BaTEG Winter School 2023

German-Polish project: Intercultural competences in theory and practice

Martina Zier


From 17 October to 25 October 2023, the BaTEG Winter School entitled "Intercultural Competences: Theory and Practice" took place at the University of Bamberg and the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan. The Winter School was aimed at student teachers and offered an intensive week covering theoretical and practical aspects of interculturality.

The Winter School was organised and led by a German-Polish team: Dr Marta Janachowska-Budych (UAM Poznan) and Martina Zier (University of Bamberg) developed a programme that first introduced the students to the topic in their respective countries and then culminated in a joint meeting in Poznan.

On the Bamberg side, the students initially prepared for the joint meeting in terms of both organisation and content. In synchronous and asynchronous learning phases, various topics such as Polish history, German-Polish relations and political and social issues were addressed. The eleven students from Bamberg also gained their first insight into the Polish language.

During their stay at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, the students immersed themselves in (inter)cultural theory together: The introduction and familiarisation of the eleven Bamberg and seven Poznan students was followed by sessions on the mechanisms of self-perception and perception in intercultural encounters, on the concept and models of culture as well as on intercultural communication and intercultural competence. The stay was rounded off with a city tour of Poznan and leisure activities, during which the language skills learnt in advance proved useful and were expanded.

Following the excursion to Poland, the Bamberg students were able to categorise what they had learned in the context of their teacher training and teaching profession. In addition, the Polish and German students are now working on small joint projects, which will be presented and discussed during a visit by the Poznan group to Bamberg in November.

The BaTEG Winter School 2023 offered the students a valuable opportunity to develop and expand their intercultural skills both in theory and with direct practical relevance. The cooperation between the University of Bamberg and the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan enabled them to learn in an authentic intercultural environment and gain valuable experience.