“ENHANCing intercultural skills for the international workplace”, 6th ENHANCE Staff Week
The ENHANCE staff week focusing on intercultural skills was organised in RWTH-Aachen university from 17 to 20 October. Under the title “ENHANCing intercultural skills for the international workplace”, technical and administrative staff who wish to improve their international and intercultural skills, were invited to participate in this international experience and learn more about these important topics.
The staff week in Aachen was the occasion for the people working to achieve this goal of intercultural skills at different university to get together, exchange, and learn from each other. Through testimonials, lectures, group works, and field visits, the participants worked on a specific theme for each day.
Day one was dedicated to internationalization, with a welcome speech by Dr Henriette Finsterbusch, Head of the International Office of RWTH Aachen University.
After that, participants learnt more about best practices and share different ideas and policies with regards to their working environments. In the afternoon, participants met with different groups during a speed dating activity for first-hand accounts of the experiences of international students, researchers and associations who work with international clientele. Based on these accounts, participants developed concepts for the ideal international university.
Day two was aimed at intercultural communication. Participants discussed experiences and things to keep in mind when communicating across different cultures. They looked at being aware of stereotypes, cultural standards and ways to solve conflict situations. Intercultural skills are important in many areas: successfully working in international teams, but also preparing participants well for dealing with international students and staff.
Day three was dedicated to language training in two main topics: political correctness and Working in International Teams.