December – in the north of Europe this means Christmas trees, mulled wine, lots of snow and if you are lucky you may spot the odd reindeer. In our show today I asked how my guests celebrate Christmas in Australia, England, Germany, Singapore and Eritrea but also how people formulate their New Year’s resolutions in different cultures.
Christmas celebrations differ around the globe but typically involve gatherings of family and friends and indulging in rich and glorious food and drink. When talking about Christmas, everyone seems to have their own ideal view of what “Christmas” should be all about, which, however, varies greatly from country to country. For me, as a child, Christmas meant spending the holy evening with my family, singing traditional, often gloomy German Christmas songs, remembering previous Christmases and excitedly anticipating the moment where I get to un-wrap my gifts. For the last 25 years, I have been abroad in different countries for that period of year, experiencing different intercultural traditions. I have been fortunate enough to meet people from all around the world and hear about how they spend their festive night.
Yes it may be cliché Scottish music, but Amazing Grace is the only bagpipe music that I could find with a Creative Commons licence, and I did like a bit of bagpipe music when I lived in Scotland a long time ago. A couple of months ago I was on a trip to Scotland where all the talk was about the Scottish referendum so I thought I would talk to a few people about it, but would they talk to me? Continue reading Scotland +++ referendum +++ Ewan McIntosh +++ Absolutely Intercultural 184 +++
Isn’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.
Are 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.
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. Continue reading Admit See +++ China +++ France +++ study abroad +++ Absolutely Intercultural 180 +++
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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?”
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 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!