Tag Archive for 'absolutely intercultural'

Absolutely Intercultural 181 +++ Germany +++ German Habits +++ Intercultural Experiences In Germany +++ Language Barrier +++ Students Blog +++

Ha World CupAre 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.

absolutely legal
I interviewed Matt Schroeder an American from South Carolina of German decent.
He spent one month at RheinAhrCampus in Germany and is going to share some personal experiences he made during his stay.
He noticed several cultural differences – even the laws on campus seem to be different.

 absolutely exotic
I interviewed Gia from Vietnam, Kristina from Lithuania and Christian from Germany.
They share some very interesting first-hand intercultural experiences with us.
But first of all I asked them if they have had difficulties approaching people and making friends in Germany

absolutely informed
If you are thinking about studying in Germany for a semester or two and you want to get an idea of what it is like you had better listen to Adelheid Korpp. She is going to tell us about a Blog which is managed by the international students themselves – with the aim of sharing their intercultural experiences with future international students.

And please visit our Facebook page.

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Editor: Younes Jaber

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Admit See +++ China +++ France +++ study abroad +++ Absolutely Intercultural 180 +++

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.

I must admit that one of my first thoughts was, wouldn’t this lead to plagiarism, but AdmitSee have thought of that too and they put all material through plagiarism software before allowing it to be part of their website. Plagiarism is also a reason to be banned from using the site.

I got to talk to four people from Admit See and along the way I learned a great deal about the differences between applying to universities in different countries. You will find the link to AdmitSee dot com on our blog at absolutely dash intercultural dot com as well as a short promotional video which explains how it works.

For example I learned that in China there are different high school courses depending on whether you plan to go to university in China or abroad. I also learned that hiring an agent to help you with your university application does not always help anyway.

absolutely entrepreneurial
It’s always interesting to find out where ideas for new businesses come from so that was one of my first questions when I had the chance to talk to AdmitSee’s co-founder Stephanie Shyu. So let’s go absolutely entrepreneurial and find out what prompted her to start this business. It looks as though your own immediate context has a lot to do with what type of business idea you’re going to come up with.

absolutely home-based
Next I had a very short chat with Ilse Calderon, another AdmitSee employee, who told me about the big differences she found between starting at university in France and the US.

absolutely complicated
The next AdmitSee employee I talked to has himself been through the confusing process of trying to get a college place while based in China by putting his trust in a third party. Let’s hear why it is so absolutely complicated.

And finally we hear from Mindy Zhou, whose aunt in China found another way to prepare her son for college in America.

So thanks to AdmitSee for getting in touch with us and for being willing to share all their stories. I certainly learned a great deal about the problems faced by applicants outside the US although AdmitSee is also useful for American High Schoolers. It all seems very different from my own experience of using the centralised British  UCAS system many years ago.

Now this podcast is coming out on the 4rth of July so if you are American what does the 4rth of July mean to you? And if you are outside the USA, do you celebrate anyway? Or does it feel odd when all around you just carry on as normal? Let us know as a comment to this blog post or as a comment on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page . In my next show I’ll be featuring someone who got in touch with us through our Facebook page. You’ll have to wait until September to find out more!

We have over 350 likes at the moment so why not help us reach our next milestone before the next show on August 1st and like us on Facebook? Right now the FIFA World Cup is going on so you’ll find a few related posts, such as how the Dutch airline, KLM got it so wrong on Twitter and why the Swiss team is such a contradiction.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany with Laurent Borgmann on August 1st so until then, stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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Absolutely Intercultural 179 +++ Up With People +++ Social Intercultural Projects +++ Intercultural Behaviour +++ Intercultural Ambassador +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

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?”

And should we be worried about “passive traveling” – because it’s not just the person who went abroad who undergoes intercultural behavioral changes but also the people in the culture they visit who are influenced by the foreigner’s cultural behaviour.

