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Cultural Diversity: Theory and Practice

TUSS - Intro 2

What can cross-cultural psychology tell us about inter-group contact and communication? During this course, you will develop an understanding of the unique challenges and benefits of living in a multicultural society, working in international business, and in multicultural teams.

Course information

This course in short

  • Content:
    In this unique 2-week program you and a group of internationally-oriented students will examine cultural diversity from a psychological perspective, which includes theoretical insights as well as hands-on experiences (games and presentations).  The course culminates with your conducting an interview with someone of another culture, and writing a scientific report based on your findings. 
  • Entry requirements:
    Students (national and international) interested in and dealing with diversity in their work context. Participants can come from any Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD program.
  • Taught by:
    Dr. Michael Bender, Dr. Byron Adams and a variety of guest lecturers.
  • Start date:
    Monday 8 July 2019
  • Duration | ECTS:
    2 weeks | 6 ECTS
  • Language of instruction:
  • School:
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB)
  • Course fee:
    Course fee: €1000

    • 10% early bird discount*
    • 10% discount for current Tilburg University students*
    • 10% discount for students from partner universities*

    *Combining discounts is not possible

Course aims

During this immersive two-week course you will:

  • Acquire an overview of the current leading perspectives on cross-cultural similarities and differences, acculturation, and intercultural communication;
  • Assess and apply strategies useful for intercultural interaction in business and negotiations, and for effective intercultural communication;
  • Conduct a small-scale qualitative, culturally informed, psychological study on a topic of your choice;
  • Understand how methodological pitfalls and cognitive biases are relevant for cross-cultural interactions and intercultural communication in the multicultural workplace and other settings.

Course content

The course is about globalization, migration, and internationalization. You will learn what psychology has to say about societies that become more multicultural, international students, diverse teams in organizations and at the workplace, and how psychology contributes to make organizations and societies more inclusive.

You will gain:

The course on ‘Cultural Diversity: Theory and Practice’ features a unique constellation of theoretical, interactive teaching modules, as well as fully practical modules (business cases, practice exercises, and roleplaying games), and requires participants to prepare and work on their presentational skills as well as their report writing. In addition, we will feature a number of guest speakers to further broaden the scope of the course.

The course is divided into three parts:

  • The first part introduces theoretical insights;

    • This includes an overview of theories about cross-cultural differences, similarities, intercultural communication and acculturation.

  • The second part offers practical modules, enabling you to practice what you have learned and develop your own basic training tools for intercultural communication trainings;
  • The third and concluding part includes an empirical interview assignment and a final assessment.
    • You will conduct a qualitative interview with a participant from another culture on a topic of your choice; and relate the interview partner's answers to ongoing studies in the field of cultural psychology.

Final assessment

  • The final assessment is a report on this empirical interview assignment and will be graded in three domains: (1) theoretical introduction and research question, (2) methods and procedure, (3) interpretation of findings and connections with literature.
  • Reports will be graded on a 10 point grading scheme (with 10 being best). Course certificates are associated with passing grades (>5.5). To pass the course, an 80% attendance rate is required.

Course materials and specifics

Course materials

  • Book 1 (has to be purchased in advance): Shiraev, E., & Levy, D. (2016). Cross-cultural psychology. Critical thinking and contemporary applications (6th new international edition), Boston: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 10: 1138668389. Note that this is the international edition.
  • Book 2: Verkuyten, M. (2005). The Social Psychology of Ethnic Identity. Hove and New York: Psychology Press. This text book is accessible from a Tilburg University computer or with a VPN connection.
  • Additional materials (e.g., articles, handouts) are provided by the University electronically (or as a hard copy) for use in the course.

Course specifics

  • Exam: Grade of the empirical interview assignment of a minimum of 5.5 points out of 10.
  • To pass the course, an 80% attendance rate is required.
  • Graded certificates are available upon request.
  • The course is in English; all communication will be in English.
  • Applications must contain a CV and a motivation letter describing why you would like to participate in the course. The acceptance will be based on both CV and motivation letter.

Application and registration

At the moment, it is not possible to register for Tilburg University Summer School 2019. Do you want to be notified when registration opens? Please fill in the form on the registration page.


For more information about Tilburg University Summer School (TUSS), please send an e-mail to For more information about the content of the course, please send an e-mail to

Registration TUSS 2019

At the moment, it is not possible to register for Tilburg University Summer School 2019. Do you want to be notified when registration opens? Please fill in the form on the registration page.

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