International Business Intercultural Communication

"InterNations and the Lima Community helped me to learn a lot about Peru and the Peruvian culture - not to mention Lima's nightlife. ;) "

Brandon Le Clerk

Living in Peru, from South Africa

"During all my life as an expat (Lima is my fourth home abroad), I have been searching exactly for a networking platform like InterNations."

Cross-Cultural Communication

Intercultural competence is an invaluable part of your preparations for life as an expat. Yet it is often overlooked in the run-up for a job posting abroad. InterNations shows you how you can benefit from this skill to make sure your international assignment will be a success.

By training your intercultural competence, you might be able to avoid what the British novelist and travel writer Rebecca West once described in the following manner: “Intercultural relationships are preordained to be clumsy gestures based on imperfect knowledge.”

Though more and more people are aware that intercultural competence is a useful tool to prepare for expatriate assignments, some statistics about the success of expatriates’ international tasks are rather depressing:

  • Up to 40% of all expatriates never finish their original assignments.
  • As many as 20% of the prematurely returning managers were not able to cope with living and working in a foreign culture.
  • Half of those who do decide to stay abroad may not deliver an adequate performance at their job.

Would intercultural competence have helped them to benefit more from their time as an expat? The proponents of learning about cross-cultural communication would answer this question with a resounding yes. Their approaches may indeed support you in becoming an interculturally effective person (IEP).

Intercultural Effectiveness

Being an IEP doesn’t mean being a VIP: You don’t have to be special or unique to become an interculturally effective person. Intercultural competence is not magic. Ideally speaking, it is a multi-dimensional process with some very pragmatic goals. It should teach you to:

  • live and work in another culture without too much discomfort
  • improve your communication with other people in a way indicating respect and trust
  • adapt your individual behavior and job-related know-how to local conditions.

To reach these goals via intercultural competence, a potential IEP will have to address the following topics and exhibit certain soft skills.

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