PD8: Intercultural Skills

PD8: Intercultural Skills gives students the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s diverse workplaces. There’s more to cultural sensitivity than smiling and shaking hands — your colleagues may have different customs and cultural norms, and they deserve respect and accommodation. Students who take PD8 learn how to navigate cultural differences, adapt within international workplaces, and avoid common misunderstandings.

What do PD8 students do?

  • Recognize cultural differences in verbal and non-verbal communication styles
  • Explore personal biases and how to correct them
  • Examine the impact of different cultural values and apply effective strategies to be successful on cross-cultural teams

Student testimonials

  • "I think [the course] covers the important topic of how cultural backgrounds play a role in the workplace, especially in a country as multicultural as Canada."
  • "I am now aware that people from different cultures will interact with me differently based on the norms of their culture — therefore, I am now far less likely to assume that someone is 'rude,' rather, that they are simply different, or from a different culture at least!"

Course instructor

Svitlana Taraban-Gordon

svitlana taraban-gordon

Dr. Taraban-Gordon is a Senior Educational Developer, Graduate Programs & Internationalization within the Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at the University of Waterloo. She manages various teaching development programs aimed at graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Her research interests include teaching and learning in higher education, international education, and the internationalization of higher education.

Prior to joining CTE, Svitlana spent six years at York University where she completed her PhD in Education (Language, Culture and Teaching). While at York, she worked in the area of international education and taught courses in the teacher preparation program. She has also worked as a Program Coordinator for Russia and Eastern Europe at the Toronto-based NGO TakingItGlobal, where she led projects with a focus on global youth engagement through new technologies. 

Contact information

You can reach the PD8 course team at pd8@uwaterloo.ca.