Intercultural competence is an essential asset in today’s globalized world. The workplace is becoming more and more international, and many people live abroad for their job. Would you like to be better prepared for this new reality, and develop your intercultural competence? With my colleagues from the Intercultural Competence Platform at the University of Southern Denmark, I can offer a 10-week course where you develop your intercultural competence – for example open mindedness or cultural empathy – through various exercises and self-reflections.
Exercises and self-reflections
You will start developing your intercultural competence through various exercises that we will debrief so that you get as much learning out of it as possible. An example is Get to know ‘the other’, where you go for coffee with someone who is different than you are (e.g. a local if you live abroad) and then also interview them to Stand in someone else’s shoes. These exercises will challenge you and put you out of your comfort zone; this is essential for you to actually develop your intercultural competence. Your development is supported by a weekly journal with self-reflections that you hand in, to track your progress and reflect on what you learned. The course will finish with a final report where you reflect on your intercultural competence development throughout the course, and what the next steps should be.
This course is inspired by the intercultural competence development that I have run as part of the Global Competence Development course that I have taught in fall 2015 to Master students in Change Management at University of Southern Denmark. Here are a few of their remarks:
- “I really like the exercises and how we are forced to work with ourselves, developing competencies and attending to judgments and so on.”
- “I learned to become more aware about my judgements, my attitudes, and myself. I believe that working on my open-mindedness competence has helped me see things in a different way.”
The course is mainly meant as an online course, but you can also choose to have the debriefing of the exercises via Skype. You can sign up individually and follow it at a time of your choice, or you can sign up with a (small) group.
Are you interested in hearing more about this course? Please contact me at msvb[at]sdu.dk. I am happy to explain more about this method to develop intercultural competence, and – if you would like to follow the course as a group – how we can arrange this. If your organisation is located in Denmark, we can arrange for a few sessions to take place in house.
Image of shoes by Jeff Kramer via Flickr.