Intercultural Fluency Training

The pilot programme was specially designed for the British Council Families Association members based in the Gulf to equip them with the understanding and techniques they need to operate and communicate more effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds. It was tailored to the needs of family members accompanying British Council staff working in the Gulf.

These accompanying spouses or partners will need to overcome challenges in the following areas:

 ·         Using greater cultural self-awareness to understand how and why others may respond to them


Feeling confident and being self-reliant in unfamiliar cultural situations


Adapting to new multicultural situations and environments easily


Avoiding miscommunication in multicultural situations


Appreciate diversity and embrace both working and living in the Gulf


Programme objectives, benefits and outline


Building good foundations and rapport across cultures

This course explores how culture can affect what happens in multicultural situations,
and recommends a range of strategies that will help participants build rapport in culturally diverse environments and workplaces.



By the end of the course participants should be able to:


  • understand the complex influences that make up cultural identity
  • use greater awareness of self and others to better understand the different perspectives present in multicultural situations
  • identify how their behaviour may help or hinder them in building rapport in multicultural and global contexts
  • use a range of observation and active listening strategies to make effective connections with others in new multicultural situations.




Participants will be better able to:

  • make connections and overcome differences in multicultural and global situations
  • respond more flexibly to new and complex cultural contexts
  • feel comfortable and at ease in unfamiliar cultural settings
  • build a strong foundation for lasting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • achieve their goals from an early stage in the relationship
  • plan in advance to make a good first impression in different cultural contexts.



On successful completion (75% attendance and active participation), participants will be awarded certificates of participation endorsed by the British Council.

 Feedback from some participants

 ‘The training made me to look at my perception of the intercultural experience much broader than I perceived myself and in relation to my personality which has been changing under influence of exposure to many different cultures. It helped me to find answers on some questions related to my life as an expatriate that bugged me for a while. In retrospect I received much more from this course than it seemed to me at the point we were receiving our certificates of participation. Since then I gave a lot of thinking to many topics we had discussed during this training. Definitely the course turned out to be deeper than I realised.

 I would definitely recommend this course to other BCFA members. Especially to partners and spouses who don’t always have opportunity to discuss such matters with colleagues and haven’t gained friends at the new places yet. I also think the course is relevant not only to those who are on their first posting abroad but also to those who are expatriates with experience and have lived in many countries’. BK

‘The training was excellent. It was great to look closely at the term ‘culture’ as although it is something that most people understand, it is such a broad concept that it’s good to think about the specifics that make up ‘culture’.  A key idea is that ‘culture’ is fluid and depending on different personal and group factors can mean different things to individuals at different times in their lives. This is very helpful for those of us that live in places outside of our home countries when thinking about other nationalities and places and helps us to hold our preconceived ideas and stereotypes loosely.

 A helpful skill I learnt was how to observe a situation and then respond as opposed to assuming what is acceptable. I would suggest that all families have this training as part of their induction when they first start working for the British Council at an overseas post.

 Andrew Coller (trainer) created a relaxed and fun learning environment where the trainees felt comfortable to share personal experiences within a safe environment. He presented the information in an interesting way that kept everyone engaged in the material. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting other spouses from the British Council and hearing about the positive aspects and challenges of living in different countries. I hope this training will continue for other BC families as the content is very beneficial to those living overseas and it’s also a great way to meet others with similar experiences’. KA

 ‘I found the course interesting, and I learnt a lot about myself and my culture’. SB

 Why British Council?

Intercultural Fluency sits at the very heart of the British Council’s purpose, mission and values. It has done for the last 80 years.

 The British Council cultural relations work spans over 100 countries in six continents, connecting with millions of people through our services and programmes and helping to create trust and lay foundations for prosperity and security around the world. This unrivalled experience means the British Council has extensive practical in-depth knowledge of intercultural challenges, along with strategies and techniques to overcome them.

 This knowledge has shaped our Intercultural Fluency programme, which has been designed in close consultation with our expert staff from around the world. It also draws on the latest academic thinking to ensure that courses are up-to-date, relevant and meet the needs of your staff, wherever they may be.

  There will be updates next year about where the next training will be