Course info


Start date
End date

Learning objectives

After the course: (1) the participants are able to recognize and explain their existing practical intercultural competence (2) The participants can categorize different conceptual understandings of culture and their implication for intercultural competence (3) The participants are able to recognize and analyze their own cultural assumptions and social background with self-reflection.

Practical information


Please see the detailed instructions for the assignment A below and submit it through the online platform before the webinar

22.5.2017 INTRODUCTORY WEBINAR (1–3 PM. Central European Time)

(1) The participants introduce themselves and their assignment A to the group (see below for instructions for the assignment).  

(2) Facilitators of the course go through the course contents, goals and timetable and gives detailed instructions for the preliminary assignment B (see below for written instructions for the assignment).  


Please access the preliminary reading from the link below and read the text carefully before the Riga Event. 


Please see the detailed instructions for the assignment B below and bring the assignment with you to the Riga event.

29.5.2017 RIGA EVENT DAY 1 

Learning session 1 – Culture & Cultural identity (14:45-16:30)

(1) Lecture: conceptualization of culture and cultural identity (Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä, UEF)

(2) Group exercise on individual identities.

(3) Debriefing the results of the group exercises.

Learning session 2 –  Developing Intercultural competence 1 (17:00 –18:45)

(1) Lecture: What intercultural competence is and how it matters & “ladder of inference” (Tuomas Järvenpää, UEF)

(2) Split into working groups and analysis of the preliminary assignment B 

(3) Debriefing of the results of the working groups 

30.5.2017 RIGA EVENT DAY 2

Learning session 3 – Cultural Perception (10:00–11:45)

(1) Activating exercise (Tuomas Järvenpää)

(2) Debriefing of the exercise and discussion 

Learning session 4 –  Developing intercultural competence 2 (12:00–13:45)

(1) Lecture: “Communication strategies” (Tuomas Järvenpää)

(2)  Working groups continue by analyzing communication strategies in the preliminary assignment B.  

(3) Debriefing of the result of the working groups 

31.5.2017 RIGA EVENT DAY 3 

Learning session 5 –  Intercultural communication & conflict resolution (

(1) Lecture: Exploring different ways of framing a conflict  (Tuomas Järvenpää)

(2) Working groups continue by analyzing the conflict frame in the preliminary analysis B

(3) Debriefing of the result of the working groups 

Learning session 6 –  Self-evaluation & open discussion (12:45 –13:45)

Self-evaluation of the learning process and feedback from the course contents (Karin Koivisto, UEF)



Tuomas Järvenpää
University teacher, media culture and communication studies
University of Eastern Finland

Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä
Professor, cultural studies
University of Eastern Finland

Karin Koivisto
Project coordinator
University of Eastern Finland



Course activities

  1. Preliminary assignment A - Introduction


    Please introduce yourself in a free manner. Describe shortly your work duties and environment and the intercultural communication situations that you meet in your work. Describe also your expectation and personal aims for the course. 

    Post the written introduction to here the google form of the

  2. Introductory Webinar

    Start time
    End time


    - Testing and troubleshoot for the webinar participants 

    - Welcoming words and introductions of the Finnish team (Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä, UEF)

    - Presenting the aims and outline of the course (Tuomas Järvenpää, UEF)

    - Introductions of the webinar participants 

    (Oral presentation of

  3. Preliminary reading before the Riga event


    The following article problematizes the current use of the concepts of "culture" and "interculturality" in the context of higher education. The article also discusses some of the pitfalls in the attempts of Finnish universities to build intercultural awareness. The article serves here as an

  4. Preliminary assignment B - The personal case


    A personal case describes a communication problem or a conflict in which you were personally involved, and for this course, which involves a cross-cultural element. The purpose is to help you learn how to become more effective by obtaining fresh insights into a situation. You can also choose a

  5. BEST+ Riga follow-up


    From this section you can find the follow-up material for the Riga event.

    Find below the complete participation list (including emails) (removed 18.6.2018), presentation slides for the learning session and a list of literature used in the course. 

    The course was largely based on the model of

Course events