Intercultural Competences for Academic Staff

Teaching a group of students with a diverse cultural background, having a meeting with a colleague from another part of Europe, a performance interview with an employee from Asia or America: culture is everywhere, these all relate to intercultural encounters. In order to deal successfully with a diverse group of students, colleagues and international contacts, and feel comfortable in and with different situations, intercultural competences are indispensable. 

This training 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. In other words: this training 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.

For whom?

Dutch and international teachers who (are going to) teach in an international and culturally diverse classroom and want to know more about the intercultural implications of teaching a diverse (international) student population. 


The focus of this training 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.


  • 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 training, 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


The training is provided by trainers of Educational Consultancy & Professional Development (Onderwijsadvies & Training, partner of CAT) in cooperation with the Expertise Network Intercultural Communication (ENICC) and is offered by order of HR. 

Work load

22 hours (meetings: 14 hours, self-study: 8 hours)
After completion of the training participants will be asked to fill in a short evaluation.


The official language of this training is English. However, if desired, it is possible to use Dutch in some parts of the training (i.e. group work).


During this training you will work on developing your intercultural competences. If you attend all sessions, you will receive a certificate. 


For Training 1 (start 7 March) you can register until 21 February. For Training 2 (start 12 March) you can register until 26 February. You can register via this registration form 
What if you are interested in participating but these dates do not fit your schedule? Please send a mail to Karen Schoutsen via and we will put your name on our mailing list.

More information

For more information please contact Karen Schoutsen, training coordinator ENICC ( 

This training is offered as part of the ICUU-project (Intercultural Competences for Utrecht University), that focusses on enhancing the intercultural competences of students, teachers and SAS. Coordinator J. D. ten Thije.