- 02.07.2023 - 08:00 

Asia Compact in Intercultural Competence

Professor Daria Berg, Chair Professor of Chinese Culture and Society, the University of St.Gallen, taught the “7,671: Cultures: Asia Compact Course in Intercultural Competence @SGI-HSG” at Masters level in the Autumn Semester 2022. Never before has the world been in more urgent need of intercultural competence. When fake news, racism and blame shifting threaten to fragment our global world, international communication requires a high level of intercultural competence. The course aimed to foster intercultural awareness and communication skills by exploring Singapore’s multiple cultures.

The trinity of ‘knowing, seeing, feeling’ forms the core of this course in Intercultural Competence, aiming to develop the three key intercultural ‘soft skills’ of cultural awareness, empathy and intercultural practice. Intercultural competence includes ‘knowing’ and understanding a culture and its history; ‘feeling’ the cultural experience and developing empathy; and both ‘seeing’ and ‘doing’ by practising observation and intercultural communication skills, followed by self-reflection. 

The course included a week-long Field School @SGI-HSG in Singapore, featuring lectures by Prof. Daria Berg on multi-cultural Singapore and guest lectures by Dr. Uli Sigg (Switzerland and M+Museum, Hong Kong) on intercultural competence and collecting visual art; Prof. Henrietta Harrison (Oxford University) on intercultural encounters in history; Ms. Diana Leng (CCO & COO Care Health; Fintech NUS) on women in the intercultural business world; Prof. Rosemary Overell (NUS) on intercultural media and the film industry; Prof. Chieh Hsu (SGI-HSG) on intercultural sociology; and Mr. Alexander Melchers (Melchers GmbH & Co, Singapore) on intercultural business ventures. Field trips to Singapore museums, cultural sites and the Singapore Writers Festival aimed to introduce the students to the multicultural world of business, visual art, media and academia in Singapore and facilitate student research projects. The course was fully booked and received excellent student feedback.