Bridging across cultural differences

Course schedule

Dates Start time End time Coordinator registrations  
Pre-registration list 2018
2 separate days in 2018
Marjolijn Dannenburg 13 Apply

Course description

During your PhD you meet people from different cultures: in your group, at courses, at conferences. You may benefit from this cultural diversity, but it may also lead to misunderstandings, a mismatch in expectations, and even conflicts. Do you want to learn how to make optimal use of the value of diversity, overcoming cultural differences?

How we cope with diversity is a question that sees its relevance every day in our university, with internationalism and striving for excellence at the core of its daily practice and strategy. Be it in a team or classroom, departmental setting or board meeting, valuing diversity has many educational and organizational benefits, such as increased collaboration, successful decision-making, greater customer satisfaction, an enhanced ability to reach strategic goals and improved outcomes.

However, cultural differences hugely impact our ability to value diversity, with biases and blind spots unknowingly blurring our view and blocking effective, inclusive behavior. If you want to learn and experience how to deal with, value and enjoy diversity in multi-cultural settings, this two-day workshop is made for you.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand and be able to apply current theories about culture, cultural competency, contrasting values and expectations, communication- and conflict resolution styles to managing cultural differences in future professional career.
  2. Come to understand more about colleagues, students and their own culturally based responses to differing value orientations and differences.
  3. Respond more effectively and appropriately to frequently encountered intercultural challenges (conflicts).
  4. Being able to take several concrete steps in order to increase one's own intercultural competency, and that of colleagues and students.


During the training we will work in an interactive way together (interactive powerpoint presentation). There is space for group work, discussion, video, case-study, tests / inventory. PhD candidates, both individually and with peers, will reflect on experiences and make meaning of them to develop intercultural competency. We will also experience and discuss (in depth) several phenomenon’s as part of cultural sensitivity.

Participants will complete the Intercultural Developmental Inventory and debrief this with the trainer in an individual session after the course. They get also an action plan with concrete steps that can be taken to improve their intercultural competences. Workplace Impact of the Intercultural Development Inventory (4.27 minutes) | Intercultural Development Inventory

General Information

Target Group: - Incoming and home PhD candidates who prepare an international career
- International PhD candidates
The training is interesting for PhDs who plan to go abroad or return home. The training is open for PhDs who are open to improve their intercultural future competences.
Group size: Max. 15  participants
Course duration: 1 full day and 2 mornings
Language: English
Credit points: 0.7 ECTS
Self-study hours: none
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: All participants receive a message about the course location a few weeks before the start date of the course.


Day 1 (9.00-17.00):

  • Introduction and takeaways
  • After the honeymoon: cultural stress and transition management
  • Culture, cultural competency, what is it
  • Contrasting values: risk and stressors
  • Communication styles: coding and de-coding
  • Give and receive effective and appropriate feedback
  • Intercultural Development Continuum; an introduction
  • Successful strategies and wrap-up

Day 2 (9.00-12.30):

  • Value dimensions and learning in groups
    Forming groups, grading and assessment, speaking in groups
  • Value dimensions and conflict resolution
    Conflict styles how to deal with emotions
    Pros and cons of several styles
  • Successful strategies and wrap-up

Day 3 (9.00-12.30):

  • DMIS: Cultural Continuum and practising
  • Presenting IDI group profile
  • Reflecting on cases and dilemma's
  • Individual debrief on IDI profile


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
€ 100,-
2) University fee: All other PhD candidates / Wageningen University post-docs € 250,-

Fee includes study and training material, coffee/tea and lunch on the first day.

Cancellation condition

You may cancel free of charge up to four weeks 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 € 50,- 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