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Communication training Intercultural Communication Training Overview Intercultural Effectiveness Training

Intercultural Effectiveness Training

Intercultural Effectiveness Training (IET)

‘The film fragments set me thinking, and the discussions with fellow students made me realize that there are lots of different ways to look at and respond to a single situation’, said a course participant about the IET.

We aim to help improve intercultural contacts by practising with various different intercultural situations. We do this on the basis of the participants’ own situations and by creating awareness and developing intercultural competences. The IET instrument can help you become aware of the role of culture in your contacts with people from different backgrounds, understand your own behaviour and consider different ways of behaving. The course comprises a variety of case studies and exercises to help you work on your competences. Below is an overview of what the course entails.

Why IET?

IET differs from other intercultural communication courses in that it focuses on competences rather than knowledge of a culture. These competences will enable you to communicate better, whether the person you speak to is from Panama, Turkey or China.

Academic Basis

The IET course is based on academic research and was developed by Dr Jan Pieter van Oudenhoven and Dr Jacomijn Hofstra of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences of the University of Groningen.

Concrete situations

IET focuses on what works – how you can effectively deal with intercultural situations. IET does not have a normative character and provides you with a concrete tool for daily practice. Participants are much more likely to actually use their newly acquired competences if they get to practise with intercultural situations that they come across in their daily lives.


IET differs from other intercultural communication courses in that it focuses on competences rather than knowledge of a culture. These competences will enable you to communicate better, whether the person you speak to is from Panama, Turkey or China.

5 Competences

There are 5 competences that have proven to be crucial for good intercultural relations:

  • Cultural empathy : the ability to understand the actions, thoughts and feelings of people from other cultures
  • Open-mindedness: an open and unprejudiced attitude towards other cultures and the norms and values of these cultures
  • Social initiative: the ability to take the initiative in another culture
  • Emotional stability: the ability to deal with frustration, fear, stress, loneliness and intercultural conflicts
  • Flexibility: the degree to which a person can switch to new behaviour .

The IET course helps improve these competences, with the exception of emotional stability and flexibility. These are more deeply entrenched in a personality and therefore more difficult to train in a course.

IET Test

The heart of the IET course consists of an interactive multimedia programme. This programme contains a series of film fragments about critical incidents, i.e. situations revealing intercultural differences due to clashes in behaviour, norms and values. The fragments will focus on various social domains, such as meeting people, making friends, communication, respect for other cultures, problems in daily life, work-related problems and dealing with unexpected events. The result of the programme will be expressed in a personal intercultural effectiveness score. On the basis of this score you will further develop your competences in the course.

Demo Film Fragments of the IET Test


Can I use Film Fragments from the different IET Tests?

No, you cannot. You can choose one set of film fragments for each test. If you would like to make use of 2 IET tests, you will receive 2 different sets.

Can I stop the Test at anytime?

  • If you stop during the demo, you will not be able to continue later on
  • If you stop during the test, you can continue where you stopped at a later time

For whom?

There are 4 versions of IET:

  1. IET-1 (English taught) is aimed at people who are moving abroad or who are abroad for work or study.
  2. IET-2 (Dutch taught) is aimed at people in their own country who deal a lot with people with a different cultural background, mainly through their work.
  3. IET-A (Dutch taught) was developed in collaboration with the Oranjefonds, which sets great store by social participation. IET-A is for people with different cultural backgrounds, people whose families have lived for generations in the Netherlands and immigrants who have just settled in the Netherlands. The language is somewhat simpler than that used in the other versions.
  4. IET-international (English taught) is a selection of IET-1, IET-2 and IET-A and is aimed at international groups. The film fragments have English or Dutch subtitles.

Registering for a training


Please take a look at our rates.

Last modified:18 November 2019 11.30 a.m.
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