Teaching and Communicating in an Intercultural Context

Teaching and Communicating in an Intercultural Context

When: November 21 and 22, 2015 (Saturday and Sunday)

Where: Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland

For Whom: Medical doctors and other practitioners in the field of medicine who are entering the teaching practice or are now confronted with teaching in English and wish to improve their skills.

Course Description

This course is the third module in a three-part series entitled Studybility Teaching for Quality in Medical Sciences. It aims to strengthen the participants’ knowledge on the principles, theories and methods of university pedagogy at medical faculties. The goal is to offer new ideas and tools to help the participants develop their teaching methods and successfully convey the material to international medical students.

The two-day course focuses on knowledge transfer in inter-cultural environment and the varying concept of learning to ensure effective teaching and learning across cultures – in medical sciences. Over the last decade research has become available about which approaches work and which do not for certain cultures when it comes to communication in the classroom. The course addresses the issues of cultural differences, intercultural management and communications in the medical context to raise quality of interactions and mutual understanding through mindful strategies. It also emphasizes the necessity of clear verbal and visual presentation of discussed concepts. This course is for academic staff in the medical sciences and medical professionals who teach interested in enhancing the learning experience of international student audiences with a focus on developing cross-cultural competencies in medical sciences education on university level.

The training takes place in English without a translator. The format of this training requires a high level of interaction.

Course elements:

  1. Defining the “multicultural”, “multi-ethnic” and “international”;
  2. Concepts of physical and mental health, respect for the human being and the body, (patient) safety, and medical physical contact across cultures;
  3. Cultural awareness of future doctors;
  4. Issues of body language and non-verbal communication;
  5. Preparing students to learn about health care delivery in authentic settings through patient-centered practice;
  6. Concepts of leadership skills and teamwork as well as team-building throughout cultures;
  7. Oral, written and visual communication for a maximum teaching potential: using tools and software such as ppt, prezi, keynote, vimeo, YouTube, podcasts and data visualisation and incorporating of these tools into teaching.

Learning Outcomes:

After the course the participants will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of integrating cross-cultural perspectives into the health and nursing curricula;
  • Define the needs of students stemming from multicultural, multi-ethnic and international backgrounds;
  • Differentiate between merit-based problems and issues resulting from cultural differences;
  • Develop concepts of student-centred cultural competence for higher education;
  • Manage expectations of students and own expectations as teachers;
  • Address the concepts of varying definitions of health and human needs;
  • Comprehend the importance of body language and non-verbal communication in intercultural teaching;
  • Include culturally-different concepts of leadership and teamwork in their teaching practice;
  • Comfortably use in their teaching various oral, written and visual communication tools and software.



Poznan University of Medical Sciences

The Poznan University of Medical Sciences (PUMS) is one of the best and largest medical universities in Poland, with over 91 years of sound academic experience and a great growth momentum. Our University is a leading medical school in Poland and is currently recognized as the largest educational, research, and clinical center in Poland (according to the rankings of “Perspektywy”,”Rzeczpospolita”, and “Wprost”).

PUMS offers the highest number of specialties for students to choose from, and the research and clinical teaching is conducted here in close partnership with six clinical hospitals. In the academic year 2011-2012, there are over 8,000 enrolled students in the University, including more than 1,000 international students. Its academic personnel is comprised of over 1,000 faculty members and teaching staff employed in Medical Faculty I, Medical Faculty II, Faculty of Pharmacy, and Faculty of Health Sciences, all of which are affiliated with the five programs at the Center for Medical Education in English. Most of the teaching staff are medical practitioners and doctors of medicine; around a hundred represent different scientific disciplines; and nearly a hundred are doctors of dentistry.

One of the top priorities for the continued growth of the University is the expansion of the various forms of collaboration in the areas of teaching and research. The Poznan University of Medical Sciences maintains and develops various forms of cooperation with foreign research centers and universities worldwide through: joint research, participation in international programs and research projects; joint publications and participation in scientific conferences; as well as through numerous student and faculty exchanges. To this date, the University has entered into more than 30 long-term partnership agreements with medical universities and research centers worldwide.

Students enrolled at PUMS may choose from the following five fields of study in English:

  • 4-year M.D. program (since 1993)
  • 6-year M.D. program (since 1995)
  • 5-year D.D.S. program (since 2001)
  • 6-year Pharm. D. program (since 2004 as a 5-year program, in 2009 replaced by a 6-year program)
  • 3-year B.Sc. in Physiotherapy program (since 2009)