Cross-cultural intelligence in academic environments


Communication skills

Target group

PhD candidates and researchers interested in gaining awareness and knowledge about cross-cultural communication.


PhD, postdoc, other researchers


Jeanne Boden, PhD - Managing Director at


People often think about culture in terms of meet, greet, dress or eat. In reality, culture underpins how we look at communication, writing, education, meetings, conflicts, negotiations, empowerment, responsibility, efficiency, leadership, academic culture, and more.
Working across cultures requires cultural intelligence.
To engage in cross-cultural communication, awareness of one’s own cultural patterns is just as important as awareness of cultural differences and knowledge about other cultures. Effective communication can only exist if interlocutors understand each other’s logic, way of thinking, and core values, and are fully committed to engage in cross-cultural interaction.

In this course, you gain insight in how cultures differ. You assess your own cultural background and ‘natural or intuitive’ ways of communicating, and how that impacts your academic and professional activities. You develop cultural competence to improve your communication skills in international academic environments and beyond.


2 days (9:00 - 15:00)

Course content

  • Day 1: theory, cases, exercises  -    What is culture?-    Culture-centrism, nation-centrism
    -    Acculturation
    -    Cultural theories and dimensions (Hofstede, Trompenaars, Hall, Boden)
    -    Case study: pillars and pyramids
    -    Cross-cultural communication (language, body language, communication patterns, dealing with conflicts)
    -    Writing traditions versus academic research
    -    Giving a structured presentation
    -    Group dynamics
    -    Leadership across cultures
    -    Meeting with peers, professors, team members, …
    -    Out of the box thinking, taking initiative and promoting your ideas
    -    Time concepts across cultures (planning, deadlines)
    • Day 2: Presentations and discussion

Time schedule and Venue

Course code Dates Time Venue


Teaching methods

Seminar; Assignments

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools. The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent

Registration procedure

Follow this link:

If the course is fully booked, you can register on the waiting list:

Please read the cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses


Maximum 14 participants



Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Presence and active participation
Assignments (questionnaire, cultural self-assessment, presentation)