Developing Intercultural Competences

The course Developing Intercultural Competences is aimed at teachers who (will) teach in an international classroom and want to know more about the intercultural implications of teaching an international student population. Internationalisation involves not only competence in using English as a medium of instruction (see course: Effective Teaching in a Second Language) and changes in your didactic approach (see course: Teaching in the International Classroom) but also intercultural competences.

This course supports teachers in developing the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to effectively adapt your teaching to the specific needs of a heterogeneous and diverse classroom.


This course will address intercultural competences by starting from an awareness of your own cultural perspectives and frames of reference towards a deeper understanding of other cultural perspectives from other world view frameworks. The focus of this course will be on the teacher’s personal development in intercultural competence but always from the point of view of your own educational practice. We will do this by reflecting on video material, exploring, and reflecting on your own ideas, position and behaviour by using case studies and on ‘rich points’ from your own educational practice. There will be two trainers present to effectively support individual work and work in pairs or sub-groups.


  • Session 1 (Openness and curiosity)
    The attitude of openness refers to being open to initiate and develop interactions with students from different cultural backgrounds. Curiosity means that you are interested in different cultural perspectives and that you can communicate with students from other cultures with an ‘open mind’.
  • Session 2 (Cultural self-awareness)
    Knowledge of cultural self-awareness refers to identifying your own cultural rules, assumptions and biases and that you are aware of how these influence your teaching practice. You can develop new perspectives on your own cultural norms and values in your teaching.
  • Session 3 (Cultural world view frameworks and Empathy)
    Knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks (e.g., different educational systems) refers to understanding the complexity of elements important to students of another culture. The skill of empathy means that you can interpret ‘rich points’ in your educational practice from the perspectives of your own and more than one worldview.
  • Session 4 (Non-verbal and verbal communication)
    When you have the skill of non-verbal and verbal communication, you can recognise cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication. You skilfully negotiate a shared understanding based on those differences in your educational practice. You can use this skill to guide interaction between students.


After completing the course, you will be able to: 

  • identify your own cultural background(s) and biases and develop new perspectives on this
  • interpret ‘rich points’  your teaching  from the perspectives of your own and more than one other worldview
  • demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of elements important to students of another culture
  • recognise cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication and skilfully negotiate a shared understanding in your teaching
  • initiate and develop interactions with students of another culture and suspend judgment in valuing your interaction with (international) students
  • encourage your students to examine their own ‘rich points’ and to develop new perspectives in contact with (other) international students


Dutch and international teachers who (are going to) teach in an international and culturally diverse classroom.
This course can be followed in addition to Teaching in the International Classroombut it is not required to have followed that course first.


22 hours (meetings: 12 hours, self study: 10 hours) 


To be announced.


€ 750 (UU / UMC staff), € 850 (other participants).


Participants receive a certificate of attendance when all sessions have been attended.


Application is possible as soon as this course has been scheduled.