Soliya +++ Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange +++ African Science +++ Absolutely intercultural 232 +++

What is a virtual exchange? Maybe not what you think. We’ll be digging deeper into that in this special edition of Absolutely Intercultural coming to you from Denmark. My name’s Anne Fox and this is show 232. Today’s show is mainly about promoting dialogue between different groups of people. So what is dialogue? And can you tell the difference between dialogue and, for example, debate?

Continue reading Soliya +++ Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange +++ African Science +++ Absolutely intercultural 232 +++

Classroom Respons Systems +++ Interactive Classroom +++ Learning Culture +++ Auto-Evaluation of Essays +++ Absolutely Intercultural 226 +++

Can technology in the classroom change the culture of teaching and learning? Could this culture be more democratic and give a voice to participants who in regular seminars would not be heard? Let us listen to Hannah Peter an exchange student from Canada who talks about a Classroom Response System she has tried out as a teaching assistant in lectures at RheinAhrCampus. Then we hear from a professor Jalal Kawash, also from Canada who has been using Classroom Response Systems for years. Finally,  Tsegaye Misikir Tashu from Hungary talks about a tool for Automated Essay Evaluation where professors can leave the reading and grading of essays to a computer program. Should we be scared by such innovations in the culture of teaching and learning? Continue reading Classroom Respons Systems +++ Interactive Classroom +++ Learning Culture +++ Auto-Evaluation of Essays +++ Absolutely Intercultural 226 +++

changing the world +++ DNS College +++ Flat Pack Democracy +++ Restaurant Moment +++ Absolutely Intercultural 219 +++

Off to Africa to learn about the world! DNS College

How do you change the world? As part of the European Capital of Culture for 2017, Aarhus hosted a Rethink Activism festival in September where I met some interesting people, took part in some awareness raising exercises and learned about some innovative ideas. Continue reading changing the world +++ DNS College +++ Flat Pack Democracy +++ Restaurant Moment +++ Absolutely Intercultural 219 +++

Absolutely intercultural 209 +++ Stereotypes +++ Different cultures +++ New in Germany? +++ Refugees +++

javier_webIn today’s podcast we hear from Dennis Rayuschkin, a RheinAhrCampus student  from Kazakhstan who tells us about his cultural backround and his integration efforts.
Then we listen to to Dr. Wendy Spinks, who will explain some differences she has noticed between the German and Australian cultures.

In our third part, we listen to Javier Chapa Madrid (see photo), a student from Spain. He will explain what intercultural experiences in daily life mean to him and how he connected to the German culture.
In our last part Maher tells about the feelings and experiences he had around the time of his arrival in Germany. Continue reading Absolutely intercultural 209 +++ Stereotypes +++ Different cultures +++ New in Germany? +++ Refugees +++

Absolutely Intercultural 199 +++ Culture +++ Software of the Mind +++ Updates +++

blog-picture-software Absolutely Intercultural Show 199

Have you ever tried to explain something, and in the middle of it, you figured out that the best option would probably be to compare it to something else?

Hofstede did the same thing with culture and software, showing their similarities in his book “Cultures and Organizations – Software of the Mind“.

The metaphor of culture as the software of the mind works really well when we compare them in terms of installing, uninstalling and updating cultural software, for example.

In this episode, we listen to two interviews about Hofstede’s idea, on how you can easily see his theory present in your daily lives.

Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 199 +++ Culture +++ Software of the Mind +++ Updates +++

Absolutely Intercultural 195 +++ international students +++ internship experience abroad +++ gypsy art +++

Sander WillemsIn today’s podcast we hear about ‘‘International students and their internship experience abroad”. We talk to Sander, a Dutch student who is living in Spain working in a bike tour company and he told us about how to plan, organize and prolong a student internship then we listen to an interview with two gypsy artists Delaine and Damian from Great Britain who are traveling the whole world and exhibiting their art in various places, e.g. at VHS Aachen Continue reading Absolutely Intercultural 195 +++ international students +++ internship experience abroad +++ gypsy art +++

Stereotypes +++ Dubuque +++ Yartey +++ Ideal Global Life Summit +++ Absolutely Intercultural 186

1622414_10203754713767118_2814680752038057489_oHappy New Year! Welcome to the first Absolutely Intercultural show of 2015 brought to you by Anne Fox in Denmark.

