absolutely intercultural 16 +++ Moët et Chandon +++ Internships in France +++ Bilingualism +++ Intercultural faux pas +++


Using cultural informants from your own personal network.

Absolutely interactive highlights the Crossing Borders forum which aims to foster intercultural dialogue.

In Absolutely Personal we talk to Greg Houfe who had two French internships almost twenty years ago as part of his degree in European Business Administration.
Looking back did he think working at Moët et Chandon benefited him? Would he now employ a former intern preferentially over someone who had not had this type of experience?

In Absolutely Linguistic I talked with Gwen and Mia, 12 and 9, who are bilingual in Danish and English. Does this affect their identity? Do they mix the languages up?

And finally in Absolutely Confidential I talked to Tony Fox who was caught out in a conference in Germany recently.
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 15 +++ Practical training, internships and studies abroad +++ Culture as the software of the mind +++

Go abroad! And why not to Germany?
You will hear reports, stories and even some advice of people who went abroad to do an internship or to study at a foreign university.

Marie from Sweden for example has done both. First she did an internship in Germany and then, because she liked it so much, she came back about a year later to study here at the RheinAhrCampus for a whole semester.
Karsten tells us a little about what he experienced during his time in Sweden, where he did both, work and study at the University of Umea at the same time.
Alessandro La Blunda gives us some insights into his six months internship in Shanghai, which he just recently finished.
And Professor Mert Cubukcu from the University of Izmir, Turkey, tells us why he recommendes studying in Germany to all of his students.

Right after that we return to one of our regular columns: “Culture as the software of the mind”. Inspired by one of your comments we take a look at the question: “Where do we get our software from, how does it get installed in our minds- and how can we eventually de-install it if we need to”. We had a little round table talk with Jean Lennox, an Irish-English friend of ours.

And in the end we once again try to answer the question: “What is culture?” And this time the answer comes from Roxanna and Nils, two students from the USA and Germany, who took part in the Hessen Global Summer Internship Program organized by the institute inter.research and the Universities of Hessen/Germany.
The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited by: Karsten Kneese

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 14 +++ World Music Festival in Grenaa +++ Greenland – Danish or Greenlandic? +++

Danish World Music and how to survive in Greenland without speaking Greenlandic.
Click on the image to see the larger version

This is Grenaa. People don’t dance here!

We hear snippets from the first World Music Festival in Grenaa where the idea was to celebrate the diverse musical talents now to be found within Denmark’s borders. The quote is from the Katamanto Highlife Orchestra set. We also hear a snippet of the Klezmer music of Mames Babegenush.

The one you throw stones at.

This is the Greenlandic way of referring to the ptarmigan bird. So how realistic is it that someone working in Greenland will learn Greenlandic? Jens Nyeland worked for three years as a scientific advisor regarding the sustainable use of seabirds and talks about the difficulties of the Greenlandic language.

You couldn’t go anywhere.

Regitze Nyeland describing the effect of the Greenlandic winters which she otherwise
found very easy to live with. How did she fare with the Greenlandic language in her
job dealing with youth problems in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk?

Picture credit: The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in Greenland by Jens Nyeland
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 13 +++ The Scholar Ship +++ Re-entry shocks +++ Culture as a mosaic +++

An intercultural university on a boat, how to deal with re-entry shocks and a great metaphor for culture.

!!! If you had any problems downloading this episode with iTunes or another podcatcher, please try again now. I made a mistake by including the wrong file in the feed, but I’ve fixed the problem. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope, you’ll enjoy the show !!!

Thomas Berger and Bill Nolting at the NAFSA conference

Welcome to episode 13, which comes to you in parts from the NAFSA conference in Canada.

Curious things are happening around us and our show and we seem to become rather famous – or should we say infamous?

We had a rather serious research article of no less than 11 pages written about our first show by Fred Dervin from the Department of French Studies at the University of Turku in Finland.
Paul Braddock has developed a lesson plan, also for our first show. This is absolutely amazing! He has taken our show, transcribed it and developed several exercises, including listening comprehension and some games. Paul, thank you so much! We are really honored.

