Archive for the 'podcast' Category

Absolutely Intercultural 183 +++ Internship Abroad +++ Intercultural Preparation +++ tourist-industry +++ First Impressions In Germany +++ Australian +++

 Vladimir on his bike tourIsn’t it great to experience new cultures by travelling to different parts of the world? Four weeks ago I spent my holiday in Andalucía, in Spain. I have wanted to go there for a long time: Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla – the place names have always sounded attractive to me.
On the first day my wife and I took part in a guided bicycle tour in Malaga – and by chance – we met Nils Langer. He told me that in the framework of his studies at the university he is completing a tourism internship in a Spanish bicycle shop
Quite a number of my students take on internships abroad in order to gain intercultural awareness and to improve their language- and transferable skills. They are culturally immersed in their host country much more than during a regular holiday. Working as an intern abroad provides them with insights into foreign work environments and working styles. Afterwards they benefit from the new international contacts they made during their internships abroad.

absolutely prepared
On my holiday in Spain, I took part in a guided bicycle tour in Malaga. I was rather surprised when I found out that our very competent young guide; Nils Langer was a German student from Lippstadt – doing his internship in a shop which offers guided tours for tourists in a variety of languages. First I asked him what his main tasks during his internship were and if he recognized any improvement of his intercultural skills.

absolutely dressed up
Sandra Elsom – an Australian guest lecturer at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen, – recognized a great number of intercultural differences right when she came to Europe. She even noticed that Germans are physically different from Australians and it made her a bit uncomfortable. Would that mean that size matters after all?

absolutely extraordinary
I interviewed Vladimir Jetsch – the native Russian – owner of Bike2Malaga, The Guided Tours& Bike Rental Shop right by the sea. In the brochure Vladimir calls himself the “bike adventure specialist”. He does not only offer bicycles for rent but also – as we heard from Nils – offers international tours for tourists. I asked him to explain the concept.

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The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Younes Jaber

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Jerusalem +++ Diversity Icebreaker +++ Svetlana Kurilova +++ Absolutely Intercultural 182 +++

Diversity Icebreaker badges In today’s show we will be going to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel twice, first with Mitch Weegman who was collaborating with leading edge researchers there for a two week research visit. We’ll be hearing about how just walking through Jerusalem takes you on an intercultural journey and then we’ll be hearing from Bjørn Zakarius Ekelund in Norway who was wondering if his team building tool, the Diversity Icebreaker, could help build bridges between Israelis and Palestinians.  And finally thanks to Svetlana Kurilova who contacted us through our Facebook page to tell us about her travels through Europe with a Spanish friend.

So you can contact us through our Facebook page like Svetlana did or through this blog where you can also leave comments. Thank you to Evelyn Sears in Australia who alerted us to a problem with the commenting. That is now fixed thanks to Thomas Jöckel of Toolstage in Germany. Thomas has also made our podcast accessible through mobile devices so you should now be able to hear us on any mobile device too.

It’s nice to hear from old friends of the podcast and one such is Shai Reshef who started the University of the People where you can get a degree online with free tuition. Hear him in shows 94 and 134 where you can follow how his idea was born. Shai contacted us to tell us about the TED talk he gave in Vancouver recently so I will also embed the video on our Facebook page soon.

absolutely cutting edge
So on with the show where we talk first with Mitch Weegman, an American PhD student who went for a 2 week visit to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

absolutely icebreaking
Last May I was fortunate enough to meet Bjørn Ekelund, a Norwegian, who has developed a great tool that gets people working together, the Diversity Icebreaker. After a while, Bjørn began to wonder if the tool could be used, not just in business situations but also in conflict situations so that brings us back to Israel and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem once again.

absolutely together
And finally, it’s great when we get to know our listeners a little better so I was very happy to talk with Svetlana Kurilova who caught up with us on our Facebook page to tell us about her travels across 12 European countries over the last 8 years with a Spanish friend. Let’s hear more about the new perspectives you get when you are absolutely together:

So don’t forget to keep liking us on Facebook or you can leave a comment on our blog here.

I’ll leave you with this thought. Did you know that it is Intercultural Dialogue Day on September 25th Are you doing anything special for that day? If so let us know. Who knows, you may end up on a future show!

Comment on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page .

