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Professional and Interdisciplinary Skills Courses (AfK)

AfK Bild


Professional and Interdisciplinary Skills (AfK) offered by the Centre for Competence Development (ZfbK):



Further Information

(AfK-Nr. 275)

Intercultural Awareness Training (Grundkurs) - AfK-275 in englischer Sprache (Niveau: B1+ GER)

Important dates:

  • 14.05.2021, 8.00 am : Activation of the material for the preparation of the online meetings
  • Preparation of the meeting until 20.05.2021
  • 21.05.2021, 2.00 pm - 6.15 pm (including break): Online meeting (mandatory, via MS Teams)
  • Reflection tasks until 27.05.2021
  • 28.05.2021, 2.00 pm -6.15 pm (including break): Online meeting (mandatory, via MS Teams)
  • Reflection tasks until 10.06.2021
  • 11.06.2021, 2.00 pm -6.15 pm ((including break): Online meeting (mandatory, via MS Teams)
  • Processing of final portfolio
  • 18.06.2021: Submission of closing portfolio (for acquisition of CP)

A completion of the English language placement test offered by the „Forum Sprachen“ prior to enrolment in this course is voluntary but highly recommended. Participants should complete the placement test with 60% or higher in order to be able to successfully complete the course. You can access the placement test via this link:

Placement test

(AfK-Nr. 357)

Colombian Peace Process: Contradictions and Hopes (in englischer Sprache, GER Niveau B2)

Kerstin Dresing

Dear Students,
welcome to the digital seminar „Colombian Peace Process: Contradictions and Hopes“.
I am very glad that you decide to take part in this Seminar and I hope we will have very interesting and thrilling sessions to discuss about some of the very key aspects of the Colombian peace process.
We will have five synchronic sessions on Friday of two hours each (16h -18h). We start on 16.04.2021 and finish on 14.05.2021. You will receive the link before each session.
Please be aware that in advance to every seminar session you will have to complete compulsory readings and material tasks (videos, podcasts, short online tests).

In our first session on 16.04.2021 we will explore the group and the seminar, and I will give an overview on methodology and other organisational aspects. Additionally, we will have the opportunity to have an introduction about the Colombian context based upon a priori or misconceptions.
In our second session on 23.04.2021 we will discuss about social inequality and „narco-violence“ (very famous aspect of Colombia thanks to Netflix!) and how these aspects are intertwined with the Colombian culture and everyday life.
In the third session on 30.04.2021 we will focus on environmental conflicts and local democracy. We will have a dialogue with one of the directors of the preparation documentary which you will have watched in advance.
In the fourth session on 07.05.2021 we will go into the core of key aspects of the armed conflict and the peace process.
Finally, in our fifth session on 14.05.2021 we will talk about the challenges and perspectives for a sustainable peace.
I am looking forward to meet you and to enjoy this seminar together.
Foundations of Planetary Thinking

-This is an asynchronous and virtual course. Working hours are flexible. All communication will be organized in ILIAS.-

This seminar is offered in cooperation with the Panel on Planetray Thinking, ZMI. It is open for master students of all disciplines. You can earn up to 6 CP in your Master's program after a case-by-case assessment by your study coordination and your examination office.

To think planetary means to take the Earth as a planet seriously. What may sound trivial, means understanding human life and societies through a constantly changing planet, which extends from the earth’s core to interplanetary space, stretches in time from nanoseconds to deep time and ranges materially from elementary particles to the earth's mass.
This interdisciplinary seminar studies a wide variety of interactions between the planet and human beings. We will see that how we know the world and how we shape our coexistence with it depends on each other. Decisions about how to continue to live on this planet, live well or deal with the loss of life depend on insights into how the universe as a whole functions, quite independently of our ability to influence it. This raises big questions. How could we obtain planetary powers that are capable of transforming the earth? What does it mean to have such powers, how can they be used or withheld? With which planetary dynamics can we additionally merge or reunite, which mergers should we end if possible?