And another amazing thing has happened. Two good friends of us have produced a show for us. Thomas Berger and Theo Schenk both work for the intstitute inter.research in Fulda, and Thomas recently went to the NAFSA conference in Canada, where he recorded several absolutely fantastic interviews with:

  • Bill Nolting, head of the NAFSA Education Abroad Subcommittee, about his experiences as a student in Germany
  • Dr. Josef Orlander, captain of the The Scholar Ship, which is an intercultural university aboard a cruiseliner
  • Alice Wu, an intercultural consultant and teacher at Cornell University, about re-entry shocks, and how to avoid them.
  • And Charles Hodgson from Podictionary explains how the word “ciao” came into the English language.

We are also trying to answer one of our regular questions: What is culture? So let’s listen to the ideas of Rhiannon and Victor, two students from Canada and the USA who took part in the Hessen Global Summer Internship Program organized by the institute inter.research e.V. and the Universites of Hessen/Germany.

You see, the show is packed with interesting reports, and we really hope you will enjoy listening to it.
And speaking about conferences…Laurent, Thomas and other project partners from Sweden and Spain will be at the EAIE conference in Basel, Switzerland from 12th until 15th of September. So if you happen to be there, then why don’t you join our roundtable session in intercultural preparation of internships abroad at the EAIE on the 15th of September.

The next episode will come to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on the 22nd of September.
The Hosts of this show are: Dr. Laurent Borgmann, Thomas Berger & Theo Schenk
Edited by: Karsten Kneese & Theo Schenk

The music in this show comes from Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 12 +++ Adult education in Israel +++ EFL Bridges +++ Online courses for deaf people +++

Show number 12 centres on Israel.

Absolutely Educational
‘Deaf people in general don’t feel they are handicapped. They just feel they have a different cultural view of the world but not handicapped and Elaine’s students are very often surprised by this.’
Harry Markowicz, Gallaudet University, Washington DC, USA

‘It’s one of those courses that students say they’ll never forget. The course changed their outlook on life. But the course wasn’t complete because they didn’t supply air tickets to meet up face to face after the end of the course!’
Elaine Hoter, Talpiot College, Tel Aviv, Israel about her collaboration with Harry Markowicz’z students.

‘[It’s] not trying to be like the other person but trying to understand what we have in common.’
Elaine Hoter talking about the current situation in Israel.

‘The gaps in Israel are tremendous. If they can teach their children without prejudice towards the other populations and can give a feeling of bonding, love and friendship, even in a small way I think that we’ve made a step in a big way towards changing attitudes between different people.’
Elaine Hoter about the collaboration between student teachers of different faiths in Israel.

Absolutely addictive
‘If you came to Israel for just one month and see what happens really in Israel and see the real news…’
Part of the conversation at EFL Bridges on August 2nd.
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 11 +++ Beirut before and during the war +++ Games for change +++

Beirut – before and during the war.

One week before the current crisis started, I went to Beirut, to visit colleagues at the St. Joseph University in the center of Beirut. For the last couple of years we have developed a Master course at the University in Intercultural Mediation, and in early July I recorded several interviews with Stefan Bazan, who over the years has become a good friend of mine.

We’ve talked about all sorts of things, for example how he came to Lebanon six years ago, how he met his wife or why there are two different currencies in the country. Well, in the current situation of course these subjects seem very trivial, but we’ve decided to follow those interviews up and compare them to the reality now. I interviewed Stefan on the phone on Friday, the 4th of August, to see what had changed since the war began and I left Beirut.

Stefan will happily provide you with up to date information about the current situation in Lebanon. You can get in touch with him by writing him an email or by leaving a comment on his blog.

Stefan’s Emailaddress: stefan.bazan [@] usj.edu.lb
Stefan’s blog in French
The war in Lebanon is unfortuantely not the only one in the world. There are many other conflicts and crises going on of which many of us only hear on the news. And don’t we all judge the situation by the little information we get?
Well, the “Games for Change” movement provides all of us with a new way of getting a better understanding, for example the crisis in Darfur or the complex situation between Israel and Palestine. At the end of the show you’ll hear a clip from the show ‘Video Games for a Better World’, produced by the “Here on Earth: Radio without borders” program at Wisconsin Public Radio in the United States.”
The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Edited by: Berit Wiebe & Karsten Kneese

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ 10 +++ Culture shocks +++ Intercultural running dinner +++

Welcome to the 10th show of ‘absolutely intercultural!’, which this time features three of our many different columns:

Click to see full sizeAbsolutely Personal: ‘The streets have no name.’

