Thursday, 23 June 2011

Intercultural Communicative Competence in Zwolle, the Netherlands

The participants from Finland, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain attended the ICC Erasmus intensive programme about intercultural communicative competence that was organized in Zwolle, the Netherlands between 28th of April and 8th of May 2011.
Some other international students from the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Philippines, Russia and South Korea joined the IP, too.

The objective of the ICC IP was to bring students from different cultures to work together in multinational groups in order to find out how to communicate in intercultural business management situations and to familiarize with different working styles and cultural differences and similarities. Päivi Majamaa and exchange students Nicoletta Arese and Christina Deutsch were representing business studies from TAMK Virrat. Arja Niemi, Minea Tarkiainen, Herman Warjus and Hazel Von Yancha from the Degree Programme in Tourism were the student participants from Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Hazel was the assistant of Pirkko Varis, the coordinator of the group from Finland.

The team from Finland: Hazel, Päivi, Pirkko, Herman, Nicoletta, Minea, Arja and Christina.

The first task of the participants was to do country presentations which were evaluated based on originality and informative data of the presentation and creativity in presenting. Then, the participants were divided into multicultural teams in order to work with the case studies related to cross-cultural management. To be able to get to know each other and to build team spirit, the first activity of the multicultural teams was to do the scavenger hunt game. Completing the activity allowed the teams to explore the city centre of Zwolle and to see the culture and life style of the local people in Zwolle. Each representative was provided with a bicycle to ride from the camping area where they stayed to the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences where the lectures and activities took place and where students worked with the case studies. Aside from working intensively, the participants experienced celebrating the two biggest events in the Netherlands, the Queens Day and the Liberty Day.

Multinational team (Finland, Lithuania, France, Germany, South Korea.)

The main idea of the ICC intensive programme is to help students to be prepared for international business management environment and to get a better understanding in cross-cultural communication. The intensiveness of the schedule taught the participants the value of professionalism like setting aside individual differences and to work together as teams in order to get valuable results from the activities and case studies given.

At the end of the intensive programme, most of the representatives found new friends and international contacts. Each of us received a certificate based upon completing the tasks and active participation during the IP. Based from my observation as assistant, I’ve noticed that the participants had improved their performance in communication and they could acknowledge a mutual understanding between cultures. In general, each of us widened our knowledge in intercultural communication that gives us confidence to face the future challenges nationally and internationally.

Hazel shining.

Team activities.Even more team activities.


Team values presented by all teams.

Buffet at the camping site.

Hazel and the certificate.

Text and photos: Hazel Von Yancha

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