【Event Report】Evening Lounge Visiting Professor BEALE Alison

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Eikei University of Hiroshima holds an "Evening Lounge" as part of its support for students' competency development and career guidance.

We were honored to have  the Director of University of Oxford Japan Office, BEALE Alison, give a lecture at the EUH Evening Lounge on October 27, 2023.


Date & Time

Friday, October 27, 2023, 5:10pm – 6:50pm


EUH students, faculty, staff, and visitors from outside the university


Intercultural Competence


Director, University of Oxford Japan Office

EUH Visiting Professor BEALE Alison

Professor BEALE explained that "intercultural competence" is the ability to communicate effectively with people who have different values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. She also introduced the "Dining Hall" at the University of Oxford, which is also featured in the movie "Harry Potter," where people sit next to each other, creating opportunities to have conversations with people from different fields of study. She added that by understanding and communicating with people of different values, beliefs and cultural backgrounds, we can find "self-wellness" within ourselves.

She then introduced the four pillars of intercultural competence includes:

  • "Knowledge" is an understanding of its politics, history, arts, and other aspects of a culture or country. To do this, read many books, different newspapers that write about the same topics, and understand them from different perspectives.
  • "Skill" is language, the ability to listen to and understand both speech and body language, and the ability to understand that different cultures have different ideas about the timing of conversation and silence.
  • “Cultural understanding" can be expressed in terms of icebergs: food, clothing, and festivals are the obvious and visible tip of the iceberg. On the other hand, the bulk of culture, such as humor, education, and justice, lies beneath the surface and constitutes a large part of "Intercultural Competence”. It is important to understand that "culture is an iceberg".
  • "Mindset" is to be curious, flexible, and accepting of differences, and that people tend to have a negative attitude toward the unknown and unfamiliar, so try to think about how to accept it in a positive way.

"Intercultural competence" is something you can acquire no matter what environment you live in, so it is important to accept differences, develop your skills, pursue your hobbies, and talk to people. Above all, it is important to look for the positive when you feel differences with others," she said with a smile.

Throughout the lecture, the participating international students actively shared their experiences in Japan and their home countries.

We greatly appreciate Professor BEALE and her valuable lecture.