Intensification of cross-cultural interactions naturally actualizes the insight into optimal social distance perceptions, prospective entering into an intercultural professional group. Social expectations and stereotypes of cross-cultural compatibility, emotional preferences and behaviour choice are largely shaped in tertiary education environment. The study of social distance parameters in the course of cross-cultural communication among student groups from several higher education institutions demonstrated dominant positive attitude towards intercultural friendship. Similar to this was students’ assessment of prospects for working in a multinational team with different labour ethics, attitudes and values. However, emotional preferences in cases involving multicultural situations in a group are not that positive, while the examination of social distance shortening through intermarriage showed a tendency towards negative multicultural tolerance. A possibility to develop multicultural competence while receiving tertiary education is closely connected with acceptance of “others” and the nature of reacting in the communication process. The analysis of cross-cultural preferences among students from several Russian cities indicates the potential of interlocutory forms for group compatibility interpretation. It also shows prospects for multicultural understanding conditioning and mutual acceptance of semantically loaded social perceptions and in-group privileges determination. Development of cross-cultural cognitive system, which includes post non-classic discourse, subjective experience of interaction in multicultural environment, provides the opportunity to choose communication and behaviour strategies. Elaboration of linguistic determinism theories substantiates the link between the language and the world outlook, the world-image and linguistic peculiarities of perceiving it, comprising significance of national culture in one’s world view. The overcoming social and communicative barriers, the realization of objective need for intercultural dialogue will create conditions to optimize acceptance of the “Other” concept, to rationalize sociocultural peculiarities, and the level of their accessibility, to perfect the algorithms of cross-cultural interactions.