Yearly Archive for 2013

absolutely intercultural 173 +++ intercultural preparation +++ Keenjar +++ Hands on course +++ Emeralds of the Alhambra +++

 

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Emeralds_of_the_AlhambraMoving to a foreign country may require special preparation to get along with different cultural conventions in your new environment. If you are trained to pay attention to intercultural details, you will discover many differences during your stay abroad. Have YOU ever had an intercultural experience where you have felt as if you had been thrown into the cold “intercultural” water? Perhaps a situation which made you wish you had taken an intercultural preparation class – to be better prepared for situations like that? Actually, there are so many different cultures with so many different conventions, which can never be taught in one single classroom. So, we asked ourselves, how can we achieve intercultural “awareness” and be well- prepared for such varied situations?

 

absolutely meaningful
In previous episodes we heard a lot about intercultural experiences of exchange students who have come to Europe. They told us about some intercultural incidents which had shocked or embarrassed them in their new surroundings. However, we never asked ourselves how these students could prepare themselves interculturally, so that these painful situations could be softened or even avoided? Let us listen to Domas, who points us to an opportunity for intercultural preparation by using an online learning-platform called Keenjar

absolutely experienced
Many people expect that they will pick up intercultural differences naturally while they are in the new culture but if you have a theoretical framework before you go you might do a much better job interpreting all the new impressions?
Let us listen to Collette. She is a moderator of an online intercultural preparation course, in which students who go to different European countries for their practical training share their intercultural experiences. Collette, herself, had to do without such training when she moved from Kenya to Europe and it felt to her as if she had been thrown into the cold water. This is why she now appreciates intercultural preparation instead of learning the hard way.
On Collette’s course, sharing one’s practical experiences with other people who are in similar situations is the way forward to developing an intercultural awareness that helps us master new intercultural situations.

absolutely world-wide
Audrius is going to give us some more details about how the online school works. Learning something new in a group with people from different cultures can be a very powerful intercultural stimulant. This could happen either in a physical classroom or, as in the case of Keenjar, in an online environment, where the teacher is in one country and the students are contributing their experiences from different geographical locations world-wide.

absolutely peaceful
The festive season is round the corner and wherever you are in the world and whatever religion is predominant in your country, there is still a good chance that we will all be listening to “Jingle Bells” from the radio one of these days. Do you celebrate Christmas in your country? Will it be a white Christmas – or will you, like me, have a day off on the beach? We asked ourselves what kind of present we could make to our audience in such diverse cultural settings at the end of the year? And we are happy to say: we found the perfect intercultural present.
Dr. John Cressler is going to give us some information about his historic novel called “Emeralds of the Alhambra” which tells the story of an intercultural Love Story involving Christians, Jews and Muslims…
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 3rd January 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

 

Editor: Younes Jaber

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SIETAR +++ Estonia +++ Ziegler +++ Ethical research +++ Ideal Global Life +++ Absolutely Intercultural 172

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Raquel BenmerguiIn September I attended the SIETAR Congress in Tallinn Estonia where I met the two people who feature in this podcast. The music you hearat the beginning was being played by some street performers in Tallinn and Estonia is famous for the way in which it escaped the Soviet Union with its singing revolution. This involved thousands of people forming a line of over 600 kilometres while singing. So there was a lot of music in Tallinn and there is a bit more later.

SIETAR is the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research and the Congress attracted many intercultural trainers and coaches who often work freelance. I was attending to talk about the results of the UniKey project which has just finished but I was also invited to do a workshop on how to podcast, as part of a pre-Congress set of workshops for freelancers. I promised those who attended that I would make a special edition of the podcast based on the How Tos we went through that day so watch out for that. It will be on a new page here when it’s ready.

absolutely global
Sabrina Ziegler of Authentizen helped us freelancers in how to organise our digital media presence and is generally an advocate of a global lifestyle. What does that mean? Well Sabrina will help us find out by putting on a free online summit called Living Your Ideal Global Life in January 2014.

absolutely ethical
One of the talks I attended at SIETAR was given by Iman Elshawaf talking about the unexpected difficulties she had when following the research protocols set down by her British university when she wanted to work with children in her school in Egypt. You have to get parental consent to work with the children and that means signing a form which can then be sent back to the university to document that everything was done ethically. So how easy was that?

Iman’s was just one of many fascinating sessions at the SIETAR Congress and we can’t possibly talk about them all. One thing I did enjoy very much was the graphics made by Raquel Benmergui of some of the sessions and I’ve used one of her visuals as the image for this show. Meanwhile on our Facebook Page we’re only a few short of 300 likes. Will you be number 300? In the last couple of weeks we’ve been featuring a great many links about stereotypes so if you want to know more about that topic then head on over to our Facebook page. And we’ll also be putting the podcast onto our YouTube channel.

