Students Tilburg University

IAM Advanced: an Intercultural Awareness Module

IAM Advanced is Tilburg University’s intercultural awareness module for outgoing exchange students. It is a valuable mentoring experience that will help you to maximize your study abroad experience by enhancing your intercultural learning and communication skills: essential 21st century skills for your future life and career!

We will optimally prepare you for your experience abroad. You will get to know yourself and your place in the world, through self-reflection on your own behavioral and thinking patterns. You will learn how to deal with intercultural situations and grow on a personal level. Competences that we will be working on are:

  • Intercultural communication skills: how to deal with unfamiliar intercultural situations.
  • Personal reflection: getting to know and understand your own values and norms.
  • Recognizing intercultural differences and similarities and how to cope with adhering emotions and feelings.
  • The ability to pass on your intercultural and host university specific knowledge to newly selected students.

"I decided to participate because I found the idea interesting, but I thought to be already aware about cultural differences and awareness, because I had lived abroad for the last three years. I couldn’t be more wrong! The module has helped me in changing my mindset and to always consider the cultural context when I am with someone new or in a new country and try to understand the situation better, putting it in a cultural context. Moreover, the survey that I took during the module helped me in reflecting about myself and my way of acting; understanding that my culture of origin really influences myself, my personality and my actions."  - Maria, GMSI student

Program outline

The program consists of three parts: before-, during- and after your exchange.

Before departure

You will take the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) test (at home), in order to measure your intercultural awareness level. This test is the premier, cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence. It is a theory-based method which will give insight in your personal growth on an intercultural level. This tool allows you to see your individual progression along a continuum of cross-cultural competence. The IDI provides in-depth insights on how individuals and groups make sense of cultural differences as well as how they respond to cultural differences. The IDI measures both one’s mindset and skill set.

A certified IDI trainer will mentor you in this test and will discuss it on an individual level. This is a unique opportunity to learn about your own intercultural behavior, where you stand and how you could grow and develop. After your return you will take another IDI test to see your development. Read more information about IDI.

Additionally you will also attend a pre-departure workshop. In this workshop you will learn about the principles of intercultural communication, reflect on your own cultural values and norms and prepare yourself for your experience abroad. This workshop will be hosted by a certified Intercultural Competence Trainer.

During your exchange

It’s time to put knowledge to practice! We will ask you to reflect upon intercultural encounters in your host country by doing some assignments. The outcomes will be shared with your fellow students in the module who are also currently on exchange, to learn about each other’s experiences. Afterwards you will have a Teams interview in order to discuss your development abroad.

After your exchange

You will take another IDI test in order to measure your development and growth. Outcomes will be discussed with the certified IDI trainer again through an individual meeting as well as IDI debrief workshop.

You will participate in an Upon Return workshop. In this session we will reflect upon your experiences abroad, compare these with your fellow participants in the workshop as well as molding your obtained intercultural skills for future use.

You will participate in the Destination: Exchange Event where you will meet with newly selected students going abroad to your destination. You will then be able to put your skills to practice again by informing them about your (intercultural) experience and help them prepare for their (intercultural) experience.

Please note: for Spring semester students, the final part of this module will take place at the beginning of the new academic year. Please keep this in mind if you will be graduating by the end of current academic year. If you have any doubts, please contact us on iam@tilburguniversity.edu to see if anything can be arranged.

Selection and fees

We can only take in a maximum of 20 students per semester. We are therefore searching for students who are intrinsically motivated to learn more about intercultural awareness and their own intercultural behavior and values. The cost of this module is only € 22 and will include the premier intercultural IDI assessment and training as well as an official certificate of participation at the end of the program.

NB: If there are more suitable applications than available spots we will make a selection based on variety in (academic) background and destinations as well as the time your application came in.

Please be aware that you must attend all workshops and trainings and no fees will be returned if you fail to attend workshops and trainings.

Program schedule

Before Departure

  • IDI test (from home): 1-5 November 2021
  • Before Departure Workshop and Individual Meeting with IDI trainer: 10, 11 and 12 November 2021

During Mobility

  • Assignment deadline: late February and late April 2022
  • Teams interview: May 2022

After Mobility

  • Destination: Exchange Event: September 2022
  • IDI test: September 2022
  • After Mobility workshop and Individual Meeting with IDI trainer: September 2022

Application procedure and deadlines

This application round is available to students selected to go on exchange during the spring semester of academic year 2021/2022.

The application deadline is 17 October 2021.

Please apply by sending the following details to iam@tilburguniversity.edu:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Student number (SNR)
  • Study program in Tilburg
  • Exchange university
  • Exchange country