Boost your 21st Century Skills and Master Global Citizenship

This course is about the stuff that’s rarely found in curriculums at schools or universities. It is about you as a human being and how you relate to yourself, others, and other cultures.



Course Level
ECTS credits
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands



This course is about the meaning and purpose of diversity and inclusiveness. It’s about the four-mode perspective that broadens your scope and your communication and collaboration skills. 

The course is highly interactive: experiencing is key. With every challenge, you enter a new stage, a new level of maturity, discovering new insights and secrets about life and living. AND: it is so much fun doing it, together with fellow students from around the globe.

You should think of this course as a five-day voyage towards mastering the 21st century skills for global citizenship.

Globalization, polarisation, and a range of issues that affect people and nature around the globe, make a strong sense of global citizenship more important than ever before. We are living in an age in which technology has profoundly influenced the ways we think, feel, act, communicate and collaborate. This raises all kinds of questions, it reveals needs and requires skills for understanding ourselves and others in this constantly changing world.

The so-called 21st century skills are considered the most important skills to succeed in today's workplace, since they can be universally applied to enhance ways of thinking, learning, working and living in the world. These skills are: critical thinking/reasoning, creativity/creative thinking, problem-solving, metacognition, collaboration, communication and global citizenship.

In this highly interactive course, discovering, experiencing, and sharing are the key activities.

On day 1 and 2, you will be introduced to the Four-Mode Perspective. This universal principle entails that every challenge can be met, and that every message can be delivered in four different ways. Your skillfulness and effectivity in communicating with others will quadruple overnight!

On days 3, 4 and 5 you will submerge yourself into eight other 21st century skills: Collaboration, Socio-cultural awareness, Self-regulation, Critical thinking, Media literacy, Creativity, Problem-solving skills and Entrepreneurship. All in a global perspective, and broadening your scope as a global citizen.

Every exercise in the course is practical, fun to do, and highly educational. The course is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, bringing you insights and new capabilities that will be beneficial to you for the rest of your life.

Your discoveries and learning won’t end on the last day of the course. We will invite you and your fellow students to form a Circle of Understanding, and each of you will be offered 25 real-life challenges over a period of 100 more days to further grow both personally and professionally. During that time, your phone will be your classroom and you will be able to share your experiences with your peers on a private online platform. This highly effective way of micro-learning is currently being adopted by universities around the world to support students (and staff) in developing global citizenship and 21st-century skills.

This course is offered in collaboration with Ewald Theunisse, co-founder of the Academy of Understanding.

What previous participants wrote about the course:

"This course proved to be an amazing journey that celebrates the beauty of diversity and shows the true power of learning about different cultures."

"Thank you for this amazing course! That gave me a better understanding of cultural differences, a better understanding of people’s behaviour and moods. This course gave me a better understanding of myself, my values, aim and motivation. The course is full of activities, so it was also fun. Thank you for this opportunity!’

"My favourite course!! Students are encouraged to communicate, there’s a range of creative activities, open classroom atmosphere, and the lecturers are approachable and inclusive."

Day to Day Documents

B50 Day-to-day Boost your 21 Century Skills.pdf


Ewald Theunisse.

Target audience

We are looking for students in any discipline who believe that human understanding makes all the difference and  want to train themselves in compassionate leadership, communicating and collaborating. The course is open to all students from different fields of study with an interest in becoming a better person and professional.

Aim of the course

  • This intensive programme aims to enrich your personal and professional life in a variety of ways. Not only will the nine skills expand your capabilities, they will also broaden your perspective on life and how to lead it with more resilience and compassion;
  • Students will gain insight into possible ways of looking, thinking, doing, listening, and communicating and will become aware of their own ways, and those of others;
  • Students will strengthen their so called 21st century skills: Socio-cultural competencies, Communication skills, Collaboration, Critical thinking, Self-regulation, Media literacy, Entrepreneurship, Problem-solving skills, and Creativity;
  • Students will proceed in mastering Global Citizenship.

The didactical approach of this course may be quite different from what you would expect from a traditional module. Together with lecturers and professional coaches from the work field we will guide you through a meaningful and valuable experience.

The sessions are highly interactive, challenging and fun; you will be invited to experiment, experience, reflect and discuss. You will learn by doing and explore different perspectives, while in the meantime being offered important professional and personal insights. The course will help you integrate your existing knowledge and skills with new insights, step out of your comfort zone and develop the mind-set to improve communication and compassionate collaboration.. During this learning experience, you will receive intensive coaching.

As a follow-up on the course, you will receive 25 real-life challenges over a period of 100; these will enable you to continue your learning process in a practical and fun way.

This part is also part of the three weeks' track The Essence of Business Models & International Business which includes a Field trip to Milan, Italy (B48).

Study load

50 hours of training, workshops, coaching, assignments.

Participants will be graded based on their performance during the workshops and on the assignments, assessed by means of participation, handling feedback and a reflective report. Overall level of participation and cooperation within group settings will be taken into account.

Compulsory elements: Students must attend all learning activities (e.g. workshops, fieldwork), unless absence is officially approved.


  • Course fee: €699.00
  • Included: Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

The course fee presented applies to all students currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni'.

If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for this fee, please include this in your motivation when applying for this course.

If not, the professional fee of €875 is applicable, and will be invoiced and visible for you in your account once you are accepted to the course.

Please note: if you do not provide proof that you are currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme or a  'Fresh Alumni', we will charge the ‘professional (higher) fee!

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. In that case, do not forget to bring your own bed linen and pillow! In all cases, do bring your own towels, please.