Actual skills and competencies need to be naturally acquired (practice) focused training. Preferably through 'experiential learning'. Therefore, starting all courses of the ICI always with a culture simulation game.
In this simulation, participants following a general introduction into two groups, which we respectively x and y call culture. There are approximately 15 to 20 minutes (game) rules and codes of the x-and y-culture published and practiced.
When participants have mastered the rules, there are always simultaneous visits of one or more members of the x-y to the culture and vice versa for about five minutes, with the mission to try the rules and codes of others to discover.
After each visit, the game just stopped and found within their own group rather than a short debriefing. When all participants have been visiting the other culture is plenary evaluation. It is examined whether one of the rules and codes of the others was able to discover. To date, this is never the case.
Own frame of thinking
This game allows participants to the limitation of one's own frame of thought at first hand experience. Not only participants (all levels) reported in their written evaluations that the desired effect is achieved, but it's even been scientifically proven that by this method of experiential learning with intercultural awareness gains, meaning that people the importance and influence of the recognize cultural values on perception, feeling, thinking and acting.
The participants experienced at first hand because what it means to be in a strange environment for them to end up where they do not know the rules and codes. All securities and axioms make room for confusion. They experienced communication problems because of differences in language (verbal and nonverbal), norms (rules) and values (different goals of both cultures).
Perception and behavior
On the basis of the participants during the simulation experience and the teacher behaviors noted during the debriefing examines human perception and behavior, the influence of culture on perception and behavior and the influence of cultural differences on effective communication.