WEEKEND INTERVIEW: My Intercultural Experience

English section

Summer is a time of rest and traveling. Therefore, our new issue is devoted to intercultural communication. Today we are conducting our interview in an updated format: there are two interviewers!  Polina Nedvetskaya and Elena Menyailo are talking to Kseniya Petrovskaya, a 1st year student. Ksenia is focusing on important points based on her experience in intercultural communication.

Exciting and active

Elena: Good morning everyone.

Polina: Hello, Kseniya! How are you doing this weekend?

Kseniya: Hi, I’m fine, thanks. Summer holidays are exciting. I am doing my internship and I am having a rest. And how are you?

Polina: Fine, thank you. Changing activities has always been good for me too.

Calm and friendly

Polina: Well, how did you feel when you first met foreigners? Where did it take place?

Kseniya:  My first experience of international communication was in Poland. Fortunately, during my first contact with foreigners I wasn’t alone, I was with my family and felt huge support from their side as well as from the side of our foreign friends, as they were very polite and attentive. The atmosphere wasn’t tense, we tried to behave as if we were all good pals, thus our communication was calm and friendly.

Language and communication

Polina: How well can you speak Polish?

Kseniya: Well, definitely I need some more practice to remember certain words, because due to COVID restrictions we haven’t been to Poland for a year and a half, and our on-line communication will never replace a person-to-person one. But I am sure that once I get to Poland, I’ll remember everything right away.

Elena: Did you feel comfortable only when you overcame language barrier?

Kseniya: I think that language plays a huge role in communication, but it’s not the main means of it! It’s more important to be in a friendly environment, when people are ready to communicate despite all language and cultural differences. Sometimes it’s even easy to communicate with gestures; it all depends on the situation.

Polina: Could language barriers influence impressions of a trip?

Kseniya: Hope it cannot! If you are not ready to communicate in person or afraid to do this, you may always ask someone for help or use online translator on your device.

Polina: How long does it take to overcome language barrier?

Kseniya: Well, for me it took several days. When you appear to be alone with foreigners, your brain starts working harder, you become more concentrated and even start remembering those things, which you thought you didn’t know at all.

Dipping in cultures

Elena: Fantastic. Do you think it is true that it is easier for children to learn foreign languages based on personal experience?

Kseniya: I think it’s stereotypic opinion. Every person despite the age can make a start in a foreign country without knowledge of a language. Maybe it’s easier a bit for children, as they are more sincere in contacts with others and do not think too much about the results of their communication, they just live the present moment. When we try to be like children, we are able to master intercultural communication much easier.

Polina: Is it possible to understand different cultures and traditions in childhood?

Kseniya: In childhood we follow everything that our parents or other adults respect. When we appear in any cultural or traditional event, we take it for granted. Sometimes we even bring it into our lives. Remember Halloween, we all started to celebrate it, even though we hadn’t heard about such a holiday before.

Elena: Exactly. Well, does dipping in cultures help to become more tolerant?

Kseniya: It does. Through other traditions we start to understand different matters as if we’ve spent some time in this or that country. It helps to be a part of other culture, while watching from outside or taking the part in it, all depends on you and your attitude.

Polina: What else can interfere with communicating to foreigners?

Kseniya: I haven’t been in such situation, but can only assume that it’s fear.  When you are open to communication, you may even try to speak with simple words and no grammar rules, and you will be obviously understood. Fear not to be correct in our speech makes us less communicative, but we should understand, that foreigners are not language teachers who evaluate our knowledge, they are our companions to speak with.

Be yourself

Elena: Agree. And is good mood important?

Kseniya: Certainly. As well as positive attitude to life. When you are easy-going and open-minded, you are free in communication.

Polina: What advice can you give to those who travel abroad for the first time?

Kseniya: Be yourself, be friendly and polite. And there always will be people who would like to help you when needed!

«Per aspera ad astra»

Polina: Thank you, Kseniya! In conclusion could you please formulate your life motto.

Kseniya: My life motto sounds in Latin like «Per aspera ad astra». The exact translation of this phrase is «through the thorns to the stars». It means a lot for me, like «through efforts to victory», «through difficulties to triumph» and even may apply to our present topic – through communication to intercultural connection!

Polina Nedvetskaya, managing editor

Elena Menyailo, a 1st year student

13 комментариев по теме “WEEKEND INTERVIEW: My Intercultural Experience

  1. Thanks a lot for the interview! The experience of the interviewed girl Ksenia can not only show some tips, but also inspire people for communication with foreigners. The journalists managed to show her in a proper way and outline important ideas.

  2. It was a pleasure to read the interview.It was also a pleasant to see such attractive photos!This article has valuable advice: it’s important to speak a foreign language without fear of making a mistake as foreigners aren’t our teachers. I found this article entertaining!

  3. This article is interesting for me. I also had intercultural communication and for me it it interesting to know how other people communicate. This article useful for me and i learned a lot.

  4. The interview turned out to be very entertaining and informative. I believe that this article will be useful to everyone who learn a foreign language and afraid to communicate with foreigners. After all, this is truly not only a useful, but also a very pleasant communication experience!

  5. Thanks for informative, interesting and fascinating with its stories. Its helped me to understand that there is no need to be afraid of communicating in foreign language.

  6. I liked this article. that’s just gorgeous! I liked learning about the experience of others in communication in other countries. it’s a good skill. great job!

  7. Thank you for this interesting article. Thanks to Ksenia for sharing her intercultural experience and useful tips. I think this information is actual to many people.

  8. Thanks for the interview invitation! I was very pleased to share my experience. I think this material will help all those who wants and is already learning a new language.

  9. l found this interview very informative,motivating and interesting to me. In my opinion, language barrier is the most terrible thing ,which people can met,when they travel to different foreign countries. Knowledge of foreign languages are very important not only in our modern live,but in the past and the future too.

  10. I love this article because it helps us build international communication❤️

  11. I was pleased to learn an opinion of Kseniya about such an actual topic. Thanks a lot!

  12. Thanks kindly for an interview! It was nice to know about Kseniya’s wonderful international experience.
    I’m convinced again that international communication will help us grow into an adaptable and open-minded individuals. It also helps in building our communication skills when we put ourselfs into a new environment and culture.

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