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Interculturally competent – The University of Potsdam awards a new supplementary certificate

Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraising, warmly congratulated the first students on successfully obtaining their degree certificates. In our photo: Dr. habil. Ljuba Kirjuchina, Director of the Office of the StudiumPlus Course Committee, Dr. Doris Gebert, Director of the Center for Languages and Key Competences, with students Daniela Marie Gebbert, Henryk Meyer und Johanna Wagenknecht. Photo: Karla Fritze

Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs, Alumni and Fundraising, warmly congratulated the first students on successfully obtaining their degree certificates. In our photo: Dr. habil. Ljuba Kirjuchina, Director of the Office of the StudiumPlus Course Committee, Dr. Doris Gebert, Director of the Center for Languages and Key Competences, with students Daniela Marie Gebbert, Henryk Meyer und Johanna Wagenknecht. Photo: Karla Fritze

The first students at the University of Potsdam are awarded the supplementary certificate “Intercultural competence in studies and career”. The certificate can be acquired from StudiumPlus. 

One advantage of the offer is immediately obvious: The existing modules allow the participants to develop their own profile at an early stage. “That convinced me, among other things, to take part,” says Angel Ivanov, who is one of first four graduates to receive the certificate of studies. He has just begun his Master's degree in Administrative Studies. “I am particularly interested in issues regarding migration research, not least because I have my own migration experience.” He is enthusiastic about the courses on offer, in both professional and organizational terms. The developed network of contacts to other students and lecturers who are active in the field of intercultural work and research was also of great benefit to him. Ivanov works as a permanent employee at the Foreigners’ Registration Office in Potsdam. “I am responsible for asylum and humanitarian stays,” he says. After completing his Master’s degree, the 24-year-old wants to contribute towards the intercultural opening of the administration and turn to human resource management. He regards intercultural competence as an important tool in order to be able to deal with a different culture in a sensitive manner and also to be able to appropriately reflect upon his own. According to the social scientist, this implies knowing the dimensions of cultural concepts. “For example, the relationship between men and women.” Only then was it possible to derive recommendations for action. He is already planning new projects including an empirical study on the topic of interculturality with the Director of StudiumPlus, Dr. habil. Ljuba Kirjuchina.

The StudiumPlus office has since recorded growing interest in the additional offer. “The fact that we can offer more and more appropriate events means that the demand is also increasing,” says Ljuba Kirjuchina. “The students understand the importance of the certificate, also in terms of their own professional career.” However, no preparation is provided for specific job profiles. But she says that there are possible applications in a wide range of fields.

The training is divided into theory, practice and reflection. Here, students learn to analyze cultural differences, to intervene appropriately in situations where cultures overlap, and to act as moderators in conflict situations. They also gain competence in comprehending values and behavior patterns among people from different life situations and identify common ground shared between cultures. Moreover, during classes the lecturers put the participants in a position to better understand their own values and to develop an understanding of how something we are not familiar with forms an important aspect of one’s own identity. 

If you have any questions concerning the certificate then please do not hesitate to contact Janna Wacker-Frydrych by sending an email to: jawacker@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de.

Contact 

Zentrum für Sprachen und Schlüsselkompetenzen/Studiumplus
Dr. habil. Ljuba Kirjuchina
Tel.: 0331 977-1789
Email: Ljuba.Kirjuchina@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de 

Text: Petra Görlich
Translation: Clive Jonathan Harker
Published online by: Agnetha Lang
Contact for the online editorial office: onlineredaktion@uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de