Certificate of International and Intercultural Competence (CIIC)
The daily study and work routine is increasingly determined by intercultural encounters, not least because of globalization. Over the past years, diversity has been identified as an important resource – thus intercultural as well as international competencies are becoming more and more important in this context.
The Certificate of International and Intercultural Competence (CIIC) was developed in order to acknowledge the international and intercultural profile of the students and it intends to accredit these competencies – e.g. for job applications. The CIIC is an extracurricular certificate that can be acquired by students at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA). It is also an integral part of the Bachelor International study program.
The CIIC certifies the intercultural and foreign language skills acquired by students during their period of study, attests study-related experiences abroad as well as participation in international project collaboration, and furthermore lists the participants' intercultural involvement.
In addition, the CIIC offers students with intercultural interests the opportunity to network and exchange ideas at peer events. Expanding the range of courses in the field of interculturality is also a major goal of the Certificate of International and Intercultural Competence. The CIIC draws attention to international and intercultural happenings on campus and in Karlsruhe and creates a network between HKA and international/intercultural institutions and companies.
The Certificate of International and Intercultural Competence consists of four electives (German: "Themenbereiche" with the abbreviation "TB"). Three completed electives are necessary in order to acquire the CIIC. It is therefore possible to gain international and intercultural experience without a stay abroad and to obtain the certificate with the combination of TB 1+3+4. The certificate coordinator can inform you which achievements can be taken into account for the electives. In addition to the electives, participants must complete the course on intercultural competence from TB 4 (3 Credit Points).
Intercultural competence can be acquired "easily", especially in real-life situations. For this reason, the elective "Intercultural Involvement" is particularly suitable for the development of intercultural skills and is the appropriate complement to the theoretical knowledge taught in the mandatory course on intercultural competence.
Intercultural voluntary work that comprises at least 50 hours (i.e. approximately 2 h/week in one semester) can be recognized for CIIC elective 1. Depending on the extent of your involvement, you can choose from the following three modules:
+ Module S (3 CP): starting at 50 hours of involvement.
+ Module M (6 CP): starting at 110 hours of involvement
+ Module L (9 CP): starting at 170 hours of involvement
In order to receive credit points for the intercultural involvement, you must attend an introductory course and a reflection workshop, prepare a reflection report on their experience, and provide qualified proof of their involvement.
The elective 1 is intended to provide a sustainable insight into the intercultural field of work. Only unpaid involvement in institutions and projects with an international and/or intercultural focus will be recognized for the CIIC. A crucial part of the reflection workshop is the exchange with other participants about your experiences as a volunteer as well as learning to reflect on the insights you have gained.
Examples for TB 1:
- Mentoring for incoming students
- Participation in the Buddy Program of HKA
- Elective course "Course Social commitment" of the Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems (if the involvement is intercultural)
- Involvement in university groups with intercultural/international focus, e.g. ESN Karlsruhe, Engineers Without Borders or aim e.V.
- Volunteering in organizations in Karlsruhe (e.g. Internationales Begegnungszentrum Karlsruhe e.V.)
A stay abroad is the classic way to experience and learn about new cultures. There are different ways of organizing a stay abroad. The CIIC acknowledges qualified stays abroad that were acquired during the course of one's studies.
Following study-related stays abroad can be recognized for elective 2:
- Semester abroad
- Internship abroad
- Summer/Winter School
- Project work/thesis abroad
- Research stay abroad
The duration of the stay abroad must be at least six consecutive weeks (except for Summer and Winter Schools) and has to be proven (e.g. by your Transcript of Records). For the recognition of the stay abroad, you must furthermore hand in a reflection report, which extent depends on the duration of the stay. Also depending on the duration of your stay abroad, you can choose from the following three modules:
+ Module S (3 CP): 6 weeks or more abroad
+ Module M (6 CP): 12 weeks or more abroad
+ Module L (9 CP): 18 weeks or more abroad
In a globalized world, foreign language skills provide the foundation for successful international collaboration. With the elective "Language Competence", CIIC participants should be able to deepen their existing foreign language skills in a "world language" or, at best, expand their existing knowledge and learn a new language. In this way, students are better prepared for possible stays abroad. In addition, the acquisition of a language creates the starting point for active engagement in an international and intercultural context.
Elective 3 is meant to enhance your ability to speak more than one language and consequently foster your multilingualism. It does not matter whether you want to deepen your existing foreign language skills or would like to learn a new language.
The recognition of language courses at the Foreign Language Institute (IFS) of HKA is possible without any problems. Likewise, Language courses offered at other universities can be recognized as well for TB 3 by submitting qualified proof (e.g. Transcript of Records). If language courses are offered by other institutions than universities, it has to be clarified on a case-by-case basis, whether a recognition for the CIIC is possible or not.
