Culture shock: dare or dodge?

Adjusting to a new place and culture can feel happy, overwhelming, lonely, and amazing all at once or in phases. This workshop will cover the different stages of culture shock and provide a place for us to learn from the experiences of those present and how to deal with them. 

About the workshop

Intercultural encounter, international travel and life rarely comes without some kind of culture shock. A moment of friction due to differing perceptions of reality or even a straight out clash regarding ways to lead your everyday life. Is this to be avoided and/or ignored? Or is here a chance for learning and growth here?

In this workshop we explore what culture shock means to everyone of us and we share insights on what might be productive strategies to deal with and even benefit from it. We start from our own lived experiences (yes, also the embarrassing ones 😊 ) and use the wisdom of our international group to go above and beyond.

Interactive exercises will be used to trigger a lively dialogue and create a safe and comfortable group-dynamic.

Who is this workshop for?

Anyone who wants to share, discuss, or learn more about the challenges that come with being surrounded by other cultures, whether you are an international or not, everyone is welcome!

When & Where

Date: October 12, 2024

Time: 14:00-16:00

Where: International House Leuven (Tiensevest 60)


Registration is required.

Register here

About the speaker - Gunilla de Graef

For over 20 years now, diversity and inclusion have been the central themes in my professional activities. As a staff member of several centers of expertise, I have been able to develop my thinking and working around difference in all possible directions. Sometimes with a focus on cultural diversity, other times aimed at diversity in a broad sense. I have supervised dozens of trainings and workshops, for the most diverse target groups and in very different contexts. I have coordinated practice-based research, worked out methodologies, developed competence frameworks, supported expertise sharing, built networks. All assignments from which I drew much inspiration and motivation.

Because I was active not only as a trainer but also as a consultant and researcher, I practiced myself in always thinking along two tracks: that of practical implementation and that of the vision, the policy that sets a framework around that concrete implementation. When thinking about methodologies, approaches, learning tools, I was inspired by literature, but especially by the skill and commitment of colleagues and people in the field. In addition, regular participation in domestic and foreign study days, conferences and colloquia helped me to draw out my own action framework for a powerful diversity policy. At the same time, I was also able to develop a good view of the activities of other actors in the field of diversity, both nationally and internationally.

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This page was last updated on: 11 June 2024