absolutely intercultural 86 +++ Virtual mobility +++ C-shock +++

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In this show we will be going virtual, as we have done several times before, to explore two more aspects of the impact of the digital revolution. When he’s not podcasting, my co-host, Laurent Borgmann spends a great deal of his time encouraging his students to try a period abroad either as a student or as an intern but what about the idea of virtual mobility? I talked with Eva Abramuszkinová who is part of a European project which is trying to make it easy for students to be able to take part of their course at another university but virtually.

Fortunately for Laurent there are still many students who prefer to experience their mobility in the real world and it is for these people that the University of Portsmouth in the UK has developed an orientation game called C-Shock. The idea is that in playing the game you find out important things about being a student in the UK, such as normal behaviour in student accommodation, outside in public, everyday clothing and personal space. But does it work? I got a guinea-pig to try it out with me. And as you can hear, the consequences can be quite serious!

absolutely virtual:
Why would a university student choose to take part of a course as a virtual student rather than travelling abroad and getting the whole immersion experience? That was one of the questions I had for Eva Abramuszkinová from Newton College in the Czech Republic. The intercultural survival kit for the Ready for Virtual Mobility project can be found here.

absolutely playful:
A common dilemma in intercultural communication training is whether it should be culture specific (about one specific culture) or culture general. And by culture specific, we usually mean those types of courses which try to prepare you for work in Japan, India or some other specific location. But this is looking at culture specific from one end of the telescope. At the other end of the telescope is the receiving culture and there, the problem is, how do we prepare people from all over the world, to cope with living and working in exactly this place? The University of Portsmouth in the UK has tackled this challenge in part by making a culture orientation game called C-shock available online. Presumably the idea is that prospective students play the game to find out more about the UK and university life before they arrive or maybe even before they make a decision to come to the UK as against any other country. I explored C-Shock with my daughter who is a little microphone shy. So, useful? Accurate? I’d love to know what you think. Why not go to www.c-shock.com and try out the game yourself then leave a comment on our blog about how you did, whether you learned anything new or how it plays as a game. Or if you are a teacher you could give us some ideas about how to include this game in a lesson or project.

The next show will be coming to you on 10 July from Germany.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Editor: Jan Warnecke

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