Intercultural Communications: USA and Germany


Since Donald Trump has become President of the USA, the world finds itself in a state of disbelief. With a leader that disdains facts, proud of being an intellectual lightweight, the USA is no more a model for the rest of the world. Is this just a development caused by one single person – or is there any connection to the American mindset? We will try to understand perceptions and consequences of the ‘Trump phenomenon’.

Germans and other nationalities, who plan to study and work in the USA, will benefit greatly from this course. The premise is simple: understanding your culture and your own ‘mental software’ is a prerequisite to understanding other cultures. By first clarifying the (un-conscious) behavioral patterns of the Germans and then comparing them with Americans, we will increase cultural awareness, leading to more effective intercultural communications.

Topics include:

  • Examining the term ‘culture’
  • Overcoming ethnocentrism
  • Discovering American and German cultural values
  • ‘Donald Trump and Angela Merkel’: contrasting communication styles
  • Negotiating and resolving German-American conflicts
  • Becoming aware of the different developing stages of intercultural competence

2-6 ECTS

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