Globalisation, driven by the internet as well as more economical and efficient means of travel, has created massive changes to our society in the past decades, resulting in our interconnected world today. The globalisation of the world economy has increased workforce mobility and create complex multicultural societies.

These changes and advances have heralded the need to communicate and work across cultures and across borders, creating challenges with unforeseen consequences. In our multicultural and multilingual society, the ability to understand people from different cultural groups, be they friends, colleagues or business partners, can be fraught because our cultural background programs the way we view and interpret the world around us.

The program is designed to help you not only understand but also appreciate cultural differences as well as acquire the skillset necessary for meeting the challenges of living in our ever shrinking world a world in which interacting with people who are different from us in many fundamnetal ways has become a necessity and no longer a choice.

Drawing from cross-cultural psychology and through reflection of your own culture, this dynamic and interactive course provides a forum and safe environment to study culture, learn to appreciate the cultural differences, and achieve the communication skills and cultural competence crucial for transcending the cultural divide.

The program will introduce the knowledge and skills necessary for preparing and executing strategies for communicating and working effectively across cultures. We will examine theories of culture, intercultural communication, and cross-cultural psychology.

Using an action learning approach, the theoretical concepts will be integrated to provide a skill set for interacting effectively with diverse cultural groups and for overcoming obstacles across borders and across cultures.

 

 

  • The influence of culture on values and behaviours
  • Pitfalls and biases of cross-cultural interactions
  • Cross-cultural challenges and how to implement appropriate solutions

The course includes a number of excursions and cultural activities in order to give participants an appreciation of Austrian culture and attitudes. These cultural visits do not count towards the class contact hours of the course but do provide important cultural context for students. Below is the tentative list of places likely to be included as part of the program:

  • Graz City Tour and Cultural City Hunt (Clock Tower, Styrian Armoury, etc.)
  • A Vinery Trip to Southern Styria: Tour of the vineyard, wine tasting, visit a pumpkin oil production
  • Typical traditional “Buschenschank” (tavern)
  • A Danube River Cruise to Krems and Melk Abbey ( a UNESCO protected Baroque jewel)
  • Vienna Excursion: Guided city tour, Sigmund Freud Museum, Schloss Schönbrunn (Imperial Summer Residence) and Royal Gardens, St. Stephens Cathedral, traditional coffee house tour, and a dinner at a typical Viennese "Heuriger" (Viennese vineyard)

University of Graz

Built in 1585, Karl-Franzens-Universität, or the University of Graz, can be found very close to the ‘Innere Stadt’ or Old town of Graz. In the past, it offered only two faculties: theology and philosophy. Today however, the University hosts a number of additional faculties including, law, business, social sciences, arts and natural science.  The University of Graz is highly regarded, being one of the top 200 universities in the world and boasting six Nobel laureates who have taught and researched there. Important works of art including paintings, sculptures and architecture can be found all over the campus for students to enjoy. Around the university campus there are student restaurants, that offer students quick and affordable meals.

Austria’s location in central Europe makes interaction with other countries an integral part of life, with the nation attracting people from a variety of surrounding countries. International and intercultural communication is significant in Europe particularly, with conflicting thought-processes and cultural ways complicating decision-making processes. However, the advent of globalisation makes the skills you will learn first-hand in Austria apply anywhere in the world.

 

 

Instructor Information

Dr. Norbert K. Tanzer is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Graz, Austria. His research focuses on using psychological and educational tests in multilingual und multicultural settings. He is fellow of the International Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (APA) and has edited three journal issues, published a number of articles and book chapters, and convened symposia and workshops at national and international congresses on cross-cultural measurement. Complementing his cross-cultural research, Dr. Tanzer has national and international experience in teaching and supervising culturally diverse students at universities in Austria, China (Beijing, Nanjing, and Zhuhai), Norway, and the United States (Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas). In both 2010 and 2011, he received Outstanding Professor Awards at Alliant International University, San Diego, California. Dr. Tanzer organized the European Conference on Cultural Diversity and European Integration, which was jointly sponsored by the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology and the International Test Commission. He also served as member of the PISA Cultural Review Board for the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Secretary for the Measurement and Evaluation Division of the International Association of Applied Psychology, and Consulting Editor for the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Dr. Catherine Sim earned her PhD in Cross-cultural Psychology from the University of Vienna, Austria, and her MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. She is a native speaker of English; fluent in French and Chinese (Mandarin, and the Guangdong, Chaozhou, and Fujian dialects), and has a good knowledge of German. Dr. Sim had served on the faculty at Alliant International University in San Diego, CA; at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University in the Phoenix, AZ; and at the University of Linz in Austria. She also held adjunct positions at the Universities of Graz and Salzburg in Austria, and a research assistant position at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Furthermore, she served as the Academic Director for the Business, Language and Culture (BLC) program at the Shanghai Center of the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE). At Alliant International University, she initiated an Exchange Program with Beijing Normal University in Beijing, and served as Administrator and Mentor for the program. Having studied and worked in 11 cities in 6 countries spanning 3 continents, Dr. Sim has learned to navigate and appreciate cultural differences. As ICF certified coach, she helps managers and executives acquire in-depth knowledge and cultural competency, a crucial skillset to be more effective in multicultural, cross-cultural and cross-border situations. 

You will be accommodated in a modern student dorm, located in between the University of Graz and the city centre; just a 10-minute walk in either direction.

Rooms are twin-shared, bedding and linen (pillow, covers and sheet) will be provided. Every floor has a communal kitchen and you will share a bathroom with 2 or 3 other students. Self-service washing machines are available. Additional facilities include study and seminar room, music room, gym, sauna, bicycle garage and a courtyard.

 

Map of Austria

Located in the centre of Europe, Austria is a German-speaking country characterised by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, imperial history and rugged alpine terrain. Austria is best known for its sugar-cake decorative church interiors, its historic palaces as well as its gothic architectural masterpieces (like St Stephens cathedral in Vienna). A high 62% of Austria’s land area is covered by the Austrian Alps, which provides a beautiful landscape for those who visit the scenic country.  Some other notable regions of Austria include Lake Traun, Eastern hillside vineyards and the Northern Bohemian Forest. 

Graz, located in the South-East of Austria, is the country’s second-largest city, holding around a quarter of a million people. Graz is one of the liveliest cities for after-hour pursuits and holds a great nightlife and vibrant arts scene due to the high student population (50,000 students over 4 Universities). Located in the centre of the city, ‘Dom im Berg’ was originally a set of tunnels used for air raids, however is now a large transformed clubbing and arts venue for all to enjoy. Graz has many attractions, from viewing landmarks such as Eggenberg Palace, visiting museums or taking nature walks through beautiful forests.

Credit

All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.

 

Funding

You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation. 

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

  

Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.

The application process for this program are as follows:

1. Apply online via the “Apply Now” button or by clicking this link.

2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.

3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.

4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.

5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.

6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.

7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.

8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.

9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.

10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 6th May 2019.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.