New format: Intercultural Security Awareness Training - Example: Brazil


The topic of safety has recently gained in importance for several companies and institutions that send their employees abroad. Many countries are increasingly plagued by violence and conflict. In Brazil, the inhabitants suffer from crime and its consequences, due to the large social divide and systematic corruption.
The majority of violent crimes in Brazil include pickpocketing, mugging people getting in and out of cars, robbing people at traffic lights, and “lightning kidnapping” (ATM stops). The perpetrators are usually individual, belligerent parties or belong to criminal gangs.
Thus, in addition to language, cultural and intercultural preparation for Brazil, the demand for security training has risen.

Topics such as preventive safety measures during a foreign assignment, pro-active recognition of dangerous situations, and what to do in an emergency are often discussed in security training courses. Methods such as the use of field reports and roleplays support the ability of participants to reflect on the subject and assist them in constructing and developing possible scenarios. However, all too often, such courses concentrate on the “hard facts”, while aspects like one’s own vulnerability or cultural values receive insufficient attention. Our Intercultural Security Awareness Training pursues the goal of illustrating relationships between cultural factors and the topic of security.
In 2015, I spent a sabbatical year with my family in Brazil. Even more so than on a family vacation, the topic of safety and security was my personal concern. At the beginning, it wasn’t easy for my children, then 12 and 10 years old, to accept that they could no longer move around as freely as they had been used to in Cologne. For us parents, it meant things like having to spend more time driving the children around. Since our children are very familiar with the Brazilian culture, they quickly adapted to their new living situation and accepted that the year in Brazil would mean limitations to their independence, but on the other hand, it also meant being able to have several new and exciting experiences.
“Many people have too static of a world view and only consider themselves as active people, thus overlooking the influence of interaction,” says criminal psychologist U. Füllgrabe.[1] The course and conclusion of a difficult situation is usually influenced nonverbally, through facial expressions, gestures, and body language. Furthermore, language, one’s own behavior, and the intentions of the attacker all play a role. Thus, it is helpful to learn the rules of the game, in order to find out what influencing possibilities each person has. Intercultural Security Awareness Training in such a context has a fear-reducing effect. Optimal preparation is the most important thing for a successful foreign assignment.

Are you interested in a training? Contact us!

 [1] “Wenn Wissen Leben retten kann“, gtz 2006 

Success Story: Intercultural expat training course...
"Conflict is the father of progress"


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Thursday, 21 February 2019

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