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on October 3rd so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 181 +++ Germany +++ German Habits +++ Intercultural Experiences In Germany +++ Language Barrier +++ Students Blog +++

Ha World CupAre YOU interested in soccer? Did you follow the FIFA World Cup which ended a couple of weeks ago?
When you look at it – it is probably the biggest intercultural event in the world where people from all continents come together to enjoy sport. Some countries stood out more than others, above all Brazil which hosted the games and we learned a lot more about Brazilian geography and culture. But Germany also stood out, because they won the cup.
So now, many people are thinking about doing a trip to Germany. As a consequence, we, the team of Absolutely Intercultural have decided to give our listeners an intercultural inside view into some parts of the German culture in the hope of reducing some stereotypes which you may have heard.

absolutely legal
I interviewed Matt Schroeder an American from South Carolina of German decent.
He spent one month at RheinAhrCampus in Germany and is going to share some personal experiences he made during his stay.
He noticed several cultural differences – even the laws on campus seem to be different.

 absolutely exotic
I interviewed Gia from Vietnam, Kristina from Lithuania and Christian from Germany.
They share some very interesting first-hand intercultural experiences with us.
But first of all I asked them if they have had difficulties approaching people and making friends in Germany

absolutely informed
If you are thinking about studying in Germany for a semester or two and you want to get an idea of what it is like you had better listen to Adelheid Korpp. She is going to tell us about a Blog which is managed by the international students themselves – with the aim of sharing their intercultural experiences with future international students.

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The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Younes Jaber

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Admit See +++ China +++ France +++ study abroad +++ Absolutely Intercultural 180 +++

In this show we’re going to be featuring a new business dedicated to making it easier for all to apply to American universities.

The company is called AdmitSee and we’ll be talking to Stephanie Shyu one of the co-founders. One of the biggest sources of students to American universities is China, where the university entrance process is quite different. So what would you do if you needed help in applying to a foreign university? In China, they often turn to an agent who charges a great deal of money to help you out with language issues and especially in writing a personal statement, which most Chinese have no experience with. The idea that Stephanie Shyu and her co-founders had, was to create a site where students who had already secured a university place could share various aspects of their successful application for a much smaller fee than an agent would charge.

I must admit that one of my first thoughts was, wouldn’t this lead to plagiarism, but AdmitSee have thought of that too and they put all material through plagiarism software before allowing it to be part of their website. Plagiarism is also a reason to be banned from using the site.

I got to talk to four people from Admit See and along the way I learned a great deal about the differences between applying to universities in different countries. You will find the link to AdmitSee dot com on our blog at absolutely dash intercultural dot com as well as a short promotional video which explains how it works.

For example I learned that in China there are different high school courses depending on whether you plan to go to university in China or abroad. I also learned that hiring an agent to help you with your university application does not always help anyway.

absolutely entrepreneurial
It’s always interesting to find out where ideas for new businesses come from so that was one of my first questions when I had the chance to talk to AdmitSee’s co-founder Stephanie Shyu. So let’s go absolutely entrepreneurial and find out what prompted her to start this business. It looks as though your own immediate context has a lot to do with what type of business idea you’re going to come up with.

absolutely home-based
Next I had a very short chat with Ilse Calderon, another AdmitSee employee, who told me about the big differences she found between starting at university in France and the US.

absolutely complicated
The next AdmitSee employee I talked to has himself been through the confusing process of trying to get a college place while based in China by putting his trust in a third party. Let’s hear why it is so absolutely complicated.

And finally we hear from Mindy Zhou, whose aunt in China found another way to prepare her son for college in America.

So thanks to AdmitSee for getting in touch with us and for being willing to share all their stories. I certainly learned a great deal about the problems faced by applicants outside the US although AdmitSee is also useful for American High Schoolers. It all seems very different from my own experience of using the centralised British  UCAS system many years ago.

Now this podcast is coming out on the 4rth of July so if you are American what does the 4rth of July mean to you? And if you are outside the USA, do you celebrate anyway? Or does it feel odd when all around you just carry on as normal? Let us know as a comment to this blog post or as a comment on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page . In my next show I’ll be featuring someone who got in touch with us through our Facebook page. You’ll have to wait until September to find out more!

We have over 350 likes at the moment so why not help us reach our next milestone before the next show on August 1st and like us on Facebook? Right now the FIFA World Cup is going on so you’ll find a few related posts, such as how the Dutch airline, KLM got it so wrong on Twitter and why the Swiss team is such a contradiction.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on August 1st so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 179 +++ Up With People +++ Social Intercultural Projects +++ Intercultural Behaviour +++ Intercultural Ambassador +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

People say that gaining intercultural experiences improves your transferable skills, your ability to adapt to new situations. However, getting in touch with other cultures may also change your personal preferences, conventions and habits. Sometimes this process can even take place unconsciously but it still changes your way of thinking dramatically. So, should we start printing warnings on travel brochures? “Warning: This trip to France could seriously change your view of the world?”