We’ll be playing out with a short extract from the Estonian girls’ choir which entertained the Congress speakers in Tallinn Town Hall.

Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on December 6th so stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editor: Younes Jaber

Image: Raquel Benmergui, Sketchnotes at Flickr

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absolutely intercultural 171 +++ semester abroad +++ intercultural experiences +++ Germany +++ exchange student support +++

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BlogpictureOur exchange students from Australia and Hungary have finished one year studying and doing their internships in Germany. Spending a long time far away from home – all on your own – will probably change your way of thinking and of doing things. Maybe – it will even make you cross that invisible line between being a teenager and an adult.

Have you ever thought about spending some time abroad in order to acquire intercultural experiences? Or are you still undecided, because you have too many worries about leaving your comfort zone and getting along in a foreign country?
You are in good company, our international exchange students, too, had many worries before they arrived at our university but they did survive their year abroad with a smile in their faces.

absolutely open-minded
During the last year our Australian exchange students collected a number of intercultural experiences in Germany and Turkey. They met many new people and made many new friends.
But before they came to Germany, they also had many worries in their heads.
I interviewed Tehlia, Matthew and Lucy – all Australian students in order to hear more about their main worries and getting some suggestions for future exchange students.

absolutely helpful
We asked ourselves what kind of help future exchange students need during the planning of their semester abroad. I interviewed Adelheid Korpp. She told us more about typical questions and worries of exchange students before they arrive in Germany.
It seems to be mostly about accommodation…

absolutely life-changing
Barbara Neukirchen, our colleague who looks after the “outgoing students” will share her impressions of how students have changed after their stay in a foreign country. I asked her how the students find out about their options for spending a year abroad.

absolutely inspired
Andreas Faulstich, lecturer at RheinAhrCampus, is going to explain in how much his year in Scotland influenced his style of teaching.

Would you like to share with us your own intercultural experiences 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 1st of November 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

 

Editor: Younes Jaber

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absolutely intercultural 170 +++ cross-cultural trainers +++ Burgheimer +++ Gokun Silver +++ SIETAR

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Credit: Dennis Hill, FontPlay.com

Welcome and shanah tovah.  Why shanah tovah? Because that is the Hebrew New Year greeting and it was the Israeli new year the day before this podcast came out. I learned this from Marion Burgheimer, an Israeli cross cultural trainer I spoke with about the most popular links on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook Page. She also told me that Shanah Tova is a wish for a good new year rather a happy new year, as a good year makes you happy. Welcome to Christian Garry Kansil who is the latest person to like our Facebook Page. I wonder if you’re finding the links we post there of interest Christian? In this show I talked to two cross cultural trainers to find out more about their work and how they got into it.

absolutely curious
How do you become a cross cultural trainer? I’m sure that this isn’t something you told your careers adviser at school that you wanted to be when you grew up. So that was how I started my conversation with both of our guests in this show. First I asked Marion Burgheimer about how she came to be a crosscultural trainer.

absolutely linked
Then I spoke to Marion about some of the links which have proved popular on our facebook page and what made them popular. If you know of any interesting links which we should share on our Facebook Page then leave us a comment there or use our blog or send us an email. Also use the blog to contact us if you know of someone we should be speaking to for a future podcast.

absolutely lost
So now to our second cross cultural trainer, Margarita Gokun Silver, founder of the Global Coach Center; same questions, what’s your background and how come you became a cross cultural trainer and we’ll see that Margarita’s strength lies in helping the spouses of people who get stationed abroad and who are absolutely lost in some cases. Here are some of the things they say:

You can find more Global Coach Centre videos on their YouTube channel. In fact I spoke at greater length to Margarita and I hope that I can bring you a bit more of that conversation in later shows. But in the mean time search this post for all the links we talked about and the videos that Margarita has produced, visit us on Facebook Page or see the show on our YouTube channel.
Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on October 4th so stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editor: Younes Jaber

Image: Dennis Hill, FontPlay.com at Flickr

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absolutely intercultural 169 +++ intensive programs +++ Izmir +++ Turkey +++ nudity +++ money exchange abroad

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Flags in airport_small
During the past months our international exchange students have experimented with “Citizen Journalism”. They tried it out as a preparation for an intensive program in Izmir, Turkey. This seminar looked at journalism from different perspectives. One of the aims was to develop strategies for working efficiently in intercultural teams with students from several different European countries. In the end the students even created their own “intercultural newspaper” which was presented on the last day. Have you had the opportunity to work in an intercultural team yourself? Including absolute strangers from different cultural backgrounds? Do you think such intensive programs could be helpful for your future career? Improving your intercultural people skills?

