University College Ghent
Geraard de Duivelstraat 5 - 9000 Ghent - Belgium
Phone: 09 243 33 33 - E-mail:
Working in an intercultural context15812/4618/2122/1/84
Study guide

Working in an intercultural context

Academic year 2021-22
Is found in:
  • IC Nursing
    Choice package:
    • Choose for 12 ECTS CREDITS (Spring semester)
  • IC Nutrition and Dietetics
  • IC Occupational Therapy
  • IC Social educational care work, programme stage 3
This is a single course unit.
Study load: 3 credits
Weight: 3,00
Total study time: 84,00 hours
Possible deadlines for learning account: 01.12.2021 () or 15.03.2022 ()

Organisation of education

Teaching Activities, Learning Activities, Assessment Activities
Lecture12,00 hours
Self-study54,00 hours
Seminar12,00 hours
Supervised independent work6,00 hours
This course unit is marked out of 20 (rounded to an integer).
Re-sit exam: is possible.
It is not possible to enrol in this course unit under
  • exam contract (to obtain a credit).
  • exam contract (to obtain a degree).
Special admission is required to enrol in this course unit under credit contract.
Co-ordinator: Houtteman Yvan
Language course: No
Languages: English
Scheduled for: Semester 1 or Semester 2


It is appropriate to justify why this course was included in the programme.
Flanders and Europe have been the subject of different historical migrations and form a community of different cultures. We live in a multicultural society. Moreover, the increasing economic globalization and the development of new and faster forms of transport and communication have caused distance and time to shrivel. The world has become a "global village". The care worker is increasingly confronted with people from different cultural backgrounds and should handle those differences properly and be aware of his own "cultural" glasses.

Through the application of the CLIM method within a 'multicultural' group,  the students learn by experience.


The classes correspond with the chapters of Edwin Hoffman’s book “Interculturele gespreksvoering” and his TOPOI model. TOPOI is the abbreviation of language, structure, persons, organization and effort. These are the five areas in which cultural differences and misunderstandings can take place. The TOPOI model includes a practical analysis and intervention framework to detect and deal with these cultural differences and misunderstandings in an intercultural contact.

Order of enrolment

There are no prerequisites for this course.


No specific competences needed, except affinity with the English language

Final objectives

This course focuses on the competences mentioned in the Decree Reorganization Higher Education 04/04/2003 – article 58 and the Decree regarding the Flemish qualification structure 30/04/2009 – article 6 level 6.

Profession-specific competences


Focus on professional actions

Socio-educational Care Work

- answer the client’s questions adequately, with a professional attitude, both verbally and non-verbally

Social Work

-communicate purposively in a context of large diversity.

->competences aimed at ethical actions

Socio-educational Care Work

-develop understanding and involvement with the help of ethical, normative and social questions, related to the professional practice

Social Work

-acting on the crossroads of people and their environment from an ethical point of view.

General (generic) competences

->be able to work in team

Socio-educational Care Work

-working together in an interdisciplinary, intercultural, international professional environment.

Social Work

-profiling as a constructive team member both as a participator in a team as a supervisor of a team. This both inside the own service as in cooperations with other organizations.

General (generic) competences


Socio-educational Care Work

-critically reflect about the actions.

Social Work

-the ability to reflect critically and work thematically.

->international orientation

Socio-educational Care Work

-insight into the intercultural aspects of society within a European and international context.

Teaching methods

  • Activating lecture
  • Assignment
  • Practice session
    Additional information: Cooperative learning in multicultural groups (CLIM methods) Dialogue sessions with Flemish students social work

Organisation of education

Lecture with interactive elements
Group assignment
Cooperative learning in multicultural groups (CLIM methods)
This course supports, linked to its intrinsic individuality, the possibility to implement international guest lecturers and/or visits in an international context.

The course is taught in English, speaking Dutch is possible and will be translated.

Instead of this course, a student can sign up for the Intensive Programme in the context of internationalization.

Study guidance

Supervision by appointment


First examination period
Non-periodical evaluation (25 % of the total assessment)
Presentation group assignment (25 % of the total assessment)
Written examination (50 % of the total assessment)

Special regulations:
The criteria of evaluation for the group assignment will be announced in an assignment format
The examination is in Dutch.
Attendance in the classes is compulsory

Second examination period
Individual paper (100 % of the total assessment)

Special regulations:
Students are obliged to come and collect the assignment for the paper during the feedback of the first examination period.

This unit of study is marked out of 20 (rounded to a whole number).
Re-sit examination: is possible.

This unit of study is marked out of 20 (rounded to a whole number).
Re-sit examination: is possible.

Other study materials

Learning material on Chamilo.

Study costs

The cost of the written study material is estimated at about 5 euro
Possibly extra costs for exhibition visit or movie.

Key words

intercultural communication
social identities
colliding values

social representations
TOPOI model