The course is organized in four main blocks:

1. Perspectives: Origins of planetary thinking (for example, space travel and the overview-effect) and key frameworks (for example, Anthropocene and planetary boundaries) are identified and discussed to grasp a planetary perspective.

2. Concepts: Key concepts relevant for planetary thinking (for example, materialism and relationality) are introduced, discussed and set into relation to learn to think planetary.

3. Constellations: A diverse set of phenomena conjunct by their planetary character (for example, the Pleistocene Park or a single molecule like hydrogen) are investigated to interpret the realities we face as a planetary species.

4. Scenarios: We explore emerging scenarios on and beyond our home planet (for example, terraforming and collapsology) and evaluate these proposals.

(AfK-Nr. 693)

Global Competence: Cross-Cultural Skills for an Interconnected World


In many areas of study, cultural sensitivity and adaptability are essential qualities for success – before and after graduation. By increasing self-awareness, global perspective, and cultural intelligence, students open many valuable doors for themselves. In this e-learning course, you will examine the importance of certain skills areas for global competence, and subsequently, focus on cross-cultural communication skills as part of being a globally competent citizen of the 21st century. A particular emphasis will be taken on management (and self-management) in culturally diverse settings such as international teams.
It will provide selected practical strategies and tools to more effectively and appropriately navigate cultural differences, and learn and grow through intercultural learning experiences. We will be utilizing the GlobeSmart Profile©, a statistically validated cultural intelligence software that identifies your personal work style and allows you to compare your results with peers from different cultural backgrounds. You will be able to reflect on how to bridge style differences and leverage similarities, so you can work and study effectively with individuals both locally and abroad.
The course is comprised of five self-study units (e-modules). Each module takes about 1-2 hours to complete, there is no fixed order through the modules – just explore topics that you want to learn more about at your own pace. In each e-module, the learning content you need to know will be presented through a collection of multimedia formats (text, video, audio). You can learn by reading articles, watching videos, listening to several audio units, taking several short quizzes, and other OLAs (online learning activities) to help you check your understanding.
Course structure (as it will be displayed in ILIAS)
Welcome page | Course Info | FAQ-Section | Intro: Warm-Up-Activity
Module 01: What is culture? Why is it important? Why cultural diversity and inclusion matter?
Module 02: Culture, Values, Worldviews: Developing Cross-Cultural Skills
Module 03: How GlobeSmart are you? Reflecting work-style, communication, and cultural differences
Module 04: Communication across cultures: challenges and strategies
Module 05: Culture and Leadership: The Journey Continues
Written Assignment + Submissions | Your virtual takeaway bag | Discussion Forum

Examination requirements:
To pass this course and gain 2 CP accordingly, you are expected to 1) complete all 5 e-modules (learning progress green indicator for minimum 4 e-modules), 2) submit a short written essay (either in English or German), 3) participate in the online Discussion Forum (you may contribute in English or German). Deadline: 3rd July 2021.

This asynchronous course is self-learning or self-paced, which means that you alone direct the pace and intensity of your engagement with the course. From the moment the course content is activated in ILIAS, you can start learning immediately and study according to your schedule throughout the semester until the closing deadline.

Online activation: 3rd May 2021, closure deadline: 3rd July 2021.

There will be two synchronous sessions via video conference:
• Kick-off session: 30th April 2021, 3:00 pm – 4.30 pm and
• Wrapping-up session: 2nd Juli 2021, 3:00 pm – 4.30 pm
(Link will follow in the info email before the course starts.)

The learning contents are accessible to you around the clock, at least as long as you are logged in to ILIAS. The e-modules are multimedia-based and go beyond a mere collection of Pdfs. The entire course work and interactions within the course are carried out completely via the internet on the ILIAS learning platform. An integrated Discussion Forum will allow you to interact with the instructor and your fellow students. The learning progress is displayed to you accordingly in ILIAS (a digital color-coding system is integrated).


Language courses

The ZfbK also offers language courses on different levels.