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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools Winter Schools

Intercultural Competence

Intercultural Competence Development for Professionals

Do you want to help others develop their intercultural competence?

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How can we develop in ourselves and others the necessary mastery and concomitant humility required to be effective across cultures?” In our rapidly globalizing world, with increasing demands on our ability to collaborate with others from diverse backgrounds, the competence to bridge cultural differences is necessary for any sustainable, pluralistic society.

If you have the responsibility to develop this intercultural competence in others, the Winter School on Intercultural Competence is for you. The programme is intended for professionals in the fields of intercultural competence development and internationalisation. It offers a comprehensive overview of intercultural training design with an emphasis on using developmental approaches to enhance cultural learning. It addresses questions such as: “How do I structure effective training?” “What kinds of participants can I encounter and how do I tailor my training to their needs?” “How do I deal with various kinds of resistance in a group?”

“This training provided me with tools & concepts that I can use in my work to address intercultural competence to support staff and students to become more culturally sensitive.”
“I have learned that it is important to know where I am (what my own intercultural competence is) and what is possible to change or not before reaching out and teaching others.”

Following the success of previous years' Winter Schools, the Centre for Language and Culture is pleased to once again welcome Dr. Nagesh Rao, senior faculty member at the Intercultural Communication Institute and Chair of the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University. He brings special insights to the University of Groningen on how the intercultural dimension influences our perspectives on social medicine.

“Nagesh is a strong story-teller and I loved the stories from his personal experience he shared with us. They were powerful in visualizing abstract concepts. He also showed humility and created a very safe leaning environment.”
“He was very enthusiastic and open-minded. Curious to hear our stories and the expertise of each of the group members.”

There is a saying that “curiosity killed the cat.” But conceivably, in intercultural relations, a lack of curiosity is more of a problem.

So, if you are curious and wish to develop your ability to foster intercultural sensitivity in others, apply to the Winter School on Intercultural Competence! With an emphasis on using developmental approaches to decrease learner resistance, the offered programme will cover everything from communication and thinking styles to intercultural training methods and resources.

…Unleash the creative and innovative potential of cultural diversity!

Practical Information
Dates & location

23 January - 27 January 2023, on campus


Practitioners, those who are involved with intercultural competence in a professional capacity. Most are teachers or trainers, some are in a more strategic position.

Fee 1500
Academic coordinators Drs. M.S. Carrière, University of Groningen Language Centre

The intention is that the Winter School take place live and on-site. Yet, experience has taught us that Covid might require us to transition to an online environment. Please indicate in your application if and how this would influence your application.

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Target Group

This winter school is intended for professionals in the field(s) of intercultural competence/internationalization. Participants of this winter school are selected on the basis of interest in Intercultural Competence as expressed in a brief motivational letter.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to not only follow passively, but to participate actively in the discussions.

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The Winter School will cover the following components:

  • Intercultural training competences
  • Cultural stereotypes and cultural generalizations
  • A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity
  • Characteristics of cultural marginality
  • Training content challenges
  • Thinking and communication styles
  • Low and high context communication
  • Intercultural training methods and resources

The winter school will take place from Monday 23 January to Friday 27 January 2023.

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Dr. Nagesh Rao

Over three decades of consulting and training in United States, India, Norway, Brazil and several other countries, Nagesh’s work uses intercultural competence, cultural humility and intercultural listening to create healthy communities and to develop leaders in health, education and business. Nagesh’s clients include Fortune 500 corporations, top medical schools and hospitals, educational institutes and community-based non-profit organizations. Nagesh is Special Adviser, Inclusion; Interim Chair, Department of Social Medicine, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio, a senior faculty at the Intercultural Communication Institute, Oregon, and board member, AFS International Education Advisory Board. On a personal note, Nagesh is a teacher, storyteller, dancer, statistician, poet, and a proud father of two daughters.

“I enjoyed the training so much! I really appreciated Nagesh’s open and personal style of teaching, and leave with a toolbox of activities of different stages of intercultural competence. I will be more aware of cultural differences and respond in a more intercultural sensitive way. Thank you!”

Drs. Michaela Carrière

Michaela Carriè€re is project leader and trainer intercultural competence and communication at the University of Groningen. She has been involved in the field of intercultural communication since 1998, and has more than 20 years’ international experience (including extensive experience in India, Indonesia, Burma, Bangladesh, the United States and the Netherlands) and is currently working on her dissertation research on ‘intercultural ethical dilemmas’. Together with her team, she is responsible for the range of training programmes on intercultural competence available via the Language Centre of the UG.


To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please include the following documents in your application:

  • A letter of motivation (max 1 A4) in English in which you describe your interest in intercultural competence, including a description of your theoretical knowledge or of your practical experience. Make the case for why we should choose you to attend the winter school on Intercultural Competence.
  • A copy of your CV, to inform Dr. Nagesh Rao of your background, in English.

These will be used to inform both Dr. Nagesh Rao of your background, and in summarized form to inform the participants of each other's background.

(Please also indicate whether a shift to an online format might influence your application.)

Next Winter School will be held at the end of January 2024, Interested?

Feel free to join our Summer School for 2023 as well.

"The winter school was a great opportunity to add knowledge, change perspective and to exchange within a vibrant group of international experts from various fields of education, all guided by an inspiring and experienced lecturer. It combined high end learning experiences with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere." - Alexandra
Last modified:03 February 2023 11.40 a.m.