The seminar is mandatory for our international BMS students, who started in the winter semester 2022/23. We strongly encourage our German BMS students, who startet in the winter semester 2022/23, to participate.
One day seminar (or webinar) on 6 October 2022, 10am (sharp!) - 6pm, MA 313/314
Trainer: Konstanze Bittmann

Topic
Whether it is in school, at university, or at work - intercultural communication has become imperative to a harmonious, supportive and effective experience for all. This course will show students and phd candidates how to recognize their own cultural identity and the way it influences their interactions with others. Through interactive experiences and rich discussion, participants will explore different frameworks of intercultural communication and learn practical skills to proactively mitigate misunderstandings and achieve greater success with studies, work, and personal relationships. The training will consist of different sessions. Each of them will introduce a key framework integrated with theoretical study, awareness exercises, group discussion, case-study, role-playing scenarios, and self-reflection questions to help transfer the gained knowledge and understanding into everyday life. Employing creative means (drawing, writing, games) allows participants to more fully absorb the concepts and experience profound discoveries and lasting shifts. During the intercultural training, we will cover the following course contents:
▪ Introducing and defining "Intercultural Communication"
▪ Exploring your own cultural background as well as typical German cultural patterns in everyday life and at university with peers and professors/ teachers
▪ Practicing and understanding "cultural awareness" and perspective taking as a means of shaping social group dynamics
▪ Sharing cultural adaption challenges and testing different coping strategies

Theoretical Frameworks
The course will strongly incorporate theoretical research, including:
▪ Hoftstede: The 5 key dimensions that interpret the nuances in behaviors, values and attitudes
▪ Edward T. Hall: Understanding the categorical differences among cultures in context communication, use of space and environments, and attitudes about time
▪ Henri Tajfel and John C. Turner: SIT (Social Identiy Theory)
▪ Egner and Dillon: Cultural Fatigue and its impact in intercultural communication/ team work

Aims
After this course, participants have
▪ recognized their own cultural identity and how their „cultural lens“ influences their interactions with other cultures (especially with Germans)
▪ identified and compared their own cultural stereotypes and cultural allegations with others that might lead to conflict
▪ defined how cultural values shape certain behaviours
▪ gained a better understanding on German cultural patterns and common commu- nication conventions (especially in the context of academia/ university)
▪ reflected on coping strategies to deal with cultural fatigue and
▪ became aware of different ways to influence their adaptation process living and studying abroad Interactive methods:
    ▪ Trainer input/ short lectures, introductions to theories/ models
    ▪ Small-group work/ break-out sessions (for example sharing your cultural highlight)
    ▪ Plenum discussions (for example on poems that help reflect on perception and social identity)
    ▪ Self-awareness exercises for introspection (for example personal filters exercise, listening exercise, listing your identities exercise)
    ▪ Partner exercises/ tandem work (for exampe mirror exercise)
    ▪ Case studies from the experience of the trainer geared towards the university daily routine
    ▪ Role-playing and scenario work, possible in written analysis form (like a screen-play) or acting (depends on delivery format face-to-face or online zoom meeting)
    ▪ Trainer feedback as well as peer feedback
    ▪ Question and answer sessions, self-reflection questions

Documentation
Participants will receive accompanying handouts/ exercise sheets with each training session throughout the day. Flipcharts pictures from face-to-face workshops as well as the group chat in potential zoom sessions will be delivered afterwards to the participants. All information shared with the trainer will be held strictly confidential.