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Intercultural Competences

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities (UU)
Course code
Course fee
€ 950
Master level

Are you interested in working internationally? This course will support you in operating effectively across (international) borders. In the course you will get familiar with theories to understand culture as a concept, cultural differences and you will develop your own intercultural competences. During the course you will reflect on the following four intercultural competences: intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, building commitment and managing uncertainty by using the Intercultural Readiness Check©. Additionally you will develop skills, bring these into practice and acquire also insight in your personal behaviour. After this course you will be able to operate more effectively in different contexts.

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This summer the Utrecht University offers you a challenging course on “intercultural competences”. These competences are becoming more and more crucial nowadays.

As we all know, performing well in one’s own familiar context or culture doesn’t automatically equal studying or working effectively in an international context and/or in a diverse team. Even though we live and work in an increasingly globalized world, in which we seems to look, sound and think more and more alike, we are faced with deep layers of cultural differences. Navigating these differences and being able to cross bridges requires developing these four intercultural competences: intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, building commitment and managing uncertainty.

In this theoretical and highly interactive course you learn how to become more effective by building commitment to cross these differences. In the first place it’s about becoming aware of cultural perspectives and differences. In addition, you learn how to position yourselves in these intercultural dynamics. Also we emphasize on the importance of communicating effectively in an international context whereby many different stakeholders are involved. In this course we approach the concept of intercultural communication not only as communication between people with different nationalities, but also as the interaction between people that may differ in many other, sub-cultural ways, e.g. origin, education, gender, age, sexual orientation. Half way during the course you will bring these competences into practise during the fieldwork exercise outside of the Campus.

Tags: communication skills, intercultural communication, intercultural competences, international, multicultural, diversity management, culture and cultural differences

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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Jackie van der Kroft and Peter-Ben Smit


Jackie van der Kroft, Nicole Kienhuis and Yvonne van der Pol


The course is aimed towards master students and professionals with a master degree in any field who are interested in working internationally or within a multicultural (stakeholder) environment. Note that good verbal and written knowledge of the English language is required.


Having finished this course you will be able to operate more effectively in different (international) contexts.
More specifically, after the course trainees:
• Have discovered different frameworks to come to an understand of the concept of culture
• Are aware of their own (cultural) identity and how this has an influence on how they perceive others
• Learned different approaches in dealing with (cultural) differences
• Are aware of the complexity of intercultural communication and discover different communication frameworks;
• Know about the effects of their cultural background and personal characteristics on communication;
• Are able to signal and describe how cultural misinterpretations can arise (intercultural sensitivity);
• Learned about and are able to vary in communication styles according to the cultural communicative context, e.g. give and receive feedback in a culturally sensitive way (intercultural communication);
• Know about the importance of investing in relationships and networks and developing win-win solutions (building commitment)
• Are aware of the potential of cultural diversity to innovation and learning (managing uncertainty)


Per day you will have 5,5 obligatory contact hours (2˝ hours in the morning & 3 hours in the afternoon). Also about 25 - 30 hours of preparatory self-study will be required, including filling in the online intercultural assessment Intercultural Readiness Check© and the intake form. The course will culminate in the third day by bringing ‘Intercultural competences into practice’ as fieldwork will be conducted outside of the Campus. Missing parts of the program automatically means that you will not receive your certificate nor ECTS.


• € 950 - Course + course materials
• € 1150 - Course + course materials + housing

Students will receive a discount of €500 if they could upload their student pass (which means in total € 450 without housing and € 650 with housing).

» Overview of all available discounts


Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.


Jackie van der Kroft
E: info@jackievanderkroft.nl
T: +31(0)615823786

» Contact Utrecht Summer School


Deadline for registration: 01 August 2017

Application closed