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This week the International Department (ID) at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) commenced a new lecture series aimed at fostering the adaptation of international students in Latvia and integration of the multicultural student community. The first lecture, titled “Confidence Building in the Professional World” was presented by Latvia’s leading specialist in business communication, protocol and etiquette, Irma Kalniņa.

The lecture gathered both international and local students and covered several topics: business etiquette and standards, impression management, professional image and identity, four generations in the workforce etc. It also included a communication laboratory – the audience was familiarised with the Harvard method of negotiations, a formula for constructive conversations and aspects of dealing with difficult conversations.

 “A while back, the RSU ID ran a brainstorming session with the participation of international student associations to get a better understanding of their interests and needs. During the session we learned about various matters that are essential for international students. Finally we decided to commence a lecture series during which these issues will be discussed in detail throughout the academic year”, said RSU ID director Baiba Pētersone. “Improvement of social skills is among these issues. Our medical and healthcare students acquire extensive knowledge in their fields of specialisation. Students wished to improve their knowledge in the so-called soft skills that leave a great impact on career growth and building of professional contacts,” she added.

Irma Kalniņa has extensive professional experience in business communication and etiquette. She has consulted organisations representing various sectors and high-level officials, is also the founder and president of the company “Irma Kalnina Consulting”. In addition to providing consultations, she is also a lecturer at Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and delivers guest lectures at various business schools abroad.

Publishing house “Jāņa Rozes apgāds” published a book by Irma Kalniņa “Pie Galda” (“At the Table”). She is also an active participant in various philanthropic and charity projects and introduced the concept of corporate social responsibility into Latvia’s business community.

The lecture series, organised by the International Department, is to be continued by covering other topics essential for the multicultural student community at RSU. The lectures are held in English. Please feel free to suggest your topic via e-mail: internationalatrsu[pnkts]lv

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