KeyCompetencies for
Working Across Cultures

strengthening intercultural cross-border competencies:
3-border region: Southern Austria, Northern Italy, Southern Slovenia

Cross-Border 24 hours ChallengeProject

What we DO Field Trip Cross-border challenge

We organize a 24 hour tour for students from Villach (BA in intercultural management, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences). The key goal of the project is to have a full immersion experience in the region : from morning in Villach (Austria), with the 1.5 hour train to Udine (Italy) and 45 min train to Gorizia (Italy), plus cross-border walking tour to the Slovenian border city Nova Gorica (Slovenia). The tour “cross-border challenge” illustrates proximity of borders, languages and histories to the group and within 24 hours and demonstrates:
1) closeness of the cultures
2) diversity of languages: German-Italian-Slovenian
3) difficulties in the historical past of the region
4) Issues of connection within local people due to the borders
5) examples of connecting to the locals in the form of cross-border projects.

Team: Project DESIGNERS Backgrounds of “cultural brokers”

Dr. Eithne Knappitsch


Irish background researcher, program director, professor
(based in Villach, Austria)

Dr. Svitlana Buko


Russian born researcher, consultant, sociologist, manager
(based in the border town: Gorizia, Italy/Slovenia)



Carinthia (Villach, Southern Austria)

Unique region with German language spoken, and Slovenian minority


Friuli Venezia Giulia (Udine, Gorizia, Northern Italy)

Unique region in the northern Italy bordering with Austria and Slovenia, where Italian and Friulian is spoken, including Slovenian (large minority)


Primorska (Nova Gorica, Southern Slovenia)

Unique Northern Primorska region where borders were drawn after the wars and two languages are spoken (Slovenian and Italian).

WHAT: competencies can this develop? intercultural sensitivity

Navigating Cross-
Border Cooperation
  • What is important?
  • How can this be developed in people?

HOW: Strategy Learning by doing work cross-border

  • Intercultural Team prepared for field experience
  • Prior Global Experience due to the exchanges and Degree Program.
  • The goal of the challenge is to make it a practical educational case study for competency development
  • Field trip awareness: Hourly reflection on the competencies and experiences
  • Final product portfolio: videos produced by participants reflecting on the intercultural competencies developed during the trip

Multi-level approach Total immersion during the field trip - one day - 3 borders

  • Connecting with people across borders
  • Exploring institutions
  • Exploring local transportation


Government representatives
NGOs & Artists

Private business owners and businessmen working cross-border


Representatives of local governmental organizations


Representatives of Local Academic Community

NGOs & Art

Representatives of NGOs and Art communities working cross-border

Experts Regional expertise

Mr. Alessandro Miani

Trieste, Italy

Business Editor presso PLATINUM "Aziende&Protagonisti" “Doing cross-border business: case of Slovenia, Croatia and Austria – differences and similarities” Info

Mrs. Anja Medved

Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Slovenian artist, videoproducer, lecturer “Walking tour of the Slovenian – Italian border, historical perspectives of the border”

Mr. Luka Manojlovic

Nova Gorica, Slovenia

leader of the new coworking space for community development “Opdrti Prostor”. “Presentation of the community developmental project from the cross-border perspective” Info

Mr. Andrea Picco

Gorizia, Italy

politician, candidate for the major for Gorizia, activist, public figure, president of the association “Forum Gorizia” “Political approach in government towards views on the Italian-Slovenian cooperation” Info

Dr. Jens Kolata

Gorizia, Italy

german expat, director of the intercultural center in Gorizia “Cultur Haus Görz”. “Case study of the intercultural center working in the border city” Info

Dr. Mattia Baiutti

Udine, Italy

researcher of the intercultural competence at INTERCULTURA FOUNDATION, trainer and book author. Info

Dadiana Chiran

Nova Gorica, Slovenia

assistant, PhD researcher, lecturer of the MA program "Intercultural Management" School of Advanced Social Studies SASS (FUDS) Info

Dr. Karin Martin

Villach, Austria

Italian expat, linguist, senior researcher/lecturer at CUAS, consultant for multilingual education Info

Social Media

Dr. Svitlana Buko