Budapest Business School College of International Management and Business (HUNGARY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 7321-7330
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Intercultural education seems to be a more and more important and an especially relevant issue in Europe. Our 21st century can be called the ‘global’ century but at the same time the importance of recognizing and dealing with cultural diversity is increasing. Cultural differences present new challenges and opportunities in the field of international education all over the world but it is especially true for Europe and the European Higher Education Area. There is no other part of the world which has so many diverse cultures as Europe.
In the last decade more and more Erasmus students spend semesters studying at foreign universities or colleges having to cope with different cultural characteristics and also the teachers and the administrative staff working with international cohorts of students as well as those taking part in staff exchanges need to be equipped with some knowledge of intercultural issues.
At present most of these teachers and students are not sufficiently aware of the challenges and risks involved in their work in terms of the intercultural frictions and conflicts that may arise in international education situations, and which may lead to problems, even failure of educational programs.

We need to increase awareness of how to overcome the hidden cultural assumptions that interfere with effective intercultural action and cooperation and we need to understand how cultural factors impact on job performance in the field of education on the one hand and on the other hand we have to expand our repetoire of culturally appropriate behaviours. These are the basic purposes of intercultural courses and trainings. In terms of the theoretical underpinnings we need to consider different dimensions of national culture, as identified by Hofstede, and Trompenaars and concepts identified by Hall. We need to deal with the topic of stereotyping, that of culture shock and Bennett’s model of developing intercultural sensitivity.

Combining the competences gained from applying the above models to real life situations through small case studies we can provide a useful sort of intercultural guide for those involved in international educational programs.
The presentation will give real life examples of contents of intercultural communication and management courses given to international cohorts at undergraduate and graduate levels at the Budapest Business School.
cultural differences, communication, intercultural education, multicultural projects.