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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Developing Across Differences: Reducing Cross-Cultural Tensions In Groups

Non-conventional methods and how to implement them
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This two-day, techniques-focused course is designed for those seeking to lower tensions and improve cooperation and performance when working with diverse (national culture, age, gender, etc) stakeholders — especially in team or group settings.

Using a combination of interactive and reflective approaches, you’ll both participate in sample activities of the methods shared, and then have meta-level discussions about the processes and pedagogies behind them in order to be able to adjust and apply them in your own work.

*By request, this course has been extended to be a 2-day workshop so that participants have more practice and feedback time on the techniques shared.*

Why Attend?

Whether in the workplace, classroom, community or elsewhere, establishing conditions for effective group dynamics is a key responsibility for many of us, yet we may neglect to consider this crucial aspect of our roles.

And, identity differences among would-be team members may seem to add challenges rather than benefits when we think about building a sense of shared collegiality and collaboration especially across cultures.

Participants in this course will learn how to reduce cultural tensions and more explicitly establish success-enabling space(s) in which groups or teams can operate by acknowledging and intentionally designing for the diversity - whether apparent or “hidden” - among them, and how to do so using disarming, creative and “serious play” approaches.

Emphasis will be placed on how to dismantle miscommunications and/or tensions and conduct such group-forming when working within short timeframes.

Practical information
Dates & location

8 - 9 July 2024

Academy Building (Broerstraat 5) or Harmonie Building (Oude Kijk in Het Jatstraat 26)



May be appropriate for some MA students; contact the organisers for consultation about eligibility


€ 995
(includes course and materials, optional evening programming)

Academic coordinators

Prof. Annette Gisevius
Sherifa M.B.E. Fayez

ic or info
Level requirements

The DAD is for multipliers who help individuals, organizations and societies better recognize, appreciate and use differences as a way of better communicating, working and thriving together.

These are (in-house and external) trainers, educators, consultants, coaches, researchers, scholars, facilitators, HR staff, advanced-level (MA+) students, and professional development specialists with 5+ years of experience/study in the greater Differences field. Contact the organisers at ic or info for consultation about appropriateness and eligibility.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Participant profile

This course is for you if are a consultant/trainer/multiplier/educator who:

Supports clients with increasing levels of (hidden) diversity yet have  not intentionally designed team-building approaches that acknowledge and realize the benefits of intergroup differences;

Wishes to incorporate nontraditional (playful, creative, innovative) methods  as a means of reducing cultural miscommunications into your work with learners/clients;

Works with teams that may need to form or shift rapidly yet perform at high levels

You should already have at least a preliminary understanding of and experience with —either through your own work or participation in ‘training for trainers’ type programs— team-building, training and (adult) learning best practices.\

Contact the organisers at ic or info if you have questions about the suitability of this course for your circumstances.

Learning outcomes

In this course, you will learn how to help yourself—and those you work with—so that you/they can better:

1. Understand key underlying principles that allow for more effective team-building for heterogeneous groups (national cultures, ages, faiths, professional roles, backgrounds…).

2. Create a highly engaged, constructive team atmosphere and spirit as a base for trustful collaboration when working with groups with diverse members/

3. Adapt team-building activities to embrace team-member differences/diversity as a means of fostering inclusion, belonging and reducing cross-cultural tensions.

4. Experience very interactive, creative, and fun (as appropriate) learning techniques and approaches.


12 hours of in-class learning and active participation using experiential methods.

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 12 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Course schedule

Sunday, 7 July
15.00-18.00 Optional networking event

Monday, 8 July, Tuesday, 9 July

Course approach

This course uses a combined interactive and reflective approach in which you'll both participate in sample activities of the methods shared, and then have meta-level discussions about the processes and pedagogies behind them in order to be able to adjust and apply them in your own work.

Introduction to lecturers

Prof. Annette Gisevius
Annette Gisevius (Professor, Karlshochschule International University and Head of Training for InterCultur, gGmbH) is a master trainer, content designer, certified coach and professor who brings serious fun plus interactive learning methods and creative arts to intercultural competence development for adults and youth. She specializes in lively trainings that use everyday cultural artifacts in innovative ways to make abstract concepts tangible and engage learners in useful daily and lifelong practices.

Having pioneered programs in Germany, Brazil and Malaysia, plus designed and run 12 intercultural trainer certificate courses and collaborated with intercultural gamer Sivasailam Thiagarajan (Thiagi), Annette’s focus is on cultural awareness, cultural conflict styles and experiential learning in non-classroom settings, as well as civic engagement and service learning.


Sherifa M.B.E. Fayez
Talented trainer and leader of Egypt’s longest-running nonprofit dedicated to intercultural learning for youth and adults, Sherifa Fayez’s work as an educator aims at lifting the veil of the pervasive reductionist perspectives on the Middle East and promoting active global citizenship as a practice in everyday settings.

Sherifa has led AFS Intercultural Programmes Egypt since 2004, served on faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communications (US), the Qatar Institute for Intercultural Communications (Qatar) as well as the Intercultural Trainer Academy (Germany), and directed initiatives throughout the Middle East, Africa and Europe with partners such as USAID and American University in Cairo. She has served on the AFS Global Board of Trustees and other international education taskforces and committees.

Application procedure
Deadline for application

Registration closes on 1 July 2024.

Date of selection

Within 72 hours following registration, you will be contacted directly by the organisers about your application.

Participants submit payment and details about their interest at the link below (click the "Apply now!" button). They will be contacted directly by the organisers about their experience and the suitability of the course.

Please note that as all courses are subject to meeting minimum enrolments, the DAD team will confirm on or before 17 May 2024 that your course is taking place. We strongly advise you not to book non-refundable travel until you have received this confirmation. In all cases, refunds for courses are not available except in the case of course cancellation by the DAD organisers. In the case that your preferred course is cancelled, you are welcomed to enroll in an alternative course or request a refund. You will be notified on or before 17 May 2024 if the DAD course is cancelled. This policy is different from that of other University of Groningen Summer School and Language Centre courses. Full details are available on the Developing Across Differences (DAD) Learning Lab & Community Week Terms and Conditions page.

Last modified:08 May 2024 11.51 a.m.