Site Visits and Cultural Highlights (Minnesota)

Who are You?
Welcome to the Cultural Highlights Section

What is a Site Visit?

Person driving on the road.
Photo from

Learning about cultures found, not abroad or in far-flung areas of the United States, but “in one’s own backyard”, is a valuable means to begin or work towards cultural communication competence. This process can start by visiting local culturally-based or oriented nonprofit organizations, historical buildings and sites, museums, art galleries, restaurants, places of worship, and other sites. This unit explores the many opportunities to learn about co-cultures locally in Minnesota. As the OER book expands, more locations will be added.


Why Local Site Visits?

Students looking at a map
Join with classmates to explore! Photo from

In this time of Covid, international travel might not be an option. Many students of International Communication do not have time to drive a great distance to experience elements of another culture. Well, given our nation’s diverse cultures, it may be best to look for local (for our purposes loosely reckoned to a radius of 0 to 200 miles) cultures that, through a variety of venues, are given expression in sites. Visiting overlooked local cultural sites can contribute significantly to one’s journey towards cultural competence, particularly as an experiential first step leading to deeper and more nuanced aspects needed in the process towards intercultural communication competence.


Amish cart next 7 miles sign
photo by Lori Halverson-Wente

Stepping Out of your Normal Bubble

Learning more about a variety of cultures “in your backyard” might include visiting nonprofit organizations, historical buildings, museums, art galleries, restaurants, cultural centers, and other sites. You are welcome to develop your own cultural conversations with the contacts in this unit or find your own contacts.

This unit is developed to explore the vast opportunities to learn about co-cultures in Minnesota. As the OER book expands, more locations will be added.

So, who came to Minnesota, and who is arriving now?

Coming to Mni Sota: As you begin exploring Minnesota’s Growing Diversity, Consider the Longer Story…

“Coming to Mni Sota explores conflicts, contradictions, and solidarity among the millions who have moved through, and to, Minnesota. For hundreds of years, the arrival of those from around the world has changed Minnesota’s identity and caused disruption for those already here” (YouTube Description by TPT)


Throughout this section of our book, an in-depth discussion of co-cultures and introductions to diverse Minnesotans and culturally relevant Minnesota site visits will be provided. The stories, sites, holidays, traditions, and cultures represented will grow as this Open Education Resource grows. If you have suggestions or would like to add your story to the text, please contact us: or For folks outside Minnesota, we’d love to hear from you too!

In the next chapters, you will find peer student voices represented in this unit. Again, these stories and voices will grow as the textbook grows. We are grateful for the students who have volunteered to create sample speeches, tours, and commentary. You might have viewpoints you’d like to have considered. Please share this with us.


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Developing Intercultural Communication Competence Copyright © 2018 by Lori Halverson-Wente is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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