Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Demonstrating cultural competence, engaging with diverse communities and developing an expansive food literacy is important for students who want to make a difference in their personal and professional lives. This unit will provide students with real-world opportunities to facilitate effective communication skills appropriate to a new cultural and linguistic environment, participation in a food-related community project in a new and potentially challenging environment, comparison of food cultures and systems, proficiency in food related knowledge and skills associated with culture. In addition, students will be expected to develop a reference framework for acquiring competence related to a new culture that can be applied in the future to further study, interactions in the community or in employment. The aim of this unit is to help students equip themselves with the skills to succeed in a new cultural environment, to converse through food and cuisine and to respect and value diversity.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - understand the scope and requirements for participation in an international short-term study tour (GA2, GA4) 

LO2 - compare and contrast aspects of culture and food (GA4, GA5) 

LO3 - converse professionally with a broad audience, showing a deep understanding of a food culture (GA1, GA5, GA9) 

LO4 - reflect and revise perspectives of a new culture based on experience (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA6) 

LO5 - articulate the value of their experience for their future professional roles or for community or social good (GA4, GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

  • Preparation for short-term study tour 
  • What does it mean to be culturally competent? 
  • How food and culture are interrelated? 
  • Introduction to host country: brief history, contemporary issues 
  • Food and culture of host country 
  • Communicating and educating through food 
  • Basic language and communication skills in host country 
  • Community engagement through food-based activities in host country 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy adopted aligns with the sequencing of the learning outcomes and consists of an introductory preparatory phase followed by two additional phases. The unit begins with approaches designed to allow students to gain the knowledge required for an international short-term study tour and assist them to develop an understanding of the requirements for participating in the tour. These approaches will include online modules and readings and be completed prior to departing on the tour. Following this, students will engage in a food-related experience in host country. Approaches during the two-week immersive experience will include lectures, discussions, workshops and a community engagement activity. Finally, the last phase will facilitate students’ reflection and translation of their experience for future practice. Overall, the approaches used in this unit have a constructively aligned developmental sequence designed to progressively and logically support students learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of each stage. As an overarching strategy, this is expected to engender high levels of engagement, efficiency and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching approaches will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in learning activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment principles and requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. Thus, the three phases of the strategy are reflected by integration of hurdle requirements and two appropriate assessment tasks. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose: 

Completion of preparatory task (hurdle). 

The second task will allow students to prepare a presentation appropriate to the environment of the study tour to communicate their newly developed understanding of a specific culture and culinary culture.  

The third assessment task provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their experience upon completion. Students will need to demonstrate how they will use the experience, gained cultural competence, and developed strategies for responding positively to new and challenging environments and how they will transfer their newly acquired knowledge and skills to their future professional role or community engagement. 

The assessment tasks will allow unit coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes and attainment of graduate attributes. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

HURDLE: Preparation for international short-term study tour including: 

Online component related to introduction of development of cultural competence through experiencing other cultures, managing culture shock, managing international travel and its short-term effects on health, personal goal setting for study tour 



GA2, GA4 


Enables students to prepare a mixed format presentation (oral, multi-media, participatory) to demonstrate their ability to confidently discuss aspects of food and culture 


LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9 

Written assessment task:  

Enables students to reflect on experience, challenges faced and overcomes, strategies developed, plan for transferring skills 


LO4, LO5 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Duolingo app Learn language for free  Host country resources will differ e.g. Italy  

Brunori, G. Malandrin, V. Rossi, A. (2013). Trade-off or convergence? The role of food security in the evolution of food discourse in Italy. Journal of Rural Studies, 29, 19-29

Dansero, E. & Puttilli, M. (2014). Multiple territorialities of alternative food networks: six cases from Piedmont, Italy. Local Environment, 19, 6 626-43

Parasecoli, F. (2004). Food culture in Italy. Greenwood Press. Connecticut. 

Helstosky, C. (2004). Garlic and oil: Food and politics in Italy. Berg. Oxford/New York.  

Universities Australia. 2011. What is Cultural Competence? A Discussion of the Literature. In Universities Australia National Best Practice Framework for Indigenous Cultural Competency in Australian Universities. (pp. 37-41) Accessed from 

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