How do you react when you first arrive in a culture which is completely different to the one you are used to? I talked to South African, Mark Anderson about the disorientation he felt when he went to work in South Korea and experienced for himself what is commonly termed culture shock.

He talks about being faced with a supermarket full of items which he could not recognise and this reminded me of the ice cream I bought in China in 2002 thinking it was strawberry or raspberry flavoured. The packaging is pictured. Can you work out what the main ingredient turned out to be?

Absolutely National:
‘I found these people extremely interesting – for many reasons, one of them being the sense of equality and egalitarianism that existed among them.’

There is a lot to be learned about different cultures without even travelling. Mark Anderson, brought up under the Apartheid system in South Africa, noticed straight away that the Danes that he met in his native Cape Town had a different way of relating to people than he was used to.

Absolutely inspired:

‘That was one of the major concerns before the project.’

How can a dating agency make a national impact on inter-cultural dialogue? This is a piece about one woman who had an inspired idea about how to initiate contact between the immigrant community in Denmark and the so-called liver paté Danes (this being the most popular topping for the Danish packed lunch). Listen to find out what the concern was and whether it was justified.

We hope you enjoy the show and tune in again on the 11th of August for show #11 from Germany.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #9

Our ninth show is coming to you from London, so let’s have a look at our absolutely intercultural stations today.

In our last show we’ve talked about “culture as the software of the mind”, and we continue our discussion about viruses in our column ‘absolutely theoretical’.

Right after that Thomas tells us for our column ‘absolutely personal’ about an important update he and about 60 millions Britains didn’t get…the introduction of the Euro.

For our column ‘absolutely educational’ Laurent went to International House to meet Jack Lonergan. He follows up our question whether culture can be taught or not, and he gives some examples of how small adjustments can make a huge difference if we pay attention to the cultural needs of minorities.

We end the show with a completely new column: ‘absolutely incredible…but true’.

And to save the best for last, Laurent is going to sing for us! So please stay tuned and do not switch off before Laurent starts. =)

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Karsten Kneese
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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #8

This episode comes from Portugal where we begin with a colourful street parade which includes a mass wedding.

We visit ELO SOCIAL, a place where disabled adults can work, rest and play and talk to Luisa, one of the staff..

The German station has noticed the many German flags flying on the occasion of the World Cup and ask themselves about the significance of national flags in different cultures.
Flags were also prominent in Portugal and we hear from Cristina Costa, a teacher of English at the Naval Academy of Lisbon about how she feels seeing all these flags.

My visit to Portugal was to work on the idea of how mentoring could help disabled people into the workplace. I talked to Nikolaos Floratos about the attitude of Greek employers to this idea as we walked around the palace at Sintra.

Next I talked to Vladimir Plesnik of Reintegra in the Czech Republic who had a good reason to welcome the idea of mentoring in his country.

The music was provided by Panteras Negras, the ELO SOCIAL rock band.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #7


Go Sweden!
Welcome to the 7th episode of ‘absolutely intercultural!’.

After a round of feedback we continue our discussoin about “Culture as the software of the mind” in our column ‘absolutely theoretical!’. We talk about how we integrate updates into our daily lifes and will continue the next time with another aspect.

OK, and we couldn’t help noticing that there is something going on in Germany right now – The FIFA World Cup 2006, so the rest of this show is devoted to the game of all games!

For our column ‘absolutely personal!’ Anne interviewed John Brodie, a member of the tartan army, about a trip to Belarus he made last year and why he is cheering for the Togolese team right now in Germany.

Right after that we have a report of an eyewitness of the match Sweden vs. Trinidad & Tobago. Marie Nilsson from Sweden will let us sneak a peek into the stadium.

And for the last part of the show, which we might call ‘absolutely prepared!’, Laurent has interviewed Dr. Beate Blüggel, who works for the “Deutsche Volkshochschulverband” and who has organized the welcoming of millions of fans from all over the world in German trainstations.

We hope you enjoy the show. Please let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment here on the blog or by writing us an email. You are of course always welcome to send us an audiocomment and make suggestions on what we should talk about in our shows.

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Karsten Kneese
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