Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Communication Studies

Department or School/College

Department of Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Greg Larson

Commitee Members

Betsy Bach, Mary Groom Hall


healthcare, intercultural communication, intercultural competence, international education, international students, training


University of Montana


The purpose of this project was to design a training program focused on intercultural communication competence in the health care industry. While international students make an important link between different cultures, serve as great resource in the exchange of cultures and ideas, and make large contributions to the U.S. economy; international students also pose new challenges for higher education. One of the challenges that came up as a result of the diversification of U.S. campuses has to do with intercultural competence, which is an important quality for anyone who wishes to competently and effectively navigate intercultural interactions. Along these lines, it is important to equip college staff with intercultural skills to competently navigate intercultural interactions. Health care service is one of the college service providers, that is used by international students to large extent. Providing intercultural communication competence training to health care providers on U.S. campuses will not only help higher education staff and service providers to competently interact with students and scholars from other cultures, but this will also assist easier integration of international students and scholars into U.S. college life. Intercultural challenges are especially great in the health care industry, because this setting often requires the sharing of sensitive personal and private information about a patient, which relates to cultural norms of disclosure and behavior. I designed the training on intercultural communication competence for the Curry Health Care Center (CHC), which is the primary health care provider at the University of Montana. Working with CHC on this project will hopefully not only help health providers be able to effectively interact with international students, but will also raise the awareness of how important it has become to be interculturaly competent in contemporary workplaces. The integration of intercultural communication competence as a core value in health care industries will not only prepare staff to competently interact with international patients, but will also send a strong message about the organizations’ commitment to provide equal access to all patients.



© Copyright 2009 Jelena Stojakovic