remote surveys +++ formal language +++ intercultural training +++ Absolutely Intercultural 244 +++

Electricity pylon
How to get information about African electrification from Denmark?

From a university internship to a career as an intercultural trainer we’ll be talking to people at both ends of their career in show 244 of absolutely Intercultural. My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark.

First, Gabrielle Lachance, a French Canadian Masters student interning with a consultancy company in Denmark, tasked with getting a good response rate to a survey about electrification in southern African countries. But what are the chances of getting a good response when you send an email asking for complicated technical information to people that you have no connection with?

And then I talked to Iris Schneider who I met at the SIETAR congress in Belgium in June who is an intercultural trainer based in Bonn Germany. How did she get her first intercultural trainer job? She applied as a relocation expert and then this happened!

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Growing Stronger Abroad +++ Germany and Shanghai +++ Hari and Marina +++ Absolutely Intercultural 243 +++

This show is about growing stronger overseas. Maybe you’ve always dreamed about a new life or modifying your old one? You will hear about two students who used their time abroad to reinvent themselves and discover how they managed this change with SMART goals. You will be surprised how these students spent most of their energy.

Harigautham Somasundaram, from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, spent a semester at RheinAhrCampus, Germany, doing an academic internship. He explains how he moulded a new personality using a technique he learned in Germany – SMART goals. Marina, from Germany, shares her personal transformation in China. Initially, she was too scared to order food from a restaurant in China, but by the end, she was exploring the Chinese country-side far away from the trodden paths of regular tourists.

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Hands Up project +++ Palestine +++ Bilbrough +++ Absolutely Intercultural 242 +++

I am hoping that by the end of this show you will want to buy a book called ‘Toothbrush and other plays’, as this will help the wonderful Hands Up project which we are going to hear about. You will find the link to buy the book here.

So what is this show about? It’s about the difficulties of getting to and from Gaza in Palestine. It’s about the power of storytelling as a way of learning language and it’s about ingenious ways of getting classes in Palestine to create and perform plays to audiences all over the world. Nick Bilbrough is the man behind the project, and I caught up with him at the IATEFL conference in Liverpool in April where teachers of English from all over the world gather to exchange ideas.

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container-home +++ sustainability +++ self-sufficiency +++ Absolutely Intercultural 241 +++

In this show, we will find out what life in a container home in the most spectacular countryside in Queensland is like. We will discover how an industrial container from Hamburg has become the home for two Germans, Uwe Terton (lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast) and Katrin Terton (media artist). They have chosen a very simple and sustainable lifestyle, free from water or electricity bills, far from the busy and “stressful” life in the modern cities. Dr. