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Intercultural Competence 

This online course is aimed at individuals who want to enhance their intercultural competence: their capacity to respond to (cultural) differences constructively, effectively and appropriately. Most people nowadays need to carry out their work in a context of high cultural diversity. Due to migration, internationalization and globalization, people in virtually all sectors are faced with highly diverse contexts.

Often, this entails contacts with people from a variety of national or ethnic backgrounds, in diverse environments and changing settings. Mere information about different places and groups and associated ‘do’s and don’t’s’ are no longer helpful (if they ever were), and perhaps even counterproductive.

The course takes place fully online, so that in principle anyone, anywhere can on the basis of open registration.


This course builds on the extensive experience with intercultural learning at the Royal Tropical Institute, which goes decades back. Based on both extensive academic knowledge as well as hands-on-experience with intercultural learning for a multitude of target groups, we have developed our own approach to intercultural learning, based on theories around ‘transformational learning’. This means that while we provide elements from an ‘instrumental learning’ approach such as knowledge, theories and tools, we believe that the real learning takes place when these are used for self-reflection. To put it simply: people forget information and tools, but they remember the insights into themselves, their perceptions of others, and their interactions. This makes this learning approach sustainable and applicable to a wide variety of situations and contexts.


The course consists of five online group sessions, where we will interactively discuss certain theories, frameworks and approaches. Between the sessions, participants are invited to engage in self-reflective exercises – alone or with a buddy. Every participant will have a personal intake meeting with the trainer to discuss learning goals, and a final reflection session to discuss their learnings and future steps.

For who

This course is aimed at anyone working in a multicultural or international environment, from any industry, e.g.

  • Government
  • International development and NGO’s
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Business

The course materials will be aimed at general competence development, independent of specific sectors, but the intake and coaching sessions as well as the interactive exercises will allow you to apply it on your own professional context.

By who

Arjan Verdooren is a long-time associate trainer and consultant for KIT Royal Tropical Institute. He has extensive experience with professional training and consultancy for a wide range of organizations. In addition, he has lectured at various universities, including the University of Gothenburg and the HTW University Berlin. He is the co-author (with Edwin Hoffman) of ‘Diversity Competence-Cultures Don’t Meet, People Do’ (Coutinho, 2018). Arjan specializes in the connection between theory and practice in the fields of intercultural communication and Diversity & Inclusion.

What is the content?

The five online group sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Worldviews, values, orientations
  • Communication and communication styles
  • Identity
  • Perception, stereotypes and bias
  • Intercultural interaction


The price per participant is €495,-. Those interested from Lower Income Countries are invited to get in touch to explore the possibilities.


The dates for the online group sessions are:

  • April 16th  2024  
  • May 7th 2024
  • May 21st 2024
  • June 4th 2024
  • June 18th 2024

The individual intake and reflection sessions will be planned before and after the course at your convenience.


Al sessions will take place on zoom and will last 2,5 hours (13.00-15.30 CET).

The sessions will contain presentation as well as interactive parts with exercises and discussion in small groups.

Contact us

Let us know if you are interested in this course.

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