absolutely global
We start by going absolutely global as the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit, which ran for the first time last January, is about to happen again. I will let Sabrina Ziegler one of the main organisers, tell us what we can expect this year. Don’t forget that it is free to participate, you can sign up at the website  and the dates are from 26 to 30 January. If we’re lucky we may be bringing you a few highlights from the summit in a future show. Continue reading Stereotypes +++ Dubuque +++ Yartey +++ Ideal Global Life Summit +++ Absolutely Intercultural 186

absolutely intercultural 164 +++ UniKey +++ entrepreneurial skills +++ Sugata Mitra +++ internships +++ Fulda University

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2012_09_03_course_graph_v5In this show we’ll be hearing about a new online training for foreign interns and if you decide this could be for you then you have the chance to take part free of charge starting in March! And not only that, if you take part in the course you could be in the running for a free trip to Brussels in September.

absolutely fake
My name’s Anne Fox and I wonder if you guessed correctly which of the stories we told you in the last show were true or not? Do you remember that we were asking students to imagine themselves in a future scenario where they take an internship abroad and some of them were true and some were not! This was a demonstration of the old adage ‘Fake it til you make it’ and we’re hoping that the effort that Younes & Philipp put into their stories will lead them to put at least some parts of their stories into practice anyway. You can read their comments about their plans on our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page.

absolutely self-organised
And it was through Facebook that I discovered that Professor Sugata Mitra who was featured in Show 72, has been awarded the TED prize for 2013. TED is a growing bank of short talks by inspirational speakers which are freely available on the Internet. Every TED speaker is asked to describe their dream and this year it is Sugata Mitra who gets to put his  into practice. Mitra’s research shows that we are are all capable of learning wherever we are and he wants to apply these findings to provide education in areas where it is poor or non-existent. And now with the prize money he has a million dollars to start realizing his dream.

absolutely entrepreneurial
So we’re in the middle of a financial crisis; there’s high graduate unemployment so maybe it’s a good idea for graduates of any discipline to find out more about how business works? They can do this through sponsored internships but today we’re going to hear about asking the interns to also follow a course during their internship to really get them noticing these entrepreneurial processes.  And you could join them! The first pilot has just ended and we’ll be hearing from two interns who took the course and if you like what you hear and are planning to be an intern by April then why not apply to join the second pilot? The application form is at the Unikey website or you can contact me through our Facebook page or here on our blog.

The project is called UniKey where we invite foreign interns to go absolutely entrepreneurial. We hear first from a couple of the project partners and their vision of the UniKey project, Christina Langsdorf  and Professor Dr Carsten Müller who teaches business subjects at Fulda University. The UniKey course is aimed at foreign interns, who are based in small and medium sized organisations and also social enterprises and the course is based on authentic entrepreneurial situations. We also hear from Nina Raiss, a German doing an internship in France, about why she agreed to do an additional Unikey online course on top of her internship.

We also meet Collette Wanjugu Döppner, the UniKey course director who you will meet online if you decide to do the course.

And as if it wasn’t enough to be doing a course on top of an internship, we added a slight gaming element in the form of extra challenges which were not compulsory. But if you did do them, there was a chance of winning a trip to Brussels. I was able to catch up with two of the winners and asked them about their motivation: first Nina Raiss,  and then Torsten Scheithauer who is doing his internship in Northern Ireland.

There are lots of other added touches to the UniKey course and one of them is the opportunity to meet with a different entrepreneur or expert in each of the seven modules and ask them questions. For example in the third module which looks at ethical dilemmas we meet Ilona Jehn who worked at Lufthansa Cargo.

So if you want to join the next course starting at the end of March then apply now! And full disclosure: I am a partner in the project which is why I know so much about it!

absolutely Amazon
By the way I just added a resource to the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store, a sort of do it yourself multimedia course in intercultural competence called Komunipass. If you buy through our Amazon store you don’t pay any more while we get a little bit of the price which helps to pay our podcast costs. You will find links to our Amazon store on our Facebook page also. If you know of an item which we should add then do let us know. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on April 5th with Laurent Borgmann so until then stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Anne Fox

Editing done with the help of Hindenburg Journalist Pro

absolutely intercultural 159 +++ Rotation Curation +++ Culture Shocks +++ Jordan +++ Working in an international environment +++

Our new editor, Elena

Our New Editor from Spain: Elena Colunga Caballero. Welcome to our team!