absolutely diverse
Last semester, some of our international exchange students created an intercultural blog in order to try their hands at “citizen journalism”- as a preparation for a two weeks Erasmus Intensive Program in Izmir, Turkey. The seminar was about “journalism”. Lecturers and students from five different countries meet in one university, learn and work in international groups and spend their free time together for two weeks. Both, teachers and students have the chance to develop internationally and improve their social skills by working in teams with people from different cultural backgrounds.

absolutely shocked
So the students tried out citizen journalism as a preparation for their joint seminar in Turkey. As a preparation the group produced short audio files which describe their intercultural experiences in a foreign country. They were quite shocked by some conventions in these countries.

absolutely Erasmus
You may be asking yourself how these international seminars can be financed in times where all universities are hit by severe budget cuts. You are right, such complex international projects can be quite expensive. 25 students and lecturers have to travel by airplane and trains to the partner university and once in the foreign country they need accommodation and food, too. The costs for this international experience could be an insurmountable problem for students. In order to lower that hurdle students who are interested in intercultural experiences are supported by funding programs like the European Erasmus Program, which covers a part of the costs. What is your opinion about subsidizing international student excursions with European taxpayer’s money? Is this money really well spent? Matthew, Tehlia, and Lucy are going to give us some reasons why such study trips should be sponsored.

absolutely helpless
Even with the European funding, of course, the participants of the seminar in Turkey also needed to exchange money from Euros to Turkish Liras. In our last category “absolutely helpless” one lecturer shares how something simple like exchanging money can turn into an intercultural learning process, too. Reka, from Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary, shares her trouble in a bank.

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 6 September 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

 

Editor: Younes Jaber

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absolutely intercultural 168 +++ I Go To China +++ English class +++ interns

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timetable readingIf you like the podcast then LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HERE! The FaceBook link which has generated the most interest recently was a graphic representing the intercultural skills most valued by employers which we found on the British Council’s blog. These turned out to be colleagues who understand, accept and adapt to cultural differences. So let’s see how much understanding, acceptance and adapting we hear about as we explore the social enterprise called I Go To China.

absolutely social
I first met Lu Yin from China in Denmark. Lu is now back in China running a group of companies which work to overcome the gap caused by poor English language teaching outside of China’s well known cities. He does this by arranging for Westerners to come and teach English to children at weekend schools as well as matching university interns with smaller Chinese companies which could use English speakers to reach a Western market. So let’s go absolutely social and hear first about the schools…and then more about Lu’s internship scheme.

We also hear from one of the teachers that Lu has recruited. I spoke to Alejandro Bueno about why he went to China to join Lu teaching English. The newest recruit is Ignasi, who, unlike Alejandro, had never been to China before his assignment with I Go To China. So there were pros and cons of going to China to teach English, to work as an intern or to do both!

So how much understanding, acceptance and adaptation did you hear? You’re welcome to leave us a comment here on our blog or on our facebook page or YouTube channel. And if you are interested in a Chinese adventure then contact me directly.

absolutely Amazon
If you buy through our Amazon store you don’t pay any more while we get a little bit of the price which helps to pay our podcast costs. You will find links to our Amazon store on our Facebook page also. If you know of an item which we should add then do let us know. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.

My co-host Laurent Borgmann is in Turkey at the moment with some of his students undertaking a citizen journalism project so expect to hear more about that soon perhaps on August 2nd when the next show will come out. So stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

absolutely intercultural 167 +++ citizen journalism +++ foreign experiences +++ special needs +++ storybud

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Storybud-podcast-image

Our international exchange students from different cultural backgrounds sometimes describe their first cultural experiences in their new surroundings as if they had “intercultural special needs”. They say their experience is as if they were re-learning to walk, or as if their vision was impaired and they needed to navigate very carefully in their new surroundings, for example during their first trip to the supermarket or to the gym. Have you had that experience yourself? That in a foreign culture you suddenly felt as if you could not move normally but it seemed as if you were walking with crutches while everybody else did not have that impediment and seemed perfectly comfortable in the situation?