And should we be worried about “passive traveling” – because it’s not just the person who went abroad who undergoes intercultural behavioral changes but also the people in the culture they visit who are influenced by the foreigner’s cultural behaviour.

Have you ever noticed serious changes in your own values and outlook on life after a longer stay abroad or even in your own culture by exposure to people from different cultures? Please don’t hesitate and share your experiences with us on our Facebook page.

absolutely up with people
There are a number of well-known non-profit organizations who manage social and intercultural projects all over the world. I was lucky enough to get in touch with representatives of Up with People. This organization combines education, international travel, leadership development, and art performances all with the aim to bring the world together through service learning and music. I asked Shamus and Brekken – who already took part in some of those organized, intercultural projects – to explain how it all works.

absolutely hands-on
I asked Shamus to explain to us why their “up with people-project” in Mexico was a kind of challenge and how that project was well illustrated by a tree of hope.

absolutely changed
Antao Moura from Brazil has also gained a great number of intercultural experiences during his life. Like Brekkan and Shamus he noticed that some of those experiences will change you and have a lasting impact your personal outlook on life. I asked Antao why, after so many travels to different parts of the world, he does not really feel typically Brazilian any longer.

absolutely ambassador
However, sometimes, when your character or your behavior has changed after a longer stay abroad, in touch with several different cultures, you remember and appreciate the benefits of your original culture. Gia and Anh – both native Vietnamese, studying in Finland and spending their semester abroad at RheinAhrCampus in Germany, will tell us what exactly has caused intercultural change and why. In various situations they have adopted the role as an intercultural ambassador.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 4th of July.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

 

Editor: Younes Jaber

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1 Laptop per Child +++ Uruguay +++ British Council +++ Philippines +++ IATEFL +++ Absolutely Intercultural 178


Typhoon

In this show we will ask is it possible to build a relationship with a teacher thousands of miles away?

I also have news of two free courses coming up later this year, which might interest internationally minded listeners based in Europe. The first one, called M-HOUSE, is for people who are home-based for whatever reason, be it unemployment, looking after children and so on and who might be interested in exploring whether starting a business would be a good idea. The second project called FLITE, is aimed at people either already working or who are well on their way to getting a degree in computer sciences and who are also interested in working on a business idea. These are two projects I’m working on where we will be needing pilot students who will be able to do the courses for free. Why is this international? Because you will be doing the course online and will be working with people from all over Europe.

absolutely digital
So how do you teach English to primary school students when you don’t have any English teachers? We will be hearing about an incredible project in Uruguay, South America where the British Council have set up distance English teaching that not only teaches the children but also teaches the local classroom teacher so that in 3 years’ time Uruguay will be able to deliver the English teaching 100% locally. When I caught up with the British Council’s Graham Stanley who is the project manager, in Uruguay, my first question was about how the project, called Plan Ceibal, had all started. It turns out that Uruguay had a big advantage in carrying out this project by being absolutely digital through the One Laptop Per Child programme.

absolutely round the clock
Now we fly over to the Philippines and meet Leath Traill who talks about CTs and RTs. CTs are the classroom teachers in Uruguay, and RTs are the remote teachers, in this case, in The Philippines where they go absolutely round the clock. So why Filipino teachers?

absolutely connected
Time now to meet one of the remote teachers, or RTs as they are called in Plan Ceibal.

absolutely pioneering
As I found out more about the project I couldn’t help but compare it to Sugata Mitra’s idea of a school in the cloud. We talked to Mitra in this podcast in show 72 back in 2008 if you want to find out more. As it happens, Sugata Mitra was speaking at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate in the UK where his talk unleashed a huge discussion between those who support his efforts and those who think he is trying to make teachers redundant. You can follow some of those arguments on Graham Stanley’s blog. And it was at Harrogate that I met yet another piece of the Plan Ceibal puzzle, Mercedes Viola, based in a private language school in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. At the IATEFL conference, Mercedes gave a talk on how the staff at her school also work as RTs, remote teachers, supporting the CTs, the classroom teachers in rural Uruguay, through their absolutely pioneering online remote teaching work.

And we’ll finish with Graham Stanley telling us about one unexpected side effect of the Plan Ceibal project:

The one group we couldn’t talk to because they are in the process of learning English are the CTs, the classroom teachers in Uruguay and their young students.

So how did you like your trip around the world? Is teaching the children and their classroom teachers English in this way doing some good?

Don’t forget that you can add comments to our blog or go over to our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page  where we add interesting links several times a week. At the moment our theme is stereotypes. Do you have a good link to share about stereotypes?

