Internationalisation at home

A collection of pedagogical approaches to develop students' intercultural competences

by Cécilia Brassier-Rodrigues (Volume editor) Pascal Brassier (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 270 Pages
Series: Exploration, Volume 194

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Summary
  • List of Contributors
  • Introduction (Cecilia Brassier-Rodrigues & Pascal Brassier)
  • Chapter 1 The Global Virtual Teams Project: A Deconstruction of (Inter-)cultural Learning through Virtual Teamwork (Rachel Lindner)
  • Chapter 2 Gamification in International Business Education and Cross-Cultural and Sales Competences: From Theory to Practice (Pascal Brassier, Jobst Goerne, Patrick Ralet & Geoffrey Heels)
  • Chapter 3 Hybrid Pedagogical Design in Intercultural Competence Development (Marcin Kleban, Simon Ensor & Christine Blanchard Rodrigues)
  • Chapter 4 How Internationalization at Home through Digitalization Subverts the Traditional Classroom and Creates Students-as-Producers: A Case Study of a Law Course in Hong Kong (Angel Yim Hung Fan, Angela Daly & Natasha Pushkarna)
  • Chapter 5 Breaking Down Barriers? ICTs, International Students and Intercultural Communication Within UK Higher Education Institutions (Xin Zhao & Paul Reilly)
  • Chapter 6 Leveraging Assessment Methods to Develop Students’ Intercultural Sensitivity and Competence in Authentic Learning Contexts: A Comparative Case Study (Loïse Jeannin, Claire Berthonneau, Cécilia Brassier-Rodrigues, Charles-André Dubreuil & Chloé Sagnet)
  • Chapter 7 A Longitudinal, Reflective Approach to Intercultural Competence Development (Cheryl Gerretsen, Christophe Van Puymbroeck & Jessica Shinnick)
  • Chapter 8 Intercultural Competence in Teaching: The ECII Framework (Joern Redler & Claudia Hensel)
  • Conclusion (Cecilia Brassier-Rodrigues & Pascal Brassier)
  • Biography of the Authors
  • Series index

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List of Contributors

Claire Berthonneau

Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Christine Blanchard Rodrigues

Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Langage (EA 999), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Cécilia Brassier-Rodrigues

Communication et Sociétés (EA 4647), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Pascal Brassier

CleRMa (EA 3849), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Angela Daly

Strathclyde University, School of Law Centre for Internet Law & Policy (UK)

Charles-André Dubreuil

Centre Michel de l’Hospital (EA 4232), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Simon Ensor

Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Langage (EA 999), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)←7 | 8→

Cheryl Gerretsen

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Jobst Goerne

Hochschule Aalen (Germany)

Geoffrey Heels

Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Claudia Hensel

Mainz University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Loïse Jeannin

Activité, Connaissance, Transmission, Education (EA 4281), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Marcin Kleban

Institute of English Studies, Jagellonian University in Krakow (Poland)

Natasha Pushkarna

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law (Hong-Kong)

Rachel Lindner

International Business Studies, University of Paderborn (Germany)

Patrick Ralet

CleRMa (EA 3849), Université Clermont Auvergne (France)

Joern Redler

Mainz University of Applied Sciences (Germany)

Paul Reilly

Information School, University of Sheffield (UK)

Chloé Sagnet

Université Clermont Auvergne (France)←8 | 9→

Jessica Shinnick

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Christophe Van Puymbroeck

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands)

Angel Yim Hung Fan

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Centre for Learning Enhancement & Research (Hong-Kong)

Xin Zhao

Information School, University of Sheffield (UK)

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Cecilia Brassier-Rodrigues & Pascal Brassier

