Skills for Impact - Managing Cultural Diversity

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Master’s
Campus: 
Vienna
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Remote students
Academic Year: 
2021-2022
Term: 
Fall
US Credits: 
1
ECTS Credits: 
2
Course Code: 
DOPP5184
Course Description: 

Skills for Impact Program, Mandatory module, MPA Year 1 Students

The Skills for Impact (SFI) program is a mandatory, applied element of MPA program. The program aims to equip students with core vocational competencies that are of high value in the workplace. The SFI modules complement academic learning in the MPA and provide an important opportunity for practice-oriented learning and broad skills development.

Intercultural communication competence is one of these essential skills .

There is an ongoing cultural exchange in the globalized world, with a constant negotiation between norms, values and lifestyles.  SPP has been developing  an educational program with global focus, in line with its ambition to prepare students for  working  in this environment. 

Students  will be spending  two  years  together in a multicultural classroom,  working in multicultural teams on different projects. Many of them already have a substantial previous experience in intercultural settings, for some of them it is a first time experience.

This course creates a framework for students to get acquainted with each other’s background and culture, to further develop their intercultural empathy, to increase awareness of the necessary knowledge, attitudes, skills for managing cultural diversity.

 It familiarizes students with the visible and invisible layers of cultures, with the main dimensions of cultural differences, challenges of  living , studying and working abroad.

Learning Activities and Teaching Methods:

The course is based on students’ active participation: team games, simulations, questionnaires will be used, followed by break-out group- and class discussions and theoretical inputs.

The course takes place during zero week and most probably not all students will be able to arrive in Vienna, just join online.

Since one of the main objective of the course is to help students to get acquainted with each other’s cultural background and to boost group cohesion, we consider it important to have everyone in the same classroom, whether online or offline. We will develop a program which makes it possible, but technical difficulties might be expected, and it requires patience and cooperation from everyone involved.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will

  • be more aware of their own cultural values,  beliefs  and understand how it contributes to their behavior;
  • get acquainted with each others’ culture;
  • learn about the main challenges of living, studying and working abroad;
  • have an overview on the main aspects of cultural differences;
  • understand more the dynamics of an intercultural situation;
  • further develop the skills, attitudes, knowledge necessary to manage cultural diversity in their private and professional life;
  • be prepared  to cooperate effectively in multicultural teams during their studies.

  • further develop the skills, attitudes, knowledge necessary to manage cultural diversity  in  their private and professional life;
  • be prepared  to cooperate effectively in multicultural teams during their studies.
Assessment: 

The course’s credit is earned on a Pass/Fail basis. Students pass the module

  • if they attend both days without skipping parts of the course,
  • participate actively in simulations, team games and in class discussions,
  • write an 1500 word take home essay. In this essay they are expected to reflect on the most important personal learning points of the course and/or discussing a personal/professional  intercultural experience referring to the required and recommended readings.
Prerequisites: 

N/A