Asia-Europe Cross-Cultural Summer Academy 2013


Participants of the Academy had the option to choose between four courses focusing on intercultural aspects of the respective topic.

All courses had complementary workshop sessions with theoretical and practical content offered by academic staff and trainers with a high level of expertise and experience in international environments. To ensure an ideal learning environment, participants were divided into small groups.

Each course listed in the course catalogue lasted one week. Aside from theoretical and practical input, each course had a pre-reading assignment, which had to be accomplished before the course started.

Participants have been awarded a certificate after successfully completing their courses at the Summer Academy. Moreover, participants who successfully completed two courses in Track 1 were not only awarded a certificate but had the possibility to also earn six ECTS (European Credit) points.



The classes were organized in two tracks.  Participants could choose one course per week and only courses of the same track. Participation was only possible for two weeks.

Week 1 Week 2
Track 1:
Intercultural Communication
Intercultural Communication Intercultural Conflict Resolution
Track 2:
Culture and Society
Globalization and Security Human Rights and Asian Societies


Track 1: “Intercultural Communication”

In intercultural encounters, misunderstandings may occur. Not only the use of foreign languages makes it difficult to understand each other, but culture also influences our expectations towards the situation in many ways. Indeed, we perceive differently and attend to different aspects of the communication process, and so we expect different reactions, explain behavior in a culturally shaped way and end up with different judgments towards the situation. Conflict and emotional escalation can be a result. The present course introduces basic techniques of identifying the barriers in our self-determination. The first step is to understand our personal attitude in a conflict situation and to be aware of our patterns to behave. This approach helps us to develop tolerance in face of ambiguity and it shows some principle tools of mediation and how it is organized systematically.

In intercultural encounters, people are always prone to intercultural misunderstandings. Sometimes, it is just their level of foreign language proficiency that makes them fail in comprehending the message of their interlocutors. But most of the time, it is the difference in cultural encoding and decoding of activities which makes them stumble and fall into the trap of misinterpreting an activity in the worst possible way. The consequences  are emotional escalation and the risk of a conversational breakdown. The present course introduces basic techniques of identifying the barriers in our self-determination. The first step is to understand our personal attitude in a conflict situation and to gain awareness of our behavioural patterns. This  approach helps us to develop tolerance in the face of ambiguity and it shows some principle tools of mediation and how it is organized systematically.

Please note: Track 1 is an introduction to the intercultural field. Students who enroll need no prior knowledge of the field.


Track 2: “Culture and Society “

The class will bring together perspectives of different scientific backgrounds as well as practical exercises in order to ensure a multi-perspective approach in teaching and learning.

Course Objectives are:

  1. To understand the theoretical/conceptual underpinnings of Globalization in the context of international relations, and to reflect critically on the phenomenon and process of Globalization especially since the end of the Cold War era (1947-1991) to the present.
  2. To examine the impact of Globalization on Post-Cold War conceptualizations of security: unipolarity, multipolarity, hegemony, global governance and multilateralism, world order and international terrorism.
  3. To examine the impact of globalization on modern diplomacy in terms of how it has impacted the entire sphere of diplomatic communication in the Age of the Internet.
  4. To examine critically the impact of globalization on identity, religion, culture and regionalism, especially in Southeast Asia.

The class will cover the following topics and questions:

– What is Globalization?
– Who are the stakeholders in Globalization?
– Globalization and the Nation-State
– Globalization, religion and Culture
– Globalization, Diplomacy, regional and international security
– Asian values and human rights traditions
– Islam and human rights
– Human rights commissions and institutions; International conventions and instruments
– Human rights abuses in Asia
– Human rights defenders and role of civil society in addressing issues.

Every human being is important, and human rights are essentially the basic rights every human being has simply because he/she is a human as they are the fundamental things that human beings need in order to flourish and participate fully in society. The ideas behind human rights have been present throughout history in many different societies and civilisations. The modern concept of human rights emerged in the 20th century as a response to the events of World War II, in particular the Holocaust. This appalling abuse of human dignity and disrespect for human life led states to come together in 1948 under the United Nations (UN) to agree to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – perhaps the most famous and important human rights document. This course on human rights and Asian societies introduces the core idea of the meaning and value of human rights and its concomitant values of dignity, respect, justice, fairness, equality and self-determination.

Please note: To enter Track 2, an applicant has to be a student with at least one year of study experience, plus some intercultural expertise