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Communication Management master’s students in Coimbra: Thinking back on the European master’s programme in Intercultural Communication

Offered by the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School master’s programme in Communication Management is a part of a teaching and research network, the European master’s programme in Intercultural Communication (EMICC).

Communication Management students in Coimbra

The core of the EMICC is the yearly EUROCAMPUS, a four month intensive programme taught by professors from the network universities, in which up to five students from each partner university can take part. The partners are Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, United Kingdom), the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Paris, France), the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (Tallinn, Estonia), the Universidade Aberta (Coimbra, Portugal), the University of Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany), the University of Jyväskylä (Jyväskylä, Finland), the Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland), the University of Urbino Carlo Bo (Urbino, Italy) and Utrecht University (Utrecht, the Netherlands).

In autumn 2018 four master’s students studying communication management received Erasmus+ student exchange grants to participate in EUROCAMPUS 2018, this time organised by the Universidade Aberta in Coimbra (Portugal). The graduate students Mariam Chibukhaia, Zamira Bukharbayeva, Muhammad Irfan Ali and Mariya Karpenko originally come from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Ukraine. They decided to obtain their master’s degrees in communication management at the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School. This clearly shows that, as an innovative and academically enriching programme, this school is acknowledged internationally for its role in (intercultural) communication management education and research.

On Friday 15 March Mariam Chibukhaia, Zamira Bukharbayeva, Muhammad Irfan Ali and Mariya Karpenko received their Diplomas of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication at a solemn ceremony. During the event, EUROCAMPUS 2018 graduates shared their experiences with their fellow students and the head of the communication management programme. Inspired by the extremely diverse EUROCAMPUS group, Tallinn students found that the best aspect of being part of EUROCAMPUS was the professors and students: they all represent European universities, are leaders in the field, and come from various countries around the world. Mutual sharing of knowledge and study methods was extremely beneficial in many ways: most importantly it helped the participants to become aware of how European universities work in the field of advanced intercultural communication studies and what priorities they set for intercultural communication education and training.

According to Muhammad Irfan Ali, students and professors who are incredibly talented and sincerely devoted to intercultural communication have become close colleagues and promoters of the field. Mariam Chibukhaia noted that, among other things, the courses were about multicultural professional and social life settings, about how to cope with critical incidents, how to build bridges between different cultures and how to negotiate successfully with people from different cultures in a globalised society. Zamira Bukharbayeva and Mariya Karpenko mentioned the uniqueness of the course Modes of Communication: Multilingualism and Lingua Receptive. During that particular course, a Utrecht University professor asked students to complete an intriguing and challenging assignment: students observed elements of verbal and non-verbal communication to detect signs of non-understanding between two interlocutors who were using their mother tongues. This experiment provided the EUROCAMPUS learners encouragement to be more linguistically competent and culturally aware when dealing with others, especially in social interactions during daily routines.

Text by Dr. Anastassia Zabrodskaja,
Visiting Professor of Intercultural Communication, Head of the Communication Management programme at the Tallinn University Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School, and in charge of the management of the European master’s in Intercultural Communication programme in Tallinn University