will explore English through a variety of real life situations that bring them into daily contact with American peers, instructors and mentors. The program aims to increase U.S. and international cultural knowledge, boost speaking confidence and enhance English language skills in a dynamic, lively setting. All MITI programs integrate the philosophy of living English to enhance cultural and language skills in a unique way.


  • Culture and communication course (20 instruction hours): This course is designed to expose students to a variety of settings where they can improve their English skills and speaking confidence, gain knowledge about American culture and learn about the local community. Coursework and site visits will focus on building communication skills and understanding community through real life interactions. All students will be required to give a final presentation that highlights what they have learned about American culture and the Columbia community through coursework.
  • American cultural seminars (15 instruction hours): These seminars introduce students to various areas of American culture, aiming to enhance their understanding of American thought and daily life. Seminars are taught by a variety of instructors and guest speakers on topics including slang and idioms, local history, media and politics.
  • Professional site visits: Students will participate in professional site visits designed to develop a better understanding of American culture and the local community. Potential site visits include Missouri State Capitol and Supreme Court, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, St. Louis Post-Dispatch or Kansas City Star (newspapers), locally owned businesses, Columbia Chamber of Commerce, public library and local media sites (KOPN radio station, Columbia Missourian newspaper, Newsy news website, KOMU TV station).
  • Cultural field trips: During the program, students will go on local cultural excursions and will visit other cities near Columbia, possibly including St. Louis, Kansas City, Hermann, Hannibal and Jefferson City.
  • American ambassadors: The program opens doors for students to make meaningful relationships with American college students during their time at MU, with the intent that they will see many perspectives of American culture and return home with a more significant global view.