Intercultural Competence as a Predictor of Adaptation of Foreign Students



The aim of the study is to determine the role of intercultural competence in the adaptation process of foreign students studying at Russian universities. The research is based on the author's model of intercultural competence, the main components of which are intercultural stability, intercultural interest, the lack of ethnocentrism and the management of intercultural interaction. The sample of the study consisted of 291 foreign students from Turkmenistan studying at universities in Kazan, Saratov, Penza, Rostov-on-Don, Khabarovsk, 291 students (48.5% — Women, average age is 22 years). We showed that intercultural com petence is a significant predictor in the adaptation of foreign students. We revealed different contribution of intercultural competence components to the effectiveness in the adaptation of foreign students. Among the components of intercultural competence only intercultural stability directly affects sociocultural adaptation. The absence of ethnocentrism reduces the effect of culture shock when a student enters a new cultural environment, but increases the success of his/her adaptation in this environment only together with intercultural stability. Two other components of intercultural competence: intercultural interest and the management of intercultural interaction have an impact on the successful adaptation of foreign students not directly, but through the activation of the desire to interact with Russian students and to increase the self-esteem in the effectiveness of intercultural communication with them. In turn these mediators are directly related to both psychological adaptation and intercultural stability. Thus we revealed the mechanism of intercultural competence influence on the adaptation of foreign students. The obtained results can be used to predict the adaptation of foreign students and to reduce the possible risks of their maladjustment in a new culture.

General Information

Keywords: intercultural competence, intercultural communication, intercultural stability, intercultur¬al interest, ethnocentrism, management of intercultural interaction, sociocultural adaptation, psychologi¬cal adaptation, culture shock, foreign students

Journal rubric: Empirical Research


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 19-013- 00892.

For citation: Gritsenko V.V., Khukhlaev O.E., Zinurova R.I., Konstantinov V.V., Kulesh E.V., Malyshev I.V., Novikova I.A., Chernaya A.V. Intercultural Competence as a Predictor of Adaptation of Foreign Students. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2021. Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 102–112. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2021170114. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Valentina V. Gritsenko, Doctor of Psychology, Proffesor of the Department of Cross-cultural Psychology and Multicultural Education, Faculty of Social Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Oleg E. Khukhlaev, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Acre, Israel, ORCID:, e-mail:

Raushaniia I. Zinurova, Doctor of Sociology, Head of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Kazan National Research Technological University, Kazan, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vsevolod V. Konstantinov, Doctor of Psychology, associate professor, head of chair "General Psychology", Penza State University, Penza, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena V. Kulesh, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Pacific National University, Khabarovsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Ivan V. Malyshev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Pedagogical Psychology and Psychodiagnostics, Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, Saratov, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina A. Novikova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia named after Patrice Lumumba, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Anna V. Chernaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Developmental Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-na-Donu, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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