Brain Sciences


Developing Intercultural Competence and Practice Workshop

Working in an organisation such as UCL means stepping into a melting pot of cultures, sub-cultures, values and communication styles. Many of us will encounter situations in our day-to-day activities that are impacted by intercultural communication differences. This in turn affects the way we interact with, and how we show up as educators, colleagues and peers, so it is my pleasure to invite you to an online (Zoom) workshop that will help us explore the two primary needs of psychosocial safety and intercultural competence and practice. In a nutshell, we will look at the importance of these primary needs, we will engage in practical dialogue around specific intercultural communication issues and situations, and we will identify and develop tools for appropriate intercultural practices.

Who should attend?

This opportunity will be useful to all staff and of particular interest to those who recognize intercultural differences in communication, either peer-to-peer or staff to student. For example, 

  • Have you witnessed or experienced unconscious bias, micro-aggressions, gender bias, or other bases for cross-cultural or sub-cultural miscommunication? 
  • Perhaps you’ve been in situations in which engagement with a student from a different cultural background was difficult? 
  • Or has there been a breakdown in a relationship with a colleague where cultural differences have played a part or where there has been a serious cultural misunderstanding? 
  • Are you able to recognize when communication has been confused and hindered by cultural or sub-cultural difference? 

If you answered yes to any of the first three and no/unsure to the last question, then this workshop is for you!!

What will you be committing to?  

There are three parts to the workshop. The first part is a self-paced, online video presentation to be viewed prior to attending the first Zoom session. The purpose of this introductory online module is to define key terms and concepts, introduce models, increase awareness, and create common ground. (duration: approx. 40mins)

The second part of the workshop will be a participant-focused, in-depth examination of specific practices in developing psychosocial safety and intercultural sensitivity followed by an open Q&A session (duration: 3hours – 1-4pm). By the end of this workshop you will begin to apply learning in developing your own ongoing practice for an area of implementation relevant to your everyday circumstances.

After 4-5 weeks, the third part of the workshop will be a follow-up Zoom discussion with case-study demonstrations and practical application.

Please note that the Zoom sessions will be recorded solely for the benefit of the trainer and facilitator and will not be shared publicly without consent.  

When is it?

Part 1 – Online presentation – to be completed ahead of your chosen zoom session, ideally a few days before so you have time to absorb and reflect on the information. Access to the presentation will be given after registration. 

Part 2 - There are two date options for you to choose from for this Zoom session, 15th February 2022 or  21st February 2022, 1-4pm on both dates.

Part 3 - The follow-up workshop will be held on March 22nd, also from 1-4pm.

What do you need to do next?

1)          Select a date for the second part of the workshop

2)          Fill in and return the registration form

3)          Add the dates and times for the workshops to your calendar

4)          Complete and return the enrolment form which you will receive after registration

About our facilitator:

Stephen James, an American-born British dual national, has been consulting and conducting workshops in Intercultural Communication in the multi-cultural contexts of Europe, the USA, Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific for 34 years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with us having lived and worked in Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, the USA, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, the UK, Germany, and Switzerland. Raised in Vietnam and Taiwan, Stephen grew up bilingual in Vietnamese and English, and has learned Russian and German as well as a beginning proficiency in Mandarin Chinese.

He holds a PhD in Anthropology, and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of California Riverside, USA, received an MPhil in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in History from the Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. 

He has taught at Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and now focuses on communication issues related to experiences of international studies, inter-culturally sensitive curriculum development, effective multi-national and multi-cultural organizational leadership, and migration.

We really hope you’ll take advantage of this exciting opportunity and look forward to some fascinating conversations!