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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Key Competencies for Working Across Cultures

The key goal of the project was to showcase how to develop and strengthen intercultural cross-border competencies necessary for living and working in the territory of the tri-border region: Southern Austria, Northern Italy, Southern Slovenia. The project was designed in the format of one day (24 hr) field study tour with a full immersion experience in the selected region: from early morning in Villach (Austria), with the 1.5 hour train ride to Udine (Italy) and 45 minutes train ride to Gorizia (Italy), finishing in the Slovenian border city Nova Gorica (Slovenia). The “cross-border challenge” aimed to illustrate the proximity of borders, languages and histories to a group of junior researchers by exploring local transportation systems (buses, trains, local city transportation), organizations from different sectors, and via onsite meetings with local leaders from three countries. The project was held on 9 May, 2019 (Europe Day). The project concept was co-created together with the group of young researchers. The goal of the study tour is to make it a practical field-experience-based educational case study which could be applied for any cross-border region.

The macro competencies we aimed to develop/enhance within the project included: 1) Lifelong learning (curiosity, creativity, critical thinking during the trip) 2) Self agency (resiliency during the 24 hour challenge, grit, drive, initiative) 3) Interacting with others (teamwork collaboration before/during/after the trip, interaction with local experts). 4) Interacting in and with the world (being local and global, balancing rights and privileges, considering local histories with respect) 5) Thriving on interdisciplinarity (cross-sector, interdisciplinary approach) 6) Multiliteracy (technical literacy – ability to blog and produce digital storytelling products, human literacy- ability to connect/interview local leaders for unique content) (Competency list from: IBE-UNESCO 2017, Future competencies and Future curriculum).

Supporting brands/organizations: Project leaders are members of the SIETAR (Society of the International Education, Training and Research/ SIETAR EUROPA, SIETAR Italia, SIETAR Austria: Carinthian Chapter), TEIN, TRANS_SPACE and promoters of intercultural education and intercultural competencies development.

Project coordinators: 

Dr. Eithne Knappitsch, Irish background, professor, researcher, program director of BA in intercultural Management (based in Villach, Austria);

Dr. Svitlana Buko, Russian born  researcher, consultant, sociologist, manager (based in the border town: Gorizia, Italy/Slovenia)

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