Intercultural Competences: dealing with cultural perspectives in education

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 perspectives. The 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.

Suitable for: 
Dutch and international teachers in higher education who (will) teach in an international or (culturally) diverse classroom
Start date(s): 
14 March 2023
Time investment: 
22 hours (12 hours of meetings, 10 hours of self study)
On location, unless corona measurements do not allow it (Utrecht Science Park, Administration building)
Onderwijsadvies & Training
Partner organisation: 
HR department (UU), ICUU projectgroup (ENICC)
Extra information: 

A customized course is possible. Please contact us if you are interested but not a teacher at the UU.


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 will be on the teacher’s personal development in intercultural competence but always from the point of view of your own educational practice. We do this by reflecting on video material, exploring and reflecting on your own ideas, position and behaviour by using case studies and ‘rich points’ from your own educational practice.


The course has four sessions:

Session 1 (Openness and curiosity)
We will talk about the definition of ‘culture’ and discuss current theoretical models in intercultural competences. We will do an exercise that induces curiosity and being open to other perspectives. Lastly, we will discuss case studies from educational practice and you reflect on a video about openness and curiosity.

Session 2 (Cultural self-awareness)
In this session you will examine your own identity. What is important to you and why? From this you make the step towards your vision on education: how does your own identity influence your teaching? Lastly, we will discuss different perspectives on learning and reflect on what this means for teaching a diverse group of students.

Session 3 (Cultural world view frameworks and Empathy)
For this session you will interview a student from a different (cultural) background to find out more about the variety in how students like to learn. We will use a theoretical model to discuss how culture is often more related to context rather than nations. Lastly, we do an exercise in which you practice with the difference between (objectively) describing, interpreting and evaluating a complex situation.

Session 4 (Non-verbal and verbal communication)
In the last session we will look at what you can do as a teacher to facilitate all your students in their academic achievements. We will discuss methods to include all students and increase (safe) classroom interaction and we will discuss how to handle (potentially) sensitive topics in class. We will use a theoretical model to analyse communication in a case study. You will end this training with reflecting on concrete implementations/changes within your own educational practice.


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 you own and more than one other worldview
  • demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of element important to students of another culture
  • recognise cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication and skillfully negotiate a shared understanding in your teaching
  • initiate and develop interactions with students of another culture and suspend judgement in valuing your interaction with (international) students
  • encourage your students to examine their own ‘rich points’ and to develop new perspectives in contract with (other) international students

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


This course is offered twice per year for academic staff at Utrecht University. Please contact us if you are not an employee of Utrecht University.

Training spring 2023
Session 1: Tuesday 14 March 2023
Session 2: Tuesday 18 April 2023
Session 3: Tuesday 23 May 2023
Session 4: Tuesday 13 June 2023
Back up session: Tuesday 20 June 2023
All sessions are from 9:15 to 12:45

Incompany and customisation options

Are you curious about incompany and customisation options? We would be happy to explore the possibilities with you. Feel free to reach out, or share your contact details via the button below so one of our advisors can contact you.

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About Educational Development & Training

Educational Development & Training translates academic insights into the daily practice of teaching. As a teaching professional you can come to us throughout the course of your career for training, advice and solutions tailored to your specific teaching-related needs. Visit our website.

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