absolutley intercultural is nominated for an Edublog Award – please vote for us

It happened again! Our podcast has been nominated for an Edublog Award in the category “Best Audio and/or Visual Blog“.

We are really honored by the nomination and would like to thank YOU, our listeners, for making this possible.

Well, and now we of course want to win the award. So please go to the Edublog Award website and vote for ‘absolutely intercultural!’.

We will keep you up to date about the results.

As always…stay tuned!

P.S.: Please don’t forget our frappr-competition. Remember, you can win a free trip to Germany!

absolutely intercultural 19 +++ Win a trip to Germany +++ GO OUT +++ Managing Cultural Diversity +++ Fruits and Condoms +++

Win a trip to Germany – GO OUT – Managing Cultural Diversity – Fruits and Condoms

Add pin number 100 on our frappr-map and win a trip to Germany! Do you want to know how? Then please read the first comment to this posting.

Absolutely International: We hear about the GO OUT campaign, which has been initiated by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Absolutely Diverse: How can intercultural diversity be managed? And why should it be managed? Marlén, one of the lecturers of the seminar, provides you with the answers.

Absolutely Student Like: We have asked the participants of our Managing Cultural Diversity Seminar to generalize a little and describe student life in their home countries, and what they think makes it different from the life of students in other countries. So let’s listen to Sami from Finland, Anita from Hungary and Anders from Sweden.

Absolutely Prepared: Vera Klopprogge from Fulda tells us about her internship at the HIV/AIDS department of the World Health Organisation in Copenhagen, why she went abroad in the first place and what fruits have to do with condoms.

The next show will be coming to you on the 15th of December from Anne Fox in Denmark.

Until then…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited by: Karsten Kneese


absolutely intercultural 18 +++ The BOBs +++ UK & NATO +++ schooling & worklife balance +++

You will hear about The BOBs, the GO OUT campaign and what British schools and the army have in common.

Absolutely Fantastic: The support you gave us for The BOBs was absolutely fantastic and thank you to everybody who voted, commented and listened. We came third in the user prize category and that is solely down to your votes. Add your comments here or send us a mail or audio message to let us know how we can be number one next year.

Absolutely Mobile: Laurent and Karsten from the Fachhochschule Koblenz, Germany, give you some background information on the “GO OUT” campaign initiated by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. During this week students can prepare themselves for a semester abroad, both, at a partner university or in a company.

Absolutely Personal: The show concentrates on two individuals who both went to work for a period in the UK.

First we hear from Dane, Tommy Søholm, who went for three years working for NATO in the UK. Life was not as regimented as you might think for Tommy the soldier, but on the other hand even his youngest child was drafted into the disciplined ranks of the British schooling system much to everybody’s surprise in the family.

Then we hear from Yogesh Bang, a software engineer based in India who has been posted abroad for short periods on assignment several times now. Hear what he has to say about the work life balance and the concern shown to him by his landlady in the UK as he went off for a weekend in Chester.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on the 1st of December.

Until then…stay tuned!
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox


absolutely intercultural 17 +++ The BOBs +++ Borrowed Identities +++ European Students +++

Borrowed Identities – European Student Now!

Borrowed Identities Have you ever thought about your own identity? Or about borrowing another identity to see what it is like to live the life of somebody else? Have you ever marveled about how your life would have been if you grew up in another country? Or if you were a homeless person?

Well, in this episode we try to answer those questions as we talk about a European project which we’ve started recently together with students in Sweden, Spain, England and Hungary.

The title of the project is “Borrowed Identities”, and to cast a little light on this we have interviewed Vy, Lili, Jessica and Ross from the School of Languages at the University in Brighton and Pat Shrimpton from the University of Umea in the north of Sweden.
And please also have a look at the “Achill 2006” website, which documents a very similar previous project.

And, of course, we say hello to our listeners TT and Veronique from the USA, and Halla in Saudi Arabia who have put their pins on our frappr map. We talk about the feedback we’ve received from you, and about the nomination of ‘absolutely intercultural!’ as one of the 10 best podcasts for The BOBs award.

Well, we hope you will enjoy the show and are looking forward to your comments.

The next show will be coming to you on the 17th of November from Anne Fox in Denmark.

Until then…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited by: Karsten Kneese


‘absolutely intercultural!’ has been nominated for a BOB Award – Please vote for us

Our podcast has been nominated as one of the 10 best podcasts for The BOBs, the Best Of Blogs award and is currently in the final competition for fame and fortune!
Well, it is rather fame than fortune, but we are really honored and, of course, now we really want to win the award. It is given out by the Deutsche Welle radio, which is comparable to the BBC World Service, but for Germany.

You can help us by going to The BOBs website, where you can vote for ‘absolutely intercultural’. Once you have followed the link, please look for the part where it says “Best Podcast” and tick ‘absolutely intercultural!’.

Please vote for us.

Then please scroll down to the end of the page, fill in your name and your email address and click on “Send”.

That is it!

It doesn’t even take a minute, and we would really appreciate your help.
You can also leave a rating and a comment for our show, and, while you’re at it, put your pin on our frappr-map. =)

Oh, and please tell all your friends and colleagues about this. The competition is quite tough, and every vote is important.

The next regular episode of ‘absolutely intercultural!’ will be coming to you on the 3rd of November.

Thank you very much…and please stay tuned!
Anne Fox
, Laurent Borgmann & Karsten Kneese


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


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


‘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


‘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


‘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