Archive for October, 2007

absolutely intercultural 42 +++ International Baccalaureate +++ Grenaa +++ Florida +++ blog +++ Brazil

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John McDonald photo of an IB DiplomaIn this show we go absolutely educational investigating the International Baccalaureate or IB as it’s known for short and how blogging can foster intercultural understanding.

Absolutely Educational
What sort of people take this course I wondered, how does it differ from what they would be doing if they had just followed the normal schooling in their country? Does the international classroom have any advantages or disadvantages either at the time or later when the IB graduates move on to the next stage in their career? I talked with two groups of students doing the IB at Grenaa Gymnasium.
Absolutely yours
One of our listeners, Trevor King, in France put me right on a few IB-related points. He wrote: “The IBO don’t only offer it in English; it’s possible to do the course based in French, Spanish and Chinese as well. You are entering the politics of education and the world of ‘international education’ is a hot one; there are no schools in Europe doing the IB in French. There are a few I know of in Quebec do that.”

Thank you Trevor and if you want to put us right or add to something we said then please add a comment to our blog at http://www.absolutely-intercultural.com/ or send us an audio comment to contact@absolutely-intercultural.com

One thing I learned about the IB from Wikipedia was that about half the IB courses in the world are offered in the state system of schooling, as it is for example in Grenaa, which means that it is not necessarily a rich person’s education.

Absolutely Virtual
So what can you do if you don’t live near a school offering the IB or if your students can’t afford to go on long exchanges abroad? Teachers such as Brazilian, Carla Arena, use the communication possibilities of the internet to help her students get in touch with other cultures. But how much can you learn just by adding comments to a blog? See the blog to find out.

Absolutely Educational Part 2
To find out how much the IB courses have in common I spoke with Zoe Sessums who is doing her IB diploma at Eastside school in Gainsville, Florida in the United States. Here in an English speaking country the international aspect is not so much to the fore.

In the end I had the impression that the IB courses did not make the best use of the possibilities offered by having a worldwide network.

The next show will be coming to you from Remagen in Germany on November 2nd. So stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 41 +++ intercultural weddings +++ conventions for accepting food +++ my big fat Lebanese wedding +++

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In this show we are going to look into which parts of our culture we have to re-think or even leave behind when we get married. We have entertaining stories from Lebanon, the United States, Hungary, and Spain and even from our own lives.

absolutely Swiss-French-Lebanese
Our first guest is Stéphane Bazan, lecturer at the Université St. Joseph, who is French and got married to his Lebanese bride in Biblos near Beirut. He tells us about the cultural conventions preceding his wedding which turned into a happy cultural mix for him and his French and Swiss family but also for his new Lebanese in-laws.

absolutely prepared
Jennifer is an American university lecturer who got married to her Lebanese husband in the United States. She remembers thinking about what cultural clashes could arise from the different customs and attitudes of her Lebanese and American families. She even went as far as giving some private intercultural lessons to prepare her family and her Lebanese in-laws for the happy day.

absolutely Mars vs. absolutely Venus
Agnes Dús, Laurent Borgmann, and Mathias Knops had a round table discussion about “leaving one’s own culture behind” where they tell their own stories about how difficult it can get when two persons from different cultures decide to stay together for life. Finally they had to admit that sometimes it is not the national culture which creates problems, simply the fact that men and women come from different planets: men are from Mars and women from Venus.

absolutely Big Fat Wedding
In the last part of our show we will get back to Stéphane, who tells us what cultural challenges he had to face before his “Big Fat Lebanese Wedding” with 800 guests! During the process he sometimes felt a considerable cultural gap between his families, as if he was not from France but from the other side of the world.

Our co-host today is Agnes Dús from Budapest in Hungary, student of the Corvinus University of Budapest. You may remember her from the interviews she made in Ireland for show number 25. She will co-host the shows from Remagen until Christmas.

The next show will be coming to you on the 19 October from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

Host of this show: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Co-host: Agnes Dús
Editor: Mathias Knops

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