THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE IN CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION
; Sveučilište Josipa Jurja Strossmayera u Osijeku, Filozofski fakultet, Osijek, Hrvatska
Ljerka Radoš Gverijeri orcid.org/0000-0003-4007-1877 ; European Commission, Directorate-General for Translation, Croatian Translation Unit, Luxembourg
Elvira Bugarić ; Isusovačka klasična gimnazija s pravom javnosti u Osijeku, Osijek, Hrvatska
The aim of this study is to explore the influence of education and additional factors influencing students’ awareness of intercultural differences. For the purposes of this research assessment was carried out with regard to their role in promoting cultural awareness and facing cross-cultural challenges posed by unfamiliar cross-cultural contexts. Cultural education is presumed to be a key factor for achieving a significant increase of cultural sensitivity and cultural awareness in order to ensure successful cross-cultural communication and increase mobility of students/working professionals. For this study, it was assumed that the cultural awareness of students increases due to the courses they take and their overall study experience. A special questionnaire was developed for the purposes of this research, and the obtained results were statistically analyzed with the help of descriptive statistics, the non-parametric chi-square test, and the Mann-Whitney test. The research has shown that intercultural competence has a statistically significant positive effect on the readiness of students to participate in study and work programs abroad. Thus, it is mandatory that foreign language competence as well as intercultural competence be a priority of the curriculum if we are to increase the number of highly educated experts who will be capable to compete successfully as students or professionals in all fields and all cultural areas. If we recognize that globalization has made the world a global village, we all need the intercultural competence to successfully live in it.
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