Zurich, Switzerland

Intercultural Competence - Drawing on the Swiss Experience

when 30 June 2019 - 19 July 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 6 EC
fee CHF 2000

Intercultural communicative competence has become an increasingly important skill and a valuable asset in today’s world characterized by mobility, super-diversity and the global flow of people, goods and information. In this Summer School we will work towards a refined understanding of the complex set of abilities needed to interact appropriately and successfully with others who are linguistically and culturally different from ourselves. Embracing a discourse-analytical and anthropological linguistic approach, we will explore such topics as different conversational styles, face and relational work, directness and indirectness, language socialization, and the intrinsic relationship between identity, culture and communication.
In our endeavor to work towards greater intercultural competence we will be able to draw on Switzerland’s rich experience in managing diversity as a highly multicultural and multilingual country. And we will seek inspiration in Switzerland’s long-standing tradition of international diplomacy and its role as a globally renowned mediator in peace negotiations.

Guest speakers from government, multilateral organizations and academia as well as excursions to Bern (World Heritage Site) and other cities will enrich this 3-week block seminar.

Course leader

Dr. Danièle Klapproth Muazzin

Target group

2nd or 3rd year Bachelor students and Master students

Course aim

In this Summer School, you will
- Understand how communication works
- Gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between language, culture and identity
- Identify the main components that make intercultural interactions challenging
- Examine models of intercultural dialogue and coexistence in Switzerland’s multicultural/multilingual contexts and discuss their strengths and weaknesses
- Draw on the experiences of expert practitioners in the field of intercultural negotiations to reflect on best practice
- Build skills for handling intercultural encounters in constructive, inclusive and effective ways

Credits info

6 EC

Fee info

CHF 2000: The Fee of CHF 2'000 includes:

- Tuition and Application Fee
- Final Certificate and Transcript of Records
- Academic Trips to Bern and other places
- Various social events including a welcome dinner, a lakeside picnic, a trip to Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls and an optional day hike to the Uetliberg

Not included: Costs for room and board.


Students from UZH partner universities, particularly Strategic Partners and U21 network partners, may qualify for a tuition fee discount. Once we have received your application, we will notify you of any potential discounts available to you.