From 1st until 11th May 2010 we representatives of Tampere University of Applied Sciences attended a LLP Erasmus intensive programme (IP) about cross-cultural communication and project management that was organised in Bad Hindelang, Germany. The main study aim during the IP was to learn the main theories about cross-cultural communication and management and to work together in multicultural groups in order to deepen the knowledge and to learn through practical assignments and projects.
The participants came from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and Finland. All in all we were about 40 students plus staff members. Marketing students from TAMK Virrat Suvi Tanhua, Anu-Eveliina Muuri, Janne Pirttiniemi and Veera Ritola and two students of the degree programme in tourism from Tampere Hazel Yancha & Diego Rivas Rodríguez participated the IP. Pirkko Varis was the coordinator of the group from Finland. At first, we carried out some country presentations and then we were divided into multicultural groups in order to work with some case studies related to cross-cultural management. We presented the outcomes of each group in the end of the IP and got evaluation based upon our work.
During the IP, lectures were given, all related to the topic and how to communicate better in international business management environment. The main idea behind the cases was to get the students familiar with different working styles and main cultural differences and similarities in order to get a better understanding of the cross-cultural management. Beside that we also did some activities in order to create team spirit and cooperation among all members. We also did a project for the town of Sonthofen and created ideas for business development of agricultural tourism in the region. Our group was one of the two ones that won the honorary award of the town of Sonthofen based upon the results of the work.
Concerning other activities we could experience the nature surrounding us, the beautiful German Alps, where we did some outdoor activities such as cycling, walking, climbing on ropes, etc. Beside that we also had a day trip to Munich where we attended one ballet performance at the Opera House, too. In general, all these activities were good, enjoyable and well organized.
The main outcome of the IP was to get to know other students from various countries and understand the importance of considering different ways of working and different cultures. At the end of the IP we all noticed that the groups had improved their performance and we can say that all of us gained more confidence once dealing with various cultures and communication styles.
ICC IP student team from TAMK