Bridging across cultural differences (online Course)

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Location Coordinator registrations
22 and 29 April 2021 10:00 15:00 ONLINE Marjolijn Dannenburg 8 / 13 Registration ended at 15/04/2021

Course description

During your career, including now during your PhD or your postdoc, you will interact with people from different cultures: students you supervise or teach, colleagues, people within your project you need to collaborate with, your supervisors. You may benefit from this cultural diversity, enriching your views and experiences; but it may also lead sometimes to misunderstandings, a mismatch in expectations, and even conflicts. This online course (2 workshops) focuses on how you can learn to overcome such cultural differences..

How we cope with cultural differences is a question that sees its relevance every day in our University and the broader academic world, with internationalism and striving for excellence at the core of its daily practice and strategy. Be it in a team or classroom, or guiding a student, understanding the way cultural difference influence communication can show you how you can increase the level of collaboration, successful decision-making, creating a rewarding atmosphere. It allows you to deal with biases and blind spots unknowingly blurring our view and blocking effective, inclusive behaviour. If you want to learn and experience how to deal with, value and enjoy diversity in multi-cultural settings, these two online workshops are made for you.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of these two online workshops, participants will be able to:

  • understand the ways cultures can differ in values that make the difference in cooperating
  • recognize own and others communication style
  • bridge differences in communication styles.
  • apply different (nonverbal) communication styles, discussion styles and conflict resolution styles in their practical work as PhD or postdoc and learn how to create a rewarding atmosphere.
  • recognize cultural patterns of problem resolution and apply several strategies
  • see diversity as a source of creativity in their future careers.
  • apply the learning outcomes to project work, guiding MSc students, dealing with supervisors, or meetings with others abroad.


During the online workshops we will work as much as possible in an interactive way together. There is space for breakout rooms, plenary discussion, video, case-studies. PhD students will reflect on own experiences and make meaning of them to develop their intercultural competencies.

General Information

Target Group:
  • Incoming and home PhD candidates and/or postdocs who prepare an international career
  • International PhD candidates and/or postdocs
  • International PhD candidates and/or postdocs who live abroad.


The training is interesting for postdocs and PhDs who plan to go abroad or return home. The training is open for PhDs and postdocs who are open to improve their intercultural future competences.

Group size: Max. 15  participants
Course duration: 2 online workshops (start:10.00-15.00)
22 and 29 April 2021
Language: English
Credit points: 0.7 ECTS
Self-study hours: Preparing the course (your ticket to the course assignment)
  • benefits and barriers of own cultural experiences
  • own cultural profile
  • watch videos related to stereotyping, needed competencies and inclusiveness.
Name lecturer: Dr. Marijke van Oppen, Senior Educational consultant and Intercultural Trainer at Wageningen University. ESD&PS: Educational Staff Development & PhD Services.
She has worked in the field of international communication, education and development for more than 15 years. Delivers trainings in the field of intercultural communication teaching and learning at several Universities in NL and abroad. She is a Certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and educated at The Intercultural Communication Institute (Portland Oregon).
Venue: Online

Day 1:
• Culture and cultural competency for future careers
• Cultural sensitivity
• Respond on stereotyping and excluding behaviour.
• Differences that make a difference
• Communication styles including own style.
• Shift perspective and adapt behaviour to (cultural) differences like hierarchy
• Participants will prepare assignment ‘’ticket to the course’’

Day 2:
• Discussion styles and conflict resolution
• Overcoming obstacles
• Cultural appropriate feedback to create a rewarding atmosphere.


1) Reduced fee:
  • PhD candidates of Wageningen University with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) who are registered at one of the WU graduate schools (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS, WIMEK)
  • Postdocs of Wageningen University who are registered at one of the WU graduate schools
€ 90,-
2) University fee: All other PhD candidates / Wageningen University post-docs € 180,-

Cancellation condition

You may cancel free of charge up to 1 month before the start of the course. After this date you will be charged the University fee. Unless:

  • You can find someone to replace you in the course and supply the course coordinator with the name and contact information of your replacement. In this case you will only be charged a € 20,- cancellation fee.
  • You (PhDs and postdocs of Wageningen University) have a valid reason to cancel (illness or death in the family 1st or 2nd degree).
    In this case you will be charged the reduced fee and your supervisor/PI must send a mail indicating the reason for cancellation.


For more information please contact