Have you ever noticed serious changes in your own values and outlook on life after a longer stay abroad or even in your own culture by exposure to people from different cultures? Please don’t hesitate and share your experiences with us on our Facebook page.

absolutely up with people
There are a number of well-known non-profit organizations who manage social and intercultural projects all over the world. I was lucky enough to get in touch with representatives of Up with People. This organization combines education, international travel, leadership development, and art performances all with the aim to bring the world together through service learning and music. I asked Shamus and Brekken – who already took part in some of those organized, intercultural projects – to explain how it all works.

absolutely hands-on
I asked Shamus to explain to us why their “up with people-project” in Mexico was a kind of challenge and how that project was well illustrated by a tree of hope.

absolutely changed
Antao Moura from Brazil has also gained a great number of intercultural experiences during his life. Like Brekkan and Shamus he noticed that some of those experiences will change you and have a lasting impact your personal outlook on life. I asked Antao why, after so many travels to different parts of the world, he does not really feel typically Brazilian any longer.

absolutely ambassador
However, sometimes, when your character or your behavior has changed after a longer stay abroad, in touch with several different cultures, you remember and appreciate the benefits of your original culture. Gia and Anh – both native Vietnamese, studying in Finland and spending their semester abroad at RheinAhrCampus in Germany, will tell us what exactly has caused intercultural change and why. In various situations they have adopted the role as an intercultural ambassador.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 4th of July.

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 177 +++ Intercultural Complexity and Simplicity +++ Vietnam, Finland, and Germany +++ Differences in Everyday Cultural Conventions +++ Culture Shocks +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

Indochine057traffic jam webOur current exchange students from Vietnam and Lithuania are here in Germany studying and doing their internships. Within their first days after their arrival, they mentioned some cultural differences concerning the complexity and simplicity in their new lives and in their home countries. Cultural anthropologists have discovered and described differences in the level of cultural complexity in various parts of the world. But – as we know – the understanding of such a difficult and complicated phenomenon is not the same if you just read about it. Traveling around the world and getting in touch with many different cultures is probably the best way to understand how cultures – and especially cultural conventions – differ from country to country.

The grade of complexity of different cultures is difficult to measure – but perhaps quite easy to “feel out” when you are in that culture for the first time. Is it safe to assume that “older” cultures have developed more complexity? Is this a one-way street and do cultures become more and more complex over the centuries a little bit like our tax-law seems to be getting more and more complex because politicians discover loop-holes and try to add new rules to fix them?

absolutely different
Gia and Ahn, both native Vietnamese, studying in Finland and right now spending a semester abroad in Germany have had the opportunity to make a number of intercultural experiences. I asked them which intercultural differences they noticed first after their arrival to Europe – and if they maybe even have felt a “culture shock”.

absolutely polite
I interviewed two students – Simas from Lithuania and Tatjana from Germany and we got talking about what it means to be hospitable to your guests. If you offer food and they say “No thank you”, would you ask them again in your culture?

absolutely life-changing
We asked ourselves whether spending a long time in different countries – getting used to different cultural habits – may change your appreciation of your own native cultural conventions?
Gia and Anh have spent their holidays back home – in Vietnam – after spending a long time in Europe. I asked them if there was anything that made them feel uncomfortable in their “home-culture” – after such a long time of absence. Gia had a bit of a culture shock when her Mum and her friends gave her a lift on the scooter. All of a sudden the traffic in Ho-Chi-Minh City looked very frightening to her, too noisy and too crowded – in a word: too complex.

Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 2nd of May.

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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Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit +++ Ziegler +++ Small Planet Studio +++ Authentizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 176 +++

suitcase

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!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 175 +++ Australia Day +++ can-do attitude +++ the lucky country +++

Please put your headphones on and listen to Show 175 from Australia! If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

John Major, Bush Poet at Australia Day NoosaToday our show will take you to the “Lucky Country“,  where the inhabitants with distinctive multicultural backgrounds have developed a positive “can-do”- attitude and try to give everybody a “fair go”.

