INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION

 

The increasingly global nature of our work and work environment means that students and professors/supervisors are faced with having to be more interculturally skilled and proactive in a work culture that does not comply with universal rules. What’s more: the fact that people can speak to each other using a shared foreign language – for example, English – does not guarantee communication, understanding or agreement. Just how 'global' are we, or our staff, in interacting across cultures? The importance of intercultural effectiveness for higher education institutions in Germany lies not only in developing a higher level of sophistication in handling intercultural encounters but by increasing an awareness of one’s own culture, discovering its idiosyncrasies and understanding how one’s image is perceived by members of other cultures. The ability to operate effectively across cultures has become an extremely important competence and demonstrates a willingness to “open oneself up” to the unknown or the uncertain. Intercultural effectiveness can help to reduce prejudice and build relationships of trust, from which industry as a whole can only profit. It can also reduce the damage caused by low cohesion and high levels of miscommunication. This practice-oriented seminar will enable participants to contribute to the process of strengthening ties with foreign students during their stay in Germany, thereby promoting positive “take away reports” and sustainable intercultural relationships in the international academic arena.

 

 

Aims
 

·     To find ways to communicate, collaborate and accomplish one’s goals despite different cultural values.

·     To increase one’s level of sensitivity and tolerance towards members of different cultures and to learn about the most common sources of misunderstanding and conflict.

·     To nurture one’s ability to anticipate behaviour and communication styles very different from one’s own culture.

 

 

Topics
 

  • Introduction to the concept of “culture”, cultural identification, self-image, stereotypes and expectations.
  • Exploring intercultural differences by comparing different cultures, cultural dimensions, values, norms, behaviour and cultural standards.
  • Understanding the significant differences between high and low context communication.
  • Learning how to communicate effectively to prevent conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Examining cultural behaviour in scientific and academic discussions, problem-solving, decision-making, assignment completion and teamwork.

 

Methods

Practical exercises, cultural simulation, role plays, case studies dealing with miscommunication or conflict from both the perspectives of the student working with other students, as well as that of the student and the academic instructor. The workshop is practically oriented and is intended to show how the newly-acquired knowledge can be applied in real-life scenarios.

Duration: one-day seminar from 10-5pm

Max. no. of participants: 10
 

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