Certificate of Global Competence

With BFH’s supplementary «Certificate of Global Competence», you as a student have the opportunity to acquire specific intercultural and transcultural skills during the course of your studies – and to earn a qualification for them by means of a skills portfolio.

Basic Information

What is the Certificate of Global Competence?

The Certificate of Global Competence offers you the opportunity to acquire additional intercultural and transcultural skills as part of your regular studies – and to provide evidence of this to future employers. The certificate provides excellent preparation for a professional future in an international context.

Who can obtain the Certificate of Global Competence?

The certificate is available to all Bachelor or Master students, as long as they include it early enough in their study plan.

How does the Certificate of Global Competence work?

You achieve portfolio points rather than credits for the Certificate of Global Competence. This allows you to match activities with your own personal and professional needs and to have extra-curricular activities taken into account.


To obtain the certificate you need to create a personal Portfolio of Global Competence. The portfolio comprises 100 points based on the following four components:

  • Knowledge (30 Points)
    You gain specific skills such as the ability to use conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches to analyse cultural aspects which enable you to operate professionally in international and transcultural contexts.
    2 modules or 1 module + 1 paper
  • Activities & Engagement (30 Points)
    You expand your personal and professional horizons through intercultural and transcultural networking and participating in specialist international forums.
    Stay abroad > 3 months or stay abroad < 3 months + Engagement in Switzerland
  • Language (20 Points)
    Acquiring foreign languages enables you to handle language diversity with sensitivity and actively participate in professional discourse in international contexts.
    3 foreign languages (1 at least level C1) or 2 foreign languages (both at least level B2)
  • Personal Reflection Report (20 Points)
    Based on an encounter you had, you reflect on your experience and apply the theoretical knowledge you have gained.
    16'000 - 22'400 characters incl. blanks

General Information

Due to the different study course structures, each department specifies its own implementation of the CGCs (Certificate of Global Competence). This is to specify which modules have to be taken, how a stay abroad can be planned, and how the proofs of language proficiency are to be provided.

To ensure that knowledge modules are provided, the BFH offers two interprofessional modules, which can be attended by all Bachelor’s and Master’s students across the departments as well as by students from partner institutions of other countries. Successful completion of both modules together already meets the minimum requirement of 30 portfolio points in the “Knowledge” section. The two modules are well coordinated together in terms of content. While the Summer School “Cross-Cultural Communication and Diversity” focuses on the individual, the semester module focuses on the globalised labour market.
The two modules can be attended in any order.

Summer School «Cross-cultural Communication and Diversity»

This interprofessional, highly interactive week of instruction emphasises the further development of the student's own understanding of values and culture. Intercultural sensitivity as a basis for respectful, efficient communication is encouraged, while raising the awareness concerning different conflict styles.

Semester module «Inter- and Transculturality in the Workplace»

The semester module examines the understanding of values and culture in the globalised labour market. Based on the work experiences of various guest speakers in an inter- and transcultural context, situations from their daily work are presented and reflected upon.

For further information about implementation and any questions you may have, please contact the person responsible in your department.

Summer School BFH Intercultural Communication and Diversity 2015

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Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen SFISM

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School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences

Bern Academy of the Arts

School of Engineering and Computer Science