Efficient academic communication in cross-cultural environments


Communication skills

Target group

International UGENT PhD students (non-EU, non-US) interested in gaining awareness and knowledge about cross-cultural communication and cooperation.

Maximum 12 participants.


All PhD students


As an international PhD candidate at UGENT you are keen on developing your academic communication skills. You want to feel comfortable in cross-cultural environments and to understand how to establish trust and long-term relationships. You want to optimize your meetings with peers, promoters, and professors. You want to develop your presentation skills. You want your academic papers to be elaborate, efficient and accurate.
As an international PhD student at UGENT coming from a different cultural background, the rules of the European/Belgian academic environment at UGent are not always clear. This workshop gives insight in the European/ Belgian/ UGENT academic context.
As a general case study we compare the dynamics of a democratic academic environment with a meritocratic academic environment. More specifically we focus on efficient academic communication written and oral, and on a number of aspects such as intellectual property, plagiarism, academic freedom. We provide tools that will help you to communicate more efficiently and to build your further career.

After following this workshop students/researchers will be able to:
-    Communicate more efficiently both orally and written about their research;
-    Outline group dynamics in democratic versus meritocratic contexts;
-    Interact more assertively and efficiently with peers, researchers and professors;
-    Build trust in long-term relationships in cross-cultural environments;
-    Pursue academic and social goals in a more effective way;
-    Describe specific aspects of the European/Belgian/ UGENT academic context such as individual pro-active method development, academic freedom, plagiarism.


Jeanne Boden, PhD - Managing Director at Chinaconduct


Course content

Cross cultural awareness
-    A ‘global’ view of the world
-    What is culture?
-    Acculturation curve
-    Case study: democracy versus meritocracy
-    Relationships: individuals and networks
-    Time concepts across cultures
Academic communication skills
-    General academic context - legal and ethical (Rule of law, academic freedom, plagiarism)
-    Academic system in Europe (getting in, scores, competition)
-    Communication across cultures: face, language, body language, communication patterns, meeting, conflict strategies
-    You as a researcher in interaction (peers, promoter, professors, …)
-    Outlining your research question
-    Developing your methodology
-    Task ownership: taking ownership and working independently
-    Oral presentations
-    Academic writing (principles, structure, purpose, peer review, audience, writing traditions, outlining your research question, feedback)
-    Time, planning, efficiency, deadlines
Wrap up, evaluation

Time schedule and Venue

Course code Dates Time Venue/room


-    Preparatory questionnaires
-    Morning session: Interactive presentation (theory)
-    Afternoon session: Exercises in small groups, discussion and cases (material from preparatory questionnaires)
-    After action review

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools. Please read our cancellation policy: cancellationpolicycourses

Registration procedure


Should the course be fully booked, you can ask to be added to the waiting list by sending an e-amil to   Please mention your student nr.

The no show policy applies: no-show policy UGent



Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Full preparation and 100% participation