18.09.2020  NovSU students gain real-life experience in international virtual teamwork

For the fifth time, the international online course "Cross-Cultural Business Communication" has been launched. This time, the course will be attended by students from three universities: Novgorod State University, Appalachian State University (USA), and University of the Free State (South Africa).


This course is a part of a joint online Graduate Certificate Program “Leader of International Virtual Team”, which is being designed by faculty members of the NovSU and the ASU. The program consists of four online courses: “Cross-Cultural Business Communication”, “Technologies for Collaboration”, “Leadership” and “Sustainable Development”. Those courses are being developed according to the principles of Pedagogical Design and Universal Design, which makes them highly inclusive. They are accessible for students with special needs, students who may not always be physically present at a university and people of the “third age”, or active seniors. The experience gained by faculty members in the process of design and implementation of the program will be distributed among faculty members of NovSU and other universities.


By doing the course and working on a joint project, NovSU and ASU students will develop various competences, including:


  • Cooperation in international virtual team using various communication technologies.
  • Determination of the cultural impact on international business relations.
  • Creation of the Culture Map – visual tool, which helps understanding of culture impact of on their own business behavior and the one of their partners.
  • Development of the best strategy for successful interaction with partners from all over the world.
  • Ability to deal with barriers that arise when communicating with representatives of other cultures.
  • Tolerance in relations with representatives of other cultures.


The experience of cooperation between NovSU and ASU in the development and implementation of joint online courses, as well as the subject matter of the course, was so interesting to the participants from South Africa that they decided to involve the staff of the International Relations Office of their university instead of students.


The teachers of the course are:


Dr. Natalia Ilyashenko, senior specialist in public relations of NovSU Office of International Relations, assistant professor of the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Intercultural Communication, PhD in Education. She has over 25 years of experience in international activities and cross-cultural business communication.


Dr. Barbara Howard, a professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies at Appalachian State University. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of education and educational management.


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