With nearly 5.3 million international students in 2020, an increase of 71 % in ten years1, the internationalisation of higher education has accelerated in recent years. Regardless of the geographical area, higher education institutions (HEI) have put student mobility at the heart of their academic projects. Internationalisation at most higher education institutions mainly takes the form of study abroad (Beelen & Jones, 2015), whether in the form of semesters spent in study or through internships. This immersion in an intercultural environment is believed to foster the development of academic and non-academic skills, thus improving graduates’ employability. Competences can be seen as a set of attitudes and behaviours based on combinations of resources deemed relevant by each individual in a given context (Le Boterf, 1994), as knowledge of action that can be put into practice (Barbier, 1996), or even as a sum of knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills (Bellier, 2004). Surveys show that students spontaneously cite improved practice of a foreign language as a skill validated during their mobility2. However, they do more. Abroad, the student has a social life in a culturally different environment, which will lead him or her to experience new situations in daily academic and/or professional life, giving him or her the opportunity to deploy multiple skills valued by companies (Lilley, Barker, & ←11 | 12→Harris, 2014). Numerous scientific works have reported on this (Ballatore, 2011; Black & Duhon, 2006; Brandenburg, 2014; Crossman & Clarke, 2010; Jakobone & Moro, 2014; Potts, 2015; Tarrant, Rubin, & Stoner, 2014; Teichler & Janson, 2007).

Periods of immersion abroad for study purposes are part of formal education: the curricula, places of teaching, etc. are precisely defined. Internships however constitute non-formal education: they take place in companies, associations, etc., with assignments validated by university tutors who also provide internship follow-up. These two experiences are an integral part of the student’s training: credits are awarded on the basis of these experiences and the acquisition of academic skills validated. These skills come from the knowledge acquired during formal education and which must be transferable to a professional context, and internships validate this in part. Students show that they have been able to use knowledge learnt in a school context in another context (university or company abroad), implicitly suggesting they are capable of transforming and transferring this knowledge to a professional environment. An increasing number of skill reference systems are being set up in universities to increase the visibility of these skills. They can be leveraged and adapted to the student’s own career path and favourably impact his or her employability.

Then there is a less visible but equally important aspect to these two international experiences. Spending a semester of study at a university or doing an internship in a company abroad are also part of informal learning. This leads to the acquisition of soft skills. Indeed, both inside and outside the university and the company, the student has a social life in a culturally different environment. This results in the student experiencing new situations in their daily and professional lives and developing transversal skills. These are defined as “skills that are developed on the one hand, through all training activities (initial and continuing) – including but not limited to disciplinary teaching – and on the other, through a variety of professional and personal life experiences” (Duru-Bellat, 2015, p.14). Transversal competences include several dimensions (Bailly & Léné, 2015, p.71):

Relational competences (ability to communicate, but also personal qualities of employees such as enthusiasm, friendliness), interaction management competences (ability to put oneself in the place of the other, ability to pacify relations with customers), organisational skills (mobilising skills ←12 | 13→other than one’s own in order to achieve a solution), the ability to manage emotions and show empathy, attitudes (responsibility, open-mindedness, adaptability, tolerance, self-confidence, desire to learn), even aesthetic skills (transmitting a satisfactory image, consistent with the image desired by the organisation).

With regard to experiences abroad, the scope of transversal skills is enriched by the international context in which the action takes place. Students are put in situations in which they may develop their intercultural sensitivity and intercultural competences. Let us define these two terms.

Milton Bennett (1986) performed the founding work on intercultural sensitivity, when he proposed an Intercultural Sensitivity Development Model. The six stages comprising this model enable an individual to progress along a continuum that starts from an ethnocentric orientation where the individual is locked into his or her own culture (denial, defence and minimisation) and leads to an ethnorelative orientation in which he or she opens up to cultural difference (acceptance, adaptation and integration). We can summarise the different stages as follows:

(1) Denial is the stage during which the individual ignores other cultures and perceives only his or her own;

(2) In the defence stage, he or she perceives differences and is suspicious of them. They develop negative stereotypes about others and their ideas;


ISBN (Book)
Publication date
2021 (September)
Bruxelles, Berlin, Bern, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2021. 270 pp., 10 fig. b/w, 17 tables.

Biographical notes

Cécilia Brassier-Rodrigues (Volume editor) Pascal Brassier (Volume editor)

Dr. Cecilia Brassier-Rodrigues is Associate Professor in Information and Communication Sciences at Université Clermont Auvergne, France. Her research focuses on the analysis of international mobility from communicational, intercultural and international perspectives. Dr. Pascal Brassier is Associate Professor in Marketing and Sales at Université Clermont Auvergne, France. His current research focuses on online communities in client relationships and on sales and negotiation processes with international dimensions.


Title: Internationalisation at home