Inclusion and Diversity in Business through Intercultural Engagement

Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme hosted by Varna University of Management, Bulgaria

Objectives of the Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme (BIP)

The BIP is hosted by Varna University of Management, Bulgaria and is targeted at university students at all levels of higher education in the field Social Science who are interested and motivated to build their intercultural competence and sensitivity to cultural diversity. The BIP is designed to enable students to recognise and address various dimensions of culture-bound differences when working in multicultural business environments. Finally, the BIP will raise awareness of inclusion and diversity importance and benefits in business and in the workplace.

Learning outcomes of the BIP

Upon completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Evaluate and articulate the contribution of intercultural learning in business and other related areas of their studies
  • Analyse and reflect on how cultures differ; identify cultural values, styles of communication and sociocultural behaviour inherent to the target cultures that could clash with their own culture.
  • Apply theoretical approaches to culture in order to analyse cultural differences in given business related scenarios
  • Critically appraise business and personal issues from a perspective other than their own cultural background to operate effectively in culturally diverse business

Indicative content

  • The program will be divided into two parts: an online component and an in-person intensive program The following indicative topics will be covered:
  • Introduction to the academic fields of cultural studies and intercultural communication
  • The concept of culture. Cultural dimensions
  • Understanding ethnic and cultural diversity – multicultural citizenship and ethnic identity
  • Understanding gender and gender roles in different cultural contexts
  • Intercultural communication: culture as a frame for communication
  • Dealing with cultural differences in international business management
  • Business etiquette and protocol: Do’s and Don’ts when conducting business in specific cultures/countries
  • Effective strategies for working in multicultural business environments

Tentative timeframe

Physical component: 10 – 14 June 2024

Virtual component: 8 – 12 July 2024

Assessment and completion

Successful completion of the BIP is a result of the following 3 assessment elements:

  • Group oral presentation “Culture and Communication”
  • Individual reflection report on cultural differences in multicultural group work
  • In-class performance and engagement in independent study

Number of ECTS: 3

Profile of BIP participants

  1. Students from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme who are full-time students in programmes in the field of Social Studies.
  2. Academic staff from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Programme who are involved directly in teaching related to intercultural awareness and cultural diversity.

Eligibility of students

  • Be registered as students of any of VUM’s partner universities located in the EU, Norway, or Turkey
  • Have applied for and obtained approval for participation in Erasmus+ BIP mobility granted by the home institution
  • Have English language proficiency corresponding to at least level B1

Minimum BIP requirements

Number of student BIP participants: min.15 students from sending institutions.

Application process

  • Student BIP candidates must apply for the Erasmus+ KA131 BIP grant for short-term mobility at their home institution (please contact the International Relations Office of your University)
  • Regular staff candidates must apply for the Erasmus+ KA131 teaching grant at their home institution (please contact the International Relations Office of your University)
  • The home institution nominates its candidate(s) – home institutions are encouraged to have an internal call
  • The candidates can show interest in the BIP and are encouraged to establish contact with VUM Mobility Team (erasmus@vumk.eu) for any questions, support or invitation letters, needed for applying for the grant at the home institution
  • Deadline for nominations of a candidate by their home institution to VUM: 19th April 2024

Documents needed for candidate’s nomination to be emailed to mail to: erasmus@vumk.eu include:

  • Nomination/ Confirmation letter from sending institution as proof that applicant is registered full-term student
  • Application Form duly filled out by the student.

Erasmus+ grant for BIP participants to VUM

Basic Subsistence costs: 70 EUR per day x 7 days (5 + 2 for travel) = 490 EUR

Possible top-ups: Green travel of 50 EUR and Inclusion of 100 EUR

Erasmus+ participants cover, from their own Erasmus+ grant, their travel, accommodation and other costs.