In this episode we will talk to Judit from Hungary and Thelia from Australia who will share their experiences in Germany which made them feel like they have ‘special needs’.
We will also speak to Paul Halligan, from Ireland, who will tell us about everyday challenges of people who really do have special needs in the medical sense, in this case visually impaired people. Paul tells us how he helps these people.

absolutely foreign
Two international exchange students Judit and Thelia have designed an audio blog in order to try their hands at “citizen journalism”. Citizen journalism is a new kind of reporting which is done by the public, by people like you and me, usually through social media such as Facebook,  Youtube, blogs, etc. Citizen journalism allows us to see what is really happening in the world. Judit’s and Tehlia’s blog examines cultural diversity experiences among their international friends who live abroad. Their slogan is: “Citizen Journalism – giving a Voice to Diversity”. So they collect some intercultural experiences and record them as audio files for their blog.

absolutely special needs
Thelia and Judit mentioned that as foreigners in a new culture somehow they felt like people with special needs. But now we will turn to people who really do have special needs, in the medical sense of the word, in this case people who find it difficult to read from conventional computer screens. Can you imagine how these visually impaired people handle their everyday life – including their computer work? Solving communication challenges which aren’t problematic for sighted people? I interviewed Paul Halligan from Ireland. He is partially sighted and he is going to tell us about one of his everyday challenges as a Daddy with “special needs”: reading bedtime stories to his children…

absolutely intuitive
Visually impaired people struggle with technical and emotional challenges which sighted people cannot even imagine. However, their medical limitations can also lead to a heightened problem-solving ability as in Paul’s case. He told us about his dream which some years ago he put into practice. He created a storytelling website which is made for visually impaired people – but not just for them – everybody can profit from it, also language learners as the special help that Paul offers will also empower them to understand the stories better.

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 5 July 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

Editor: Younes Jaber

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absolutely intercultural 166 +++ slavery +++ NoProject +++ HotHouseProductions +++ Clandfield +++ Request Dance Crew

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If you like the podcast then LIKE US ON FACEBOOK HERE! Congratulations to DIANA STROHMAIER  who was our 200th like on Facebook! We hope you like the links we post there periodically.
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absolutely YouTube!
See this show on our new YouTube channel to see a wider selection of the art associated with our topic today.

absolutely no excuse
We are devoting the whole show to the topic of modern slavery and why we are all involved in sustaining this evil even though we may consider it to be going on very far away. There’s basically only one strand to today’s show and that is that there is absolutely no excuse. You will be hearing from Judy, who started the NoProject, Lindsay Clandfield about why it’s difficult to get the topic of slavery into course books, from Ismini Black about why she produces art about the slave trade and from Cody Brotter who wrote the two minute awareness raising video, ‘Now You Know‘ for a global audience.

absolutely hiphop
Request Dance Crew

absolutely Amazon
If you buy through our Amazon store you don’t pay any more while we get a little bit of the price which helps to pay our podcast costs. You will find links to our Amazon store on our Facebook page also. If you know of an item which we should add then do let us know. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on June 7th with Laurent Borgmann so until then stay tuned!

Links

The NoProject

Now You Know

HotHouse Productions

Request Dance Crew

Dark Side of Chocolate

RSA Animate ‘The Empathic Civilisation’

The host of this show is: Anne Fox 

absolutely intercultural 165 +++ volunteering +++ European Voluntary Service +++ workcamps +++ West and North Africa +++ Southeast Turkey +++ Ramadan

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youth_in_action2

 

What are the pictures that you have in your mind when you think about “volunteer work“? Do you think of people travelling to developing countries and teaching people the right way to do things? Is “volunteerism” the new “colonialism” dressed up in 21st century social responsibility? Or could it be a way for the volunteers to learn some new skills? And, do you even have to go abroad or is it possible to volunteer and learn new things through volunteerism in your own hometown from other cultures? In this episode we will talk to Elena Colunga Caballero and John Kaethler from Brock University in Canada who will demonstrate that volunteering is much more about learning than about teaching.

absolutely reciprocal
Elena is from Spain, where the majority of people are Christians. Through her international volunteer work she has developed an intercultural sensivity and awareness of different traditions and ways of thinking. She tells us how she embarked on this intercultural learning journey thanks to her parents, who encouraged her to get involved in a volunteering project at high school. Later she collaborated in an association called “Kala – Encuentro en la Calle”, located in her city , Córdoba, in the South of Spain whose aim it is to support children and young homeless and unprotected migrants from the Northern and Sub Saharan Africa.  Also, a couple of years ago she was nominated to participate in a workcamp in the region of Kurdistan, in South Eastern Turkey. She is convinced that volunteering is a great recipe for reciprocal learning.

absolutely inexperienced
Some time ago I interviewed John Kaethler from Brock University in Canada who told me that he had volunteered for two years as a development worker in Nigeria and again for two years in Papua New Guinea a long time ago. He points out that the international volunteer workers need to understand that THEY are the ones who are learning a lot and are growing in the process…

absolutely open-minded
In our last category “absolutely open-minded” we will come back to the intercultural learning process triggered by international volunteer work. Elena tells us about a situation during which she learned about the frictions between the Kurdish and Turkish people and how the exposure to this conflict helped her accept the coexistence of different opinions on the same reality. This seems to be the key to intercultural open-mindedness. She also shares her first experience of Ramadan in a region with a majority Muslim population. We also learn that typical international volunteers seem to have some characteristics in common and finally she gives us some advice of how to start a volunteering experience through the European Voluntary Service.

