Assertive Communication in Intercultural Educational Settings


The course prepares participants for assertive communication needed in intercultural situations occurring more frequently in our globalized world (for work or studies with foreigners or abroad). The focus is on communication skills development through topics connected to cultural differences and materials representing such differences.


The objectives of this course are twofold. One is to DIE, i.e. describe, interpret, evaluate intercultural situations. The other is to learn about assertive communication and develop the skills of using 4-part I-statements in intercultural conflicts in educational environments. The topics listed below will be dealt with in the form of pair work, small group discussions and frontal teaching situations.

On completion of the course participants are able to talk about the background of cultural differences, manage intercultural differences with raised awareness and present themselves assertively to groups from other cultures. Participants can identify and analyze the values underlying cultural differences, as well as manage self-presentation at the multicultural workplace or educational situations which involve conflict management, discussing, planning and implementing ideas. The course not only develops analytical skills required to gauge and solve intercultural situations, but also emotional intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

A) Knowledge

  • participants are aware of the background of cultural differences, stereotyping, and culture shock
  • know about the genre of elevator pitches as a form of discourse
  • know the main principles of theories related to cultural value orientation studies,
  • know about the communication strategies of passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive and assertive communication

B) Skills

  • are able to set their own viewpoints aside and see certain situations, reactions from an alternative perspective and act accordingly
  • are capable of solving situations that may emerge in multicultural or international workplace and educational settings involving debates, conflict management, co-ordinated planning and task implementation.
  • are able to manage and solve potential conflicts arising from intercultural misunderstandings through assertive communication strategies
  • can compare the main characteristics of their own culture and that of target cultures,
  • are able to create an elevator pitch on a certain topic

C) Attitude

  • are open and tolerant towards, and approach colleagues or students from other cultural backgrounds with a genuine interest and accepting attitude
  • strive to understand the characteristics of other cultures and are willing to communicate and display a realistic image of their own culture to foreigners

D) Autonomy and Responsibility

  • are constantly developing their intercultural skills, language knowledge and vocabulary autonomously.
  • willingly apply the acquired strategies in real-life intercultural situations with due responsibility

E) Assignment

  • in-class presentation on a culture-related topic (e.g. comparing countries’ ‘invisible cultural elements’/ commercials/ values behind traditions/ attitudes to time, gender, hierarchy, rules and regulations, emotions, context, individual and the community/ national dimensions/ negotiating, debating, scheduling styles/ organizational cultures)
  • elevator pitch on the course for participants of simultaneous courses (to be presented on Day 6)

Planned Schedule

Day 1
  • Introduction, needs analysis, backgrounds
  • Concept and definition of culture
  • Influence of culture on world view and behavior
  • The diversity of cultures, cultural stereotypes
Day 2
  • Dimensions of culture (Hofstede, Trompenaars, Hall in a nutshell)
  • The meeting of cultures, culture shock
  • Food and culture
  • Identity, time and space, and language
Day 3
  • Cultural aspects of communication in educational settings (rapport in unequal power situations)
  • Cultural aspects of professional communication Part 1 (meetings, team work, decision making, feedback)
Day 4
  • Cultural aspects of professional communication Part 2 (negotiations, persuasion, proposals etc.)
  • The genre of elevator pitches
Day 5
  • Cultural aspects of professional communication Part 2 (negotiations, persuasion, proposals etc.)
  • The genre of elevator pitches
Day 6
  • Dissemination – elevator pitches for course to be presented:
  • Present a personal mini research project following the SPRE stages to be at the on-site dissemination activity, gaining evaluation and further ideas to personal puzzles. Hear the peers’ evaluation, and also their presentations, and reflect on them.
  • Evaluation and round up, certification
Language level: English B1 and above*
Locations: Pula (Croatia)
Time: 9 AM to 2:30 PM daily (extracurricular activities outside of learning activities)
Dates: 29 July – 3 August, 2024 (6 days, 30 lessons)
Price: €510, including extracurricular cultural activities and welcome dinner

*The language of the course is English, linguistic aid may be provided for speakers of Hungarian with lower language abilities

The course complies with all rules as set in the Quality Standards of the Erasmus+ program. Extracurricular activities are in addition to the lessons, and study groups are international. Note: should the latter condition not be met, participants will be informed 40 days in advance.

Payment facilities: participants with funding from the actual year’s project budget may ask to request a deposit of EUR 100 to guarantee their places on the course and pay the rest of the fees later.

It is possible to take part in 2 consecutive courses, please book both separately. A price reduction of 15% will be applied.