Virtual, Cross-Cultural Selling/Buying Interaction

Providing students with international, cross-cultural experiences without having to travel abroad has increased in relevance especially in the light of the occurrences of the last, pandemic-stricken years.

To foster the international dimension and facilitate learning in an internationalisation@home scenario, students at Salzburg University of Applied Sciences have had the chance to interact with students from a Finnish partner university in a semester-spanning selling/buying interaction for the last 5 years. For this, students carry out several tasks that simulate international business activities and assume the role of buyers as well as sellers in a cross-cultural digital selling/buying interaction. The project has several business-related learning outcomes as detailed below and is currently held in conjunction with Savonia University in Finland. Students from both participating universities interact regularly via the online e-learning platform of FH Salzburg as well as in a live online negotiation, as part of the course.

Goals & Learning outcomes

Upon completing this course students have

  • acquired insights to international markets & regional customer preferences
  • understood the fit of their product ideas for these markets
  • developed marketing activities for their products that work for their target markets (product pitch & sales documentation)
  • drawn up business correspondences that support a selling/buying process (letter of inquiry & quotation)
  • prepared for and executed sales negotiations acting as both, buyers and sellers
  • understood why they landed the achieved negotiation outcomes and identified improvement potentials
  • improved their English and cross-cultural skills

Benefits of this learning scenario over a "normal" classroom experience

Historically, our students were moderately enthusiastic about creating mock marketing materials, drawing up business correspondences and training for simulated negotiations in English with fellow students when it would have made so much more sense to do that in their shared native language. These tasks, while considered interesting, seemed too hypothetical to really inspire, the interaction partners too familiar to add thrill to the tasks. Interacting with an unknown partner from a different country and cultural background has made these learning events so much more of a real experience and has thus increased student motivation for the tasks and subsequently the learning impact of this course.

Interaction Scope

The interaction in its current form runs over 2-3 months and requires 6 class sessions of approximately 3 hours each. It can also be slimmed down to a 2-day workshop selecting only some of the components for a leaner workshop format.


Portrait of: Mag. Hovdar-Stojakovic Ingrid
Head of Academic Area Intercultural Communications & Management
Senior Lecturer
International Academic Advisor
Department Business and Tourism
Location: Campus Urstein
Room: Urstein - 227
T: +43-50-2211-1116