Would you like to share with us your own experience as a volunteer in your own country or abroad? If so, we would be delighted to hear both positive and negative aspects of it, so don´t hesitate and share your intercultural experiences with it with us on our Facebook Page.

If you want even more background as to broader issues behind our intercultural stories in this podcast then you might consider visiting the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store where we have both classics, basics and specifics for sale, a small proportion of which goes to us to support the costs of maintaining this podcast.

Our next show will be coming to you on 3  May 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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absolutely intercultural 164 +++ UniKey +++ entrepreneurial skills +++ Sugata Mitra +++ internships +++ Fulda University

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2012_09_03_course_graph_v5In this show we’ll be hearing about a new online training for foreign interns and if you decide this could be for you then you have the chance to take part free of charge starting in March! And not only that, if you take part in the course you could be in the running for a free trip to Brussels in September.

absolutely fake
My name’s Anne Fox and I wonder if you guessed correctly which of the stories we told you in the last show were true or not? Do you remember that we were asking students to imagine themselves in a future scenario where they take an internship abroad and some of them were true and some were not! This was a demonstration of the old adage ‘Fake it til you make it’ and we’re hoping that the effort that Younes & Philipp put into their stories will lead them to put at least some parts of their stories into practice anyway. You can read their comments about their plans on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page.

absolutely self-organised
And it was through Facebook that I discovered that Professor Sugata Mitra who was featured in Show 72, has been awarded the TED prize for 2013. TED is a growing bank of short talks by inspirational speakers which are freely available on the Internet. Every TED speaker is asked to describe their dream and this year it is Sugata Mitra who gets to put his  into practice. Mitra’s research shows that we are are all capable of learning wherever we are and he wants to apply these findings to provide education in areas where it is poor or non-existent. And now with the prize money he has a million dollars to start realizing his dream.

absolutely entrepreneurial
So we’re in the middle of a financial crisis; there’s high graduate unemployment so maybe it’s a good idea for graduates of any discipline to find out more about how business works? They can do this through sponsored internships but today we’re going to hear about asking the interns to also follow a course during their internship to really get them noticing these entrepreneurial processes.  And you could join them! The first pilot has just ended and we’ll be hearing from two interns who took the course and if you like what you hear and are planning to be an intern by April then why not apply to join the second pilot? The application form is at the Unikey website or you can contact me through our Facebook page or here on our blog.

The project is called UniKey where we invite foreign interns to go absolutely entrepreneurial. We hear first from a couple of the project partners and their vision of the UniKey project, Christina Langsdorf  and Professor Dr Carsten Müller who teaches business subjects at Fulda University. The UniKey course is aimed at foreign interns, who are based in small and medium sized organisations and also social enterprises and the course is based on authentic entrepreneurial situations. We also hear from Nina Raiss, a German doing an internship in France, about why she agreed to do an additional Unikey online course on top of her internship.

We also meet Collette Wanjugu Döppner, the UniKey course director who you will meet online if you decide to do the course.

And as if it wasn’t enough to be doing a course on top of an internship, we added a slight gaming element in the form of extra challenges which were not compulsory. But if you did do them, there was a chance of winning a trip to Brussels. I was able to catch up with two of the winners and asked them about their motivation: first Nina Raiss,  and then Torsten Scheithauer who is doing his internship in Northern Ireland.

There are lots of other added touches to the UniKey course and one of them is the opportunity to meet with a different entrepreneur or expert in each of the seven modules and ask them questions. For example in the third module which looks at ethical dilemmas we meet Ilona Jehn who worked at Lufthansa Cargo.

So if you want to join the next course starting at the end of March then apply now! And full disclosure: I am a partner in the project which is why I know so much about it!

absolutely Amazon
By the way I just added a resource to the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store, a sort of do it yourself multimedia course in intercultural competence called Komunipass. If you buy through our Amazon store you don’t pay any more while we get a little bit of the price which helps to pay our podcast costs. You will find links to our Amazon store on our Facebook page also. If you know of an item which we should add then do let us know. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on April 5th with Laurent Borgmann so until then stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editing done with the help of Hindenburg Journalist Pro











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