Intercultural Challenges

Every first day of each month, the eight ESRs receive an email from NovaTrisCross-border skills center of the University of Haute-Alsace (IDFI-ANR-11-IDFI-0005) – with a small task he or she has to fullfill, sometimes individually, some other times with the help of his or her PhD-partners. These “challenges” are designed in order to improve intercultural skills. Each mail has been illustrated by the graphic artist Zoé Beaumale.

July 2019

Intercultural Challenge #9

“The word “culture” is very common in the press, in broadcasts, on television, the internet, etc. The Intercultural Challenge of the month is: please find a news article about interculturality. Send it to us and write a short commentary as to where you found it and why you think it is worth reading.”

June 2019

Intercultural Challenge #8

“At the end of your Intercultural Logbook, you will find a chapter with ideas for when you and your PhD partner both meet (pages 180-181). Today, we would like you to come up with your own personal idea. The only rule is: think out of the box! Of course, it would be great if you would make a drawing to illustrate it… But we don’t want to ask too much of you…”


May 2019

Intercultural Challenge #7

“Today you will find a short story about a young woman named Betty. Read the story and rank the six characters – Betty, the doctor, Mr Draper, the father, Henry and Miss Olson: Who behaved the worst? Second to worst? And so on.
Please contact your PhD partner and ask him·her about his·her ranking.
Come up with a joint ranking list about who behaved the worst then start a messenger conversation with the other six PhD partners. Copy-paste the best parts of it and sent it to us.”





April 2019

Intercultural Challenge #6 


“You no doubt know about sign language, the manual language used by the deaf and hard of hearing to convey meaning. We invite you today to look at the translation of the word “culture” in the French, Japanese, Indian and American sign languages. Amazing, don’t you think? Send us a photo of the version of the word “culture” in the sign language used in your home country or… send us your own personal version of this gesture.”

March 2019

Intercultural Challenge #5


“The prefix “inter” in the word intercultural refers to how we see each other, and the way we see ourselves. This does not depend on other people’s or our own characteristics, but on the relationship we create together. What inspires you about this statement by Martine Abdallah-Pretceille, French Professor Emeritus in Education? Write a tweet about it (280 characters).”

February 2019

Intercultural Challenge #4


“In 2017 in Marseille, France: at MUCEM (“Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerrannée”, i.e. “the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations”), there was an exhibition about “untranslatables” (i.e. words which cannot be translated into another language): inhabitants of the second largest French city with a foreign backround were invited to choose a word in their mother tongue which they miss in French. What word or expression do you miss? Find one, swicth on the voice recorder on your smartphone and explain its meaning, first in your native language, then in English.”


January 2019

Intercultural Challenge #3


“Choose an object which you think is typical for your home country. Then choose an object which you think is typical for the country you live in at the present time. For both objects, send us a photo with a short explanation why you think it is so typical”. 





December 2018

Intercultural Challenge #2


“Send a short extract from a movie (in your native language) which you find particularly funny. Send us the name and a short abstract of the film. Explain briefly why you think it is funny.”


November 2018

Intercultural Challenge #1


“Make a video and explain your PhD in 180 seconds with the helps of diagrams. Speak in your native language!”