The online distance learning Certificate of Advanced Studies program in Transcultural Communication & Competence combines the advantages of e-learning with one-on-one coaching.Participants work online at their own pace, whenever and wherever they wish, on the road, at home, or at the workplace. Study takes place in a personalized manner according to the participants` own learning preferences and learning styles. Study materials and media can be downloaded and printed out for easy reading and archiving. Lessons can be adapted to individual needs and learning goals. After admission, participants are assigned a coach and receive per e-mail all the information needed to access the learning platform and begin studying.

When should you consider this program?

You are privately or professionally involved in different intercultural settings and situations. You are interested in questions of intercultural communication, international understanding and cooperation. You are looking for reliable, praxis-oriented know-how to understand and solve problems in these areas. The Certificate Course in Transcultural Communication & Competence enables participants to develop competencies and find solutions in all areas of intercultural communication and cooperation in both the private and the public sectors. The program covers the areas of intercultural communication, cultural differences, relations between cultural groups, conflict analysis and management in intercultural situations, problems of international organizations, expatriates, minorities, migration, integration, ethnicity and identity, extremism, diversity management, systemic management, intercultural project management, and other topics and problem areas confronting today’s multicultural society.

The program can be taken as an independent Certificate of Advanced Studies course (20 European Credit Transfer System Points) or as a module in a Masterprogram of IKF.

What skills are developed in this program?

The CAS Transcultural Communication & Competence enables participants:

  • To understand and apply current theories, models, and methods of intercultural communication in organizations within the private and public sectors.

  • To analyze, steer, and implement intercultural communication processes.
  • To deal effectively with communication problems arising within multicultural and transnational organizations, teams, groups, and networks.
  • To offer innovative consulting in the area of diversity management and intercultural project management.

Is the Online CAS in Transcultural Communication & Competence for you?

The Online CAS in Transcultural Communication & Competence is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Decision makers and managers in private as well as public organizations of all types.
  • Persons responsible for developing and optimizing communication and team processes in transnational and multicultural organizations.
  • Persons directing transnational projects and teams.
  • Consultants in the area transnational and multicultural organizations.
  • Persons responsible for problem solving in all areas involving cultural differences and international relations including issues of migration, integration, racism, and interreligious understanding.
  • Decision makers, instructors, consultants, managers, team leaders interested in optimizing diversity and avoiding typical pitfalls in multicultural cooperation.

Who is eligible?

Applicants should have successfully completed a university program or have obtained a comparable educational level. Students are also expected to have an adequate level of media competence. Previous experience in the area of intercultural communication is not required. Students should have access to the Internet and a good command of the English language. The language of instruction is English and/or German. All communication can be either in English or German.

What must be done to complete the course?

Requirements for receiving the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Transcultural Communication & Competence are:

  • Successful completion of the online lessons.

  • Successful completion of a project thesis that is agreed upon with the coach and approved by the program directors.

Institute of Communication & Leadership IKF

The Institute of Communication & Leadership IKF is a private academic organization dedicated to research, teaching, and services in the area of applied communication sciences. IKF sees itself as a vital link between science and society. Since it was founded in 1988, IKF has been active not only in teaching but also in research, and in the development of services in the areas of intercultural communication, intercultural mediation, e-learning, and knowledge management. IKF is one of the largest providers of continuing education and post-doc programs in intercultural communication, e-learning, and knowledge management in Switzerland.


Lesson Block 1 - Theoretical Foundations of Transcultural Communication & Competence
Introduction to Intercultural & Cross-Cultural Communication, Theories of Culture, The Network Society, Communication Theory, Semiotics & Difference Theory, Role Theory, Ritual Theory, Theories of Power 

Lesson Block 2 - Differences Between Cultures
Development and Overview of Intercultural Communication Studies, Cultural Dimensions (Hall, Hofstede, Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, Schwartz), Cultural Standards, Stereotypes & Prejudice, Communication Styles & Non-Verbal Communication

Lesson Block 3 - Relations Between Cultures
Culture Shock,  Intercultural Sensitivity, Intercultural Competence, Migration, Acculturation, Integration, Expatriates

Lesson Block 4 -  Intercultural & International Organizations
Organization Theory, Systemic Management, Multicultural Organizations & Diversity Management, Intercultural Project Management


In addition to the above lessons, students must also complete a project. The guidelines for preparing a project explain the requirements for successfully completing the course project and should be consulted at the beginning of the course.

In order the make the course as flexible as possible and to meet individual learning needs topics and lessons can be modified, exchanged with related tasks an so arranged as agreed upon with the coach.


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