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“When historians look back on our century they may remember it most, nor for space travel or the release of nuclear energy, but as the time when peoples of the world first came to take another seriously.” Huston Smith . Intercultural Communication in the Context of Globalization.

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intercultural communication in the context of globalization

“When historians look back on our century they may remember it most, nor for space travel or the release of nuclear energy, but as the time when peoples of the world first came to take another seriously.”

  • Huston Smith

Intercultural Communication

in the Context of



The scientific research held on the problem of Intercultural Communication in the context of Globalization touches upon the educational system, interpersonal relationships and the health caresystem for being the settings that are most affected by globalization in the perspective of an average student’s life style.


Interpersonal Relationships

Health Care


The city of Melitopol, Ukraine was chosen as an object of the study given below for the fact it represents Ukraine in the Intercultural CityProgrammesince 2008 . The Programme is a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, initiated in 2008. It aims at stimulating new ideas and building an intercultural vision and strategy for the cities, reviewing polices through the “intercultural lens” and developing intercultural skills.


Melitopol Lyceum “Creativity” is a specialized high school established by the state for developing and maintaining creative and learning skills of Ukrainian students.Melitopol lyceum “Creativity” started participating in the international cross-cultural communication process in 2000 applying to Peace Corps international volunteer program. The educational establishment has a wide range of international links and contacts. It provides the students with the possibilities of taking part in exchange learning programs and scientific conferences, studying and traveling abroad.


Since 2008 Melitopol lyceum “Creativity” has been cooperating with Unichov Gymnasium, Czech Republic. Due to this cooperation the students have been constantly enrolled in educational and cultural international programs and developed their intercultural communication skills.

Intercultural communication is guiding the students and school personnel to equal relations and an improved climate for everybody in school environment. In practice they get to know each other through exercises aiming at cooperation and trust.


Section 1

Intercultural communication awareness in an educational context


The data provided information on the following aspects:

_ Teaching and Learning in Ukraine thirty years ago

_ Teaching and Learning in Ukraine nowadays

_ Teaching and Learning in Europe and the USA


Self esteem

for all

Understanding others

  • Concern with larger problems and issues
  • Any
  • student

Research findings support our conviction that effective intercultural teaching is student-centered rather than teacher-dominated. The teacher plans quality learning activities that engage students in active, hands-on experiences and builds on success to develop students’ self-esteem. Students are perceived as individuals, being careful to avoid generalizations that lead to stereotyped thinking. Eventually, multicultural education engages students in the larger issues and problems of the world.


Section 2

Intercultural communication awareness in interpersonal relations


The present research investigated and compared the level of intercultural communication awarenessamong the students of Melitopol Lyceum “Creativity” and some other Melitopol schools . It should be noted that representatives of both of the groups live and study in an intercultural city though the second one does not experience taking part in the international cooperation.

Participants were invited to take part in informal interviews as well as a questionnaire to present their views on intercultural communication and how it affects their interaction with people from different cultural backgrounds. The paper discussed the results of this study in terms of personal development, intercultural identity, and professional effectiveness.

The results of the Intercultural Quiz

Number of correctly given answers


The studies have proved our initial point for the present study that the school education supported by international materials such as simulations and exchange programs and other non- academic programs will help to educate graduates in the context of globalization.

The following chart analyzes the results of the final examinations in English of the graduates of Melitopol lyceum “Creativity” in a time period from 1995 till 2011 and the influence of international intercultural communication on it.

The level of foreign language skills

The participation of Melitopol lyceum “Creativity” in the international cross-cultural communication process started in 2000. Since that time the level of foreign language skills among students increased greatly up to 95 percents in average while as we can see in the diagram the period from 1995 till 1999 is characterized by 60 percents in average.


Cultural empathy




Flexibility and open-mindedness

Personal strength and stability

Intercultural Communication:

Key Elements



Orientation to knowledge

Resourcefulness and ability to deal with stress

In addition to developing skills which are directly related to one specific other culture, participants develop certain personal skills such as cultural empathy, personal strength , resourcefulness, orientation to knowledge and flexibility that transcend success in a single culture to success in a variety of intercultural situations. These skill sets can be identified as intercultural communication skills, or the ability to effectively interact with people of different cultures.

Summarizing Intercultural Communication Skills


Section 3

Intercultural communication awareness in health care setting


It is important to examine the health care settings in Ukraine for being one of the settings that are most affected by globalization in the perspective of an average student’s life style.

  • The subject of the investigation is such a widely spread among teenagers disease as scoliosis. Scoliosis has challenged the medical fraternity since the time of Hippocrates, ever since physical therapists and orthopedic mechanics have existed.
  • From the first sight the disease is not so dangerous as heart problems or cancer are, though if not treated, the spine may undergo progressive axial rotation, increasing the clinical deformitythat can lead to an increased incidence and severity of back pain , progressive cosmetic deformities, social and psychological problems and financial costs. With severe curvatures of more than 50˚ there can be cardiopulmonary compromise as well as subsequent morbidity and early mortality.

F 1

F 2

F 3

F 5

F 4













According to the statistics, 27 percents of Ukrainian children from 7 to 9 years old have scoliosis symptoms.

  • The delivery of health care in Ukraine presents a unique challenge. Part of this challenge is an economic and logistic problem. But, more importantly, it is the lack of intercultural communication and, as a result, the lack of information in this field.
  • The problem is that the treatment for scoliosis suggested in Ukraine is out- of –date and does not include any modern approaches being successfully used abroad. It is time and effort taking though not giving any positive changes in the process of the treatment. Accepted physical exercises are not systematical, they do not take into consideration pathogenetical elements of the scoliosis process and the necessity of complex approach.
  • Using international experience through intercultural communication we got the information on the Schroth method and its outstanding influence on scoliosis treatment.

The Schroth Method

  • The most effective non-invasive treatment for idiopathic scoliosis used successfully in Europe since
  • the 1920sis the Schroth Method. It had become the standard non-surgical treatment for scoliosis
  • in Germany. This method is now taught to scoliosis patients in clinics specifically devoted to
  • Schroth therapy in Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, England, Turkey and, most recently, the United States.

24-year-old woman (left) with extremely severe scoliosis and atrophied left side.

After three courses of intensive Schroth treatment, each of 3 months duration (center).

After four in-patient courses (right).


The experiment was held with the help and on the basis of Melitopol Children Hospital and Melitopol Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children.

  • Schroth subjects were 22 females (13- 15 years old), curvature averaged 33.4 degrees.
  • They practiced the Schroth therapy every day for a period up to ten months. Then the subjects were examined by the orthopedists of Melitopol Children Hospital.

Pictures of the patienttaken before and after the Schroth therapy.

Patient 2: 15 years old. The period of the treatment- 4 months.

The results prove the necessity of the Schroth method introduction in Ukraine. We think that Ukrainian physical therapists who do not specialise exclusively in Schroth therapy but who would receive Schroth certification through the Katharina Schroth clinic in Germany could change the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis situation for better.


Globalization creates a world in which people of different cultural backgrounds increasingly come to depend on one another. As a result, the need for intercultural knowledge and skills that lead to intercultural communication competence becomes critical for leading a productive and successful life in the 21st century.

We sincerely believe that the ability to communicate effectively with people from diverse cultures and co-cultures benefits each of us as individuals and has potential to benefit the more than 6 billion people with whom we share this planet.