In order to receive credit for language courses/programs in TB 3 you must provide written proof of at least 3 CP or 90 hours workload. If you would like to put your focus of the CIIC on language proficiency, you can take up to 9 CP in elective 3.
Examples for TB 3:
- Language courses offered by the Foreign Language Institute (IFS)
- OLS language courses
- Courses of other universities or language institutions
- Language study travel
The elective "Intercultural Competence" provides students with an insight to theoretical fundamentals and the professional knowledge of today's world. This enables them to reflect, recognize and classify the intercultural experience they have acquired in the practical party of the certificate. Furthermore, it enables students to explain and apply their own intercultural competence in the future.
The course "Intercultural Competence" is part of elective 4 of the same name. It is offered regularly in winter semester and summer semester and the attendance is mandatory for all CIIC participants. By passing the course, you will obtain the first 3 credit points in TB 4. In addition to the course, you must hand in a reflection report in which you describe the extent to which you were able to put the theory you have learned in the course into practice.
Elective 4 offers you the opportunity to focus on theory in the area of interculturality beyond the mandatory course. To ensure the widest possible choice of topics, both face-to-face courses and digital courses (from other universities) will be recognized for the elective. If you would like to put the emphasis of your CIIC on theoretical knowledge, you can take courses in TB 4 worth up to 9 CP.
Examples for TB 4:
- Course “Intercultural Competence” (compulsory course)
- Courses offered by the “Studium Generale”, e.g. "Get ready for the job - Working with Global Players" (registration via LSF)
- Courses offered by the “International Program”
- “Hands on Learning!” modules (licenses can be acquired via “KOOR – Erasmus Services BW”)
- Online offers from other universities with interculturality as a focus (with certificate of completion)
- Acquisition of intercultural virtual competence in the context of virtual collaboration in international projects
Would you like to find out what opportunities there are for intercultural involvement in Karlsruhe and the surrounding area? Are you interested in getting to know other CIIC participants? Would you like to participate in events on intercultural topics?
The CIIC newsletter informs you about international and intercultural events on campus and beyond every eight weeks. Become part of the CIIC community!
Do I have to complete all of the CIIC requirements within one semester?
No. You have time to complete the required modules until the end of your studies at HKA. Please submit all required documents to the certificate coordinator no later than four weeks prior to exmatriculation.
I have already completed academic training and/or have been involved in an intercultural project that meets the requirements for the CIIC electives prior to registration. Will these efforts be considered for the certificate?
The CIIC certifies all achievements earned during the course of study – provided they can be accredited as part of the electives. This means that involvements, stays abroad or confirmations of participation can also be recognized retroactively.
I cannot complete a stay abroad. Can I still obtain the CIIC?
The CIIC can also be acquired without a stay abroad, as only three of four electives need to be completed. The combination of TB 1+3+4 offers the possibility to gain international and intercultural experience even without a stay abroad. There is furthermore the option of virtual mobility which also does not require travel abroad.
The foreign language I would like to learn is not offered at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.
Language courses from other institutions can be also recognized for the CIIC.
How do I know if my involvement can be recognized for the CIIC?
The elective on “Intercultural Involvement” in particular is highly individualized. The decisive factors for recognition are the amount of hours of involvement as well as the activities themselves. If you have any questions, please contact the certificate coordinator.
What happens if a course that I have passed has already been accredited for my studies/another certificate?
As long as the course meets the elective's requirements, it can be taken into account for the CIIC even if it has already been accredited in another context.
Can I take the course on intercultural competence without participating in the CIIC?
Participation is possible if places are available and not taken up by CIIC participants. Please check with the certificate coordinator whether you can join the chosen course.
Can I get credit for (external) online courses?
Due to the pandemic, many events are currently offered online and are therefore available to an expanded audience. If you (want to) participate in courses that are offered externally and which fit into the CIIC thematically, the accrediting is generally possible.
Can a long vacation which I have taken during my studies be accredited as a stay abroad?
Vacation trips are not qualified stays abroad and are therefore not recognized for the CIIC.
Can the electives be completed exclusively online?
Ideally, students should participate in face-to-face courses (especially for the elective “Intercultural Involvement”). However, some elective components can be completed exclusively in virtual or in hybrid form. We reserve the right to make changes concerning the recognition of credits due to the pandemic. Please contact the certificate coordinator in case you have a particular question.
Center of Competence
Coordinator of the “Certificate of International and Intercultural Competence” (CIIC)
Rebeca Schröder Crespillo
Phone: +49 (0)721 925-2509
Fax: +49 (0)721 925-2530
On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays by appointment
Bldg F, Room 009