The text introduces some of the key concepts in intercultural communication as traditionally presented in (North American) courses and textbooks, namely the study of differences between cultures, as represented in the works and theories of Edward Hall (1959) and Geert Hofstede (1980). Common to these approaches is the prominence of context, leading to a view of human interactions as dynamic and changeable, given the complexity of language and culture, as human agents interact with their environments. This aligns with the principal approach used in this textbook, which is broadly ecological, looking at the multiple factors of individuality and context (including but not limited to national origin) that influence intercultural communication. There is an attempt throughout the text to incorporate views on intercultural communication from a geographically diverse array of scholars, supplementing the author's North American perspective. How intercultural communication is envisioned as a discipline varies considerably from country to country. In many cases, intercultural communication is associated with professional areas such as business, education, healthcare, or hospitality services. These are all areas in which communication with those who represent different cultures and languages is crucially important, and where encounters between those representing different cultures is increasingly the norm.