So what should we be listening to in this podcast:
How do you personally try to gain authentic information about a country  and culture that you are interested in? Do you trust the official view of the foreign office website? Or do you go straight to Wikipedia? How about listening to some real people from that country? This way you will get the unofficial story from the citizens themselves. Perhaps it could be interesting to listen to a father of two children who can tell you what it is really like to take the two on public transport or to a restaurant? This is inside information that you may not find in any of the official publications of the country. Under a system which is called Rotation Curation Movement, Karsten Kneese will host the twitter account of I_amGermany for a week starting next Monday.

absolutely twitter
Let us explore what you, the listeners can find out about his culture if you follow him during that week. In our first category “absolutely twitter” I asked Karsten how the Rotation Curation Movement has developed since it started in Sweden last year. If you are interested, please find “I_amGermany” on Twitter on Monday and follow Karsten around for a week. This is grass-roots journalism on Twitter that I think you should not miss. You have the opportunity to find out the real story from real citizens without having to travel to the country.

absolutely stereotypical
I spoke to a group of students from the German-Jordanian University who jumped in at the deep end and decided to spend a whole semester in Europe. In our second category “absolutely stereotypical” I asked them what their parents and friends had warned them about before they left.

absolutely international
In our third category “absolutely international” I am talking to a young but very well travelled person. After spending all her holidays abroad since she was 15 she has also studied in France and has now started doing her practical training in the department of Languages /International Affairs at the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz. I asked Elena from Spain what her friends and family had said when she was planning her big step.

absolutely different
Let us now return to the group of Jordanians who told me that in their country it would be very unusual for a lecturer to go to the university by bike, because there seems to exist a bigger “power distance” between lecturers and their students. We also learn that in Jordan, if you get invited to dinner you have to refuse several times in order to be polite before you finally accept. So one of the students politely said “No” to a dinner invitation in Germany but then learned the hard way that here you only get one shot, and he was not invited again. In our last category “absolutely different” I asked the students to explain major cultural differences which they have observed during the first weeks in Europe.

Our next show will again be coming to you on 2nd 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: Elena Colunga Caballero & Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 157 +++ CSR +++ students view +++ real life projects +++ community work +++ school children +++ elderly people +++

Today I would like to pick up the topic of your last show. We talked about CSR which stands for “Corporate Social Responsibility”. In times of global markets and increased business competition, Small and Medium sized Enterprises must find a way to increase their competitive edge. Therefore they often try to save costs as a result of competitive conditions and market instabilities. However, maybe a cultural change in companies will give them a competitive advantage? Implementing and practicing CSR may lead to increased costs and you may not see the benefits immediately. So why do successful companies go in that direction? Apparently around 50% of American and European SMEs believe that CSR-activities are somewhat effective for their business. SMEs can change their company culture and provide significant benefits by investing in small, efficient projects in society to increase their own visibility in the community. Some companies may do something good for the environment or donate money and others might start working in close cooperation with Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations. This time I would like to approach the topic from a different angle. CSR is becoming more and more important in business life and thus future managers should have a solid knowledge about it. In previous shows I talked to CSR specalists such as lecturers from different European universities and employees of companies which have implemented CSR in their business plans. Our focus was to find out how CSR work changes the culture within the company but also the contacts between a company and its stake holders. Today my focus is on students and what they learn about CSR during their studies of Business Administration. I interviewed students from Hungary, Russia, and Mongolia who dealt with corporate culture and CSR in their last semester at RheinAhrCampus in Germany in one of my courses called “International Business Simulations”.

absolutely young
In our first category  I asked Katalin Perjési from Hungary what she thinks about CSR and what she learnt on the course. She will tell us about a project where the students designed and implemented their own CSR projects for the university. They invited school children to the campus to teach them about respect and diversity in the community. Some said afterwards that they walk past the university every day but had never dreamed of spending a day inside before they reach their A-levels. As these were school children who often get taught in classes with many national backgrounds it was not so surprising, how much they already knew about diversity, respect for different cultures and dealing with other children who do not have the same first language.

absolutely green
I interviewed Nadya Kokareva from Russia. She will tell us about the vague ideas people have about CSR and gives us some examples of how a university could practice CSR. This is not exclusively about institutions “going green”, which means saving the environment. Nadya also took part in the course and participated in another project. This time, the target group were not the children in the community, but the elderly people who live in a nursing home just 800 metres from campus. In spite of the proximity, the students who took part in the project had never visited the home.

absolutely courageous
Oyunbileg is an exchange student from our Turkish partner university in Izmir. However, she is originally from Mongolia and is currently doing her Erasmus semester abroad. In our last category she will talk about her theoretical lectures on stakeholder relationships and relates the theory to the practical CSR projects she was involved in last semester. Finally she gives us an idea of the cultural differences she experienced moving between Mongolia, Turkey and Germany.

Our next show will again be coming to you on 7 of September.

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Markus Scherer

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