Intercultural Communication (ENGLISH)

I empower educators on how to effectively navigate the challenging waters of intercultural communication. With the right tools, educators will be able to successfully supervise their international and bicultural students.

Evgenia Salta PhD, Group Leader – Neurogenesis and Neurodegeneration Lab, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN-KNAW): ‘This has been an eye-opener experience: using a very efficient, interactive and condense format it moves away from theoretical, dry approaches to abstract principles and terminology; instead, Janneke takes a deep dive into the most confronting realizations about cultural impact and makes you aware of your own daily misleading assumptions. I’m really grateful that I was offered the opportunity to follow this training!’

Maryse van ’t Klooster, Assistant Professor Technical Physician, Department Brain, Neurology & Neuro Surgery, Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht: “Although all sessions (of the course: ‘Supervising PhD candidates’- JD) provided me with useful insights and tools, the session I personally liked best was the one on intercultural communications. Since I supervise multiple (PhD) students from abroad this proved to be such an eye opener for me. Also participating in the roleplay(s) was very confronting but also great practical learning opportunity. Please keep this part, or perhaps even offer it as a small course/workshop on itself as I think it’s literally useful for anybody. 😊”

Annemijne, PhD candidate: “At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but looking back, I realize that this course is something that everyone actually needs. I gained valuable insights into understanding different cultures and how they can have an impact on all our communication. It was a really enjoyable and interactive course. I appreciate the innovative teaching style, and I believe Janneke’s knowledge is beneficial not just for my career but also for my personal life.”

Esther Lenssen, PhD candidate Toxicology and Environmental Health – POLYRISK: “The workshop was really well-structured and I very much appreciated the diverse perspectives and real-life examples provided. The life-actor did an incredible job and practicing the feedback-conversations was a nice opportunity. Moreover, it provided me with valuable insights into various communication styles, enhancing my awareness of my own style and its potential impact on students from diverse cultural backgrounds.”

Felice Veen, PhD candidate at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience: “The seminar on intercultural communication was a remarkable experience, thanks to the engaging speaker who skillfully balanced both informative content and audience engagement. In just 1.5 hours, she made learning about often overlooked aspects of intercultural communication not only educational but also incredibly enjoyable, leaving us with valuable insights and a newfound appreciation for cultural diversity. Later that same evening, I had the chance to immediately apply what I had learned during the seminar, which proved instrumental in helping me navigate a potentially tricky intercultural communication situation with confidence and success”. 

We focus on cultural differences, not on a “do’s and don’ts” level, but on the level of basic values. One’s basic values determine how one sees the world, and what one considers to be important in life. We learn basic values before the age of seven. For example: if one is raised with the basic value that the harmony between people should always be respected, one might be shocked and offended by the way the Dutch express their basic value ‘honesty’.

Effective cross-cultural communication starts with knowing your own basic values. Having an insight in what you consider to be ‘normal behavior’ and learning that other people were raised with other basic values helps you to be able not to judge other people’s behavior, even if that behavior seems strange or unpleasant to you.

In this course, we both discuss theory about cross-cultural communication, and practice specific situations with a specialized bicultural actor (m/f). We study some selected film scenes. Beforehand, you will be asked to answer some preparatory questions in order to make sure the course addresses your specific questions and issues.

Comments PhD supervisors – Graduate School of Life Sciences (Utrecht University):

The course was very interesting. Its really good to be aware of the cultural background of the people you interact with. But also to be aware of your own culture and assumptions. Especially because nowadays you work with a lot of international people

“The course on Intercultural Communication was an eye-opener, really learned new things that I will apply in practice during supervision and in every day life”

“Janneke, thank you for the inspiring and informative session. I learned a lot”

“Excellent course on intercultural communication, please keep it up!”