Listen to my interviewees in Australia.  On the last weekend in January we celebrated Australia Day, and I took along the microphone to share my impressions with you.

absolutely immigrated
Let us listen to two typical Australians whose ancestors came over from Europe. I met Vivian and Wayne in Sydney Harbour over coffee and with the beautiful view on the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and when I was conducting the interview I wished we had a video podcast so I could have shared with you a perfect hot summer morning in late December.

absolutely Aussi
Three weeks later I had left New South Wales and was back on the Sunshine Coast. Let us see whether in Queensland being Australian is also about football, meat pies, and BBQs. I asked some colleagues from the University of the Sunshine Coast how they were planning to celebrate Australia Day. Bishnu told us that when he first moved to Australia he did not really like eating lamb but now it has turned into his favourite dish. Talk about successful integration!

absolutely aboriginal
I am following up this topic of the first owners of the land and asked how the attitudes of ordinary Australians towards Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have changed over the years in society and in education.

absolutely multicultural
Every year the Australian of the Year is elected and this person will give important public speeches during that year. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to the speech of the outgoing Australian of the Year talking about attitudes to indiginous people and to multiculturalism in general. You could really see on Ita Buttrose’s face how happy she is that her ancestors came over to Australia in the 1850ies.

absolutely original
On 26 January I visited Australia Day in Noosa, Queensland, in search of examples and explanations of the”can-do” attitude, the “fair go” and the “Lucky Country”. I did not have to search long because the first person I met, John Major, “Bush Poet” and former farmer, explained to me in his own words what these Australian concepts are all about for him.

And do not miss the brass band at the beginning and the end of that interview!

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 7 March 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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Global +++ Clandfield +++ Gokun Silver +++ 4Cs +++ SIETAR +++ Ideal Global Life +++ Authentizen +++ Absolutely Intercultural 174

SummitCollage-Website-FixedHappy New Year!  So a new year traditionally means New Year resolutions and what could those be? Could they include improving your English? If so, have you ever wondered how difficult it is for course book writers to choose topics which will appeal to students all over the world? We’ll be hearing from Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the Global series of coursebooks about some of those issues. Maybe your New year’s resolution is learning about one intercultural diagnosis tool such as the 4 Cs of culture? If so then you will want to hear Margarita Gokun Silver explain what they are. Or maybe you want to make a huge change in your life but don’t know where to start. One step in that direction may be to attend the free Living Your Ideal Global Life summit starting on January 13th. We’ll be hearing from Sabrina Ziegler, one of the organisers about some more of the interesting angles about living abroad and what is possible in this connected world.

absolutely global
Have you ever wondered how your language course book gets written? In show 166 we heard about the topics that don’t make it into the course books, the so-called PARSNIP topics. But as I had Lindsay Clandfield, lead author of the new MacMillan Global series on the line, I took the opportunity to ask him how he decided what SHOULD go into his new coursebook. So let’s go absolutely global and start by asking why the world needed another coursebook for learning English!

absolutely how-to
Now I want to tell you about a new page on our website which is a 30 minute edited version of a workshop I did at the SIETAR Congress in Tallinn Estonia in September. The workshop was about podcasting for Intercultural trainers and we have released it as a special edition of the podcast on its own page.  Thanks to Sigvor Bakke from Norway who did a magnificent job of recording on her mobile phone including a short snippet where we were looking at why you might want to podcast. The snippet included Matthew Hill from the UK. And if you want to hear the whole 30 minutes where I go into more detail about the whys and wherefores then catch it on its dedicated page.

absolutely coached
In a globalised world it becomes even more important to understand intercultural dynamics within yourself and others. Margarita Gokun Silver told us about how accompanying spouses can be helped in Show 170. You may remember that Margarita is a trained coach so let’s ask if she has additional tools to help people deal with intercultural situations? Honouring your values is a key takeaway. Margarita’s website is at www.globalcoachcenter.com where you can find loads more information about the 4 Cs and intercultural coaching generally.  I have added the book mentioned by Margarita to the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store where you can find many other books relevant to intercultural communication. We receive a small amount of what you pay for every book which helps keep the site running. Browse our Amazon store here.

absolutely ideal
And finally, I return to the unique idea of the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit which is free and online for 5 days starting January 13th. In Show 172 one of the organisers, Sabrina Ziegler  of Authentizen , told us about a couple of the speakers so let’s go absolutely ideal as I asked Sabrina about Terry Rogocki’s contribution. Do you have any ideas about how to live your ideal global life? Don’t forget that the summit is free.

Don’t forget we also have a  Facebook Page where we recently got our 300th like! Welcome Hamdi Erestreams in Tunisia! Hope you are enjoying the page and the links we add there regularly.

The next show will be coming to you from Australia with Laurent Borgmann on February 7th so until then Happy New year!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

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 +++

If you like the podcast then please also LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!

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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