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Welcome@AAU: Workshop to Foster Intercultural Understanding at the University

by Simone Adams


What are cultural differences? How do cultural misunderstandings arise? What should new students and employees at the University of Klagenfurt know when it comes to "Austrian culture"? And what, generally speaking, should we pay attention to when working in heterogeneous and/or intercultural teams? These and other questions are the focus of this workshop.

Based on the principle of the "Intergroup Dialogue" method - with participants from different social identity groups - we will discuss and work on topics such as diversity, gender roles, cultural competency, language and communication, the interplay between privilege and discrimination as well as institutional and social power relations. The intergroup dialogue method (Zúñiga at al. 2007) thereby serves as a starting point for creating a better understanding among participants in collaborative communication processes.
Our own identities at the intersections of gender, race & ethnicity, class, religion, ability & disability, national origin and - of course - culture make up our unique cultural point of view. This point of view determines what we consider as cultural norms, what we find culturally (in-) acceptable and how we communicate with other people. In other words, intercultural communication is not simply "learning about" or "understanding" cultural differences; rather, we also have to learn about ourselves in the process.

  • Diversity Dimensions and their Relevance for the University (Studying and Work)
  • Understanding and Contextualizing Cultural Identities
  • Language and Cultural Communication Styles
  • Cultural "Baggage" and Internalized Messages
  • Developing Intercultural Competence (Online and Offline)