Cross-cultural Awareness and Communication

General skills courses

Course information

Number of sessions: 1
Hours per session: 2
Course fee:

  • This course is only available for members of the Graduate School
  • Consult our enrolment policy for more information.


Telephone: +31 10 4082607

Course dates will be announced soon. 


Any cross-cultural interaction, either in the workplace or in social situations, can stumble upon issues due to differences. However, people tend to forget that we all share more in common than that we are different from each other. The focus often lies on the differences, which leads to negative perspectives about the other, which could result in a complete communication failure. This might be a problem, for example, if you have to work or complete a project together. It is important to be cross-culturally aware and have the skills and tools to interact in cross cultural situations. We have to discipline our own perceptions to successfully communicate.

This interactive cross-cultural communication workshop will provide you the opportunity to achieve a deeper sense of understanding in cross cultural communication and cultural diversity.

Aim and working method

The aim of the workshop is to essentially create a cross cultural awareness. The focus of the workshop will be on the notions of culture, cultural sensitivity, diversity and communication. Moreover, it aims to show how these notions interact with each other and how they influence our social and intercultural interaction.

The workshop will be highly interactive through discussion of different theories in intercultural communication, multiple exercises connected to these theories and the participants’ own experiences.

Learning objectives

  • Gain insight and in depth understanding in how culture and communication are intertwined and consequently heavily influence each other.
  • Increase cultural competence and create awareness in how we communicate by learning through others and ourselves.
  • Improve how to successfully communicate in cross cultural situations.

Tentative Framework

Part 1: Focus on Culture

Defining Culture

  • Different views: ex. Cultural Iceberg, Hofstede’s dimensions

Discuss how culture works, manifests, influences

  • Link theory to exercises
  • Leave room for exercise or discussion using participants’ own experiences/perspectives.
Part 2: Focus on Communication

Defining Communication

  • verbal vs. non-verbal
  • sender- receiver process

Pitfalls in communication

  • Stereotype
  • Prejudice
  • Othering
  • Culturism

Link examples/exercises

Link clip Chimamanda “the danger of a single story

Part 3: Focus on influence communication/culture

(focus on recognizing own communicative skills and competences)

  • critical incidents
  • implicit bias
  • beyond misunderstanding

Clips “all that we share” & “it’s not about the nail”)

Exercise “draw a house”

Part 4: peer to peer competences (beyond misunderstanding), participants’ own experiences and perspectives

About the instructor

To be announced.