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on June 6th so until Stay Tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 177 +++ Intercultural Complexity and Simplicity +++ Vietnam, Finland, and Germany +++ Differences in Everyday Cultural Conventions +++ Culture Shocks +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

Indochine057traffic jam webOur current exchange students from Vietnam and Lithuania are here in Germany studying and doing their internships. Within their first days after their arrival, they mentioned some cultural differences concerning the complexity and simplicity in their new lives and in their home countries. Cultural anthropologists have discovered and described differences in the level of cultural complexity in various parts of the world. But – as we know – the understanding of such a difficult and complicated phenomenon is not the same if you just read about it. Traveling around the world and getting in touch with many different cultures is probably the best way to understand how cultures – and especially cultural conventions – differ from country to country.

The grade of complexity of different cultures is difficult to measure – but perhaps quite easy to “feel out” when you are in that culture for the first time. Is it safe to assume that “older” cultures have developed more complexity? Is this a one-way street and do cultures become more and more complex over the centuries a little bit like our tax-law seems to be getting more and more complex because politicians discover loop-holes and try to add new rules to fix them?

absolutely different
Gia and Ahn, both native Vietnamese, studying in Finland and right now spending a semester abroad in Germany have had the opportunity to make a number of intercultural experiences. I asked them which intercultural differences they noticed first after their arrival to Europe – and if they maybe even have felt a “culture shock”.

absolutely polite
I interviewed two students – Simas from Lithuania and Tatjana from Germany and we got talking about what it means to be hospitable to your guests. If you offer food and they say “No thank you”, would you ask them again in your culture?

absolutely life-changing
We asked ourselves whether spending a long time in different countries – getting used to different cultural habits – may change your appreciation of your own native cultural conventions?
Gia and Anh have spent their holidays back home – in Vietnam – after spending a long time in Europe. I asked them if there was anything that made them feel uncomfortable in their “home-culture” – after such a long time of absence. Gia had a bit of a culture shock when her Mum and her friends gave her a lift on the scooter. All of a sudden the traffic in Ho-Chi-Minh City looked very frightening to her, too noisy and too crowded – in a word: too complex.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 2nd of May.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

 

Editor: Younes Jaber

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Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit +++ Ziegler +++ Small Planet Studio +++ Authentizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 176 +++

suitcase

absolutely global
Do you remember we talked about the Living your Ideal Global Life online summit a couple of shows back?
Did you catch it all? If not then this show will give you a peek into what you missed and we also have news of next year’s summit, as well as a mini-event coming up very soon.

The idea behind the Living Your Ideal Global Life summit was to show how anyone can globalize their life, even by staying at home! But to be honest most of the contributions came from people who have done a fair bit of traveling. Anyway, I caught up with Sabrina Ziegler, one of the organizers of the summit and asked her how she thought it had gone.

Sabrina is based in Vancouver Canada and is keen to know what you want included in the next summit so do feel free to tell us on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page or as a comment on this blog.

And interspersed with Sabrina’s comments you will hear some short case studies of people who have taken the plunge in various ways. What about you? Are you planning to globalize your life? Find out more at Small Planet Studio or Authentizen.


Don’t forget we also have a Facebook Page where we share new links about 4 times a week. The most popular ones recently have been about culture shock in Russia, addressing foreigners in the workplace and a cheeky Valentine’s sign from the florists of Paris in France which I only uploaded as a whim but which turned out to be very popular. See those and more on our FaceBook page.

We have also added ‘The Suitcase Entrepreneur’ by Natalie Sisson, one of the case studies, to our Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store. Remember you don’t pay more by buying through our store but you do help us to meet some basic web hosting and maintenance costs.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on April 4th so until Stay Tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 175 +++ Australia Day +++ can-do attitude +++ the lucky country +++

Please put your headphones on and listen to Show 175 from Australia! If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

John Major, Bush Poet at Australia Day NoosaToday our show will take you to the “Lucky Country“,  where the inhabitants with distinctive multicultural backgrounds have developed a positive “can-do”- attitude and try to give everybody a “fair go”.

Listen to my interviewees in Australia.  On the last weekend in January we celebrated Australia Day, and I took along the microphone to share my impressions with you.

absolutely immigrated
Let us listen to two typical Australians whose ancestors came over from Europe. I met Vivian and Wayne in Sydney Harbour over coffee and with the beautiful view on the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and when I was conducting the interview I wished we had a video podcast so I could have shared with you a perfect hot summer morning in late December.

absolutely Aussi
Three weeks later I had left New South Wales and was back on the Sunshine Coast. Let us see whether in Queensland being Australian is also about football, meat pies, and BBQs. I asked some colleagues from the University of the Sunshine Coast how they were planning to celebrate Australia Day. Bishnu told us that when he first moved to Australia he did not really like eating lamb but now it has turned into his favourite dish. Talk about successful integration!

absolutely aboriginal
I am following up this topic of the first owners of the land and asked how the attitudes of ordinary Australians towards Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have changed over the years in society and in education.

absolutely multicultural
Every year the Australian of the Year is elected and this person will give important public speeches during that year. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to the speech of the outgoing Australian of the Year talking about attitudes to indiginous people and to multiculturalism in general. You could really see on Ita Buttrose’s face how happy she is that her ancestors came over to Australia in the 1850ies.

absolutely original
On 26 January I visited Australia Day in Noosa, Queensland, in search of examples and explanations of the”can-do” attitude, the “fair go” and the “Lucky Country”. I did not have to search long because the first person I met, John Major, “Bush Poet” and former farmer, explained to me in his own words what these Australian concepts are all about for him.

And do not miss the brass band at the beginning and the end of that interview!

Would you like to share with us your own intercultural experience in foreign countries? If so, we would be delighted to hear both positive and negative experiences, so don´t hesitate and share your intercultural experiences with it with us on our Facebook Page.

Our next show will be coming to you on 7 March from Anne Fox in Denmark.

Until then –

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

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Global +++ Clandfield +++ Gokun Silver +++ 4Cs +++ SIETAR +++ Ideal Global Life +++ Authentizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 174

SummitCollage-Website-FixedHappy New Year!  So a new year traditionally means New Year resolutions and what could those be? Could they include improving your English? If so, have you ever wondered how difficult it is for course book writers to choose topics which will appeal to students all over the world? We’ll be hearing from Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the Global series of coursebooks about some of those issues. Maybe your New year’s resolution is learning about one intercultural diagnosis tool such as the 4 Cs of culture? If so then you will want to hear Margarita Gokun Silver explain what they are. Or maybe you want to make a huge change in your life but don’t know where to start. One step in that direction may be to attend the free Living Your Ideal Global Life summit starting on January 13th. We’ll be hearing from Sabrina Ziegler, one of the organisers about some more of the interesting angles about living abroad and what is possible in this connected world.

absolutely global
Have you ever wondered how your language course book gets written? In show 166 we heard about the topics that don’t make it into the course books, the so-called PARSNIP topics. But as I had Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the new MacMillan Global series on the line, I took the opportunity to ask him how he decided what SHOULD go into his new coursebook. So let’s go absolutely global and start by asking why the world needed another coursebook for learning English!

absolutely how-to
Now I want to tell you about a new page on our website which is a 30 minute edited version of a workshop I did at the SIETAR Congress in Tallinn Estonia in September. The workshop was about podcasting for Intercultural trainers and we have released it as a special edition of the podcast on its own page.  Thanks to Sigvor Bakke from Norway who did a magnificent job of recording on her mobile phone including a short snippet where we were looking at why you might want to podcast. The snippet included Matthew Hill from the UK. And if you want to hear the whole 30 minutes where I go into more detail about the whys and wherefores then catch it on its dedicated page.

absolutely coached
In a globalised world it becomes even more important to understand intercultural dynamics within yourself and others. Margarita Gokun Silver told us about how accompanying spouses can be helped in Show 170. You may remember that Margarita is a trained coach so let’s ask if she has additional tools to help people deal with intercultural situations? Honouring your values is a key takeaway. Margarita’s website is at www.globalcoachcenter.com where you can find loads more information about the 4 Cs and intercultural coaching generally.  I have added the book mentioned by Margarita to the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store where you can find many other books relevant to intercultural communication. We receive a small amount of what you pay for every book which helps keep the site running. Browse our Amazon store here.

absolutely ideal
And finally, I return to the unique idea of the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit which is free and online for 5 days starting January 13th. In Show 172 one of the organisers, Sabrina Ziegler  of Authentizen , told us about a couple of the speakers so let’s go absolutely ideal as I asked Sabrina about Terry Rogocki’s contribution. Do you have any ideas about how to live your ideal global life? Don’t forget that the summit is free.

Don’t forget we also have a  Facebook Page where we recently got our 300th like! Welcome Hamdi Erestreams in Tunisia! Hope you are enjoying the page and the links we add there regularly.

The next show will be coming to you from Australia with Laurent Borgmann on February 7th so until then Happy New year!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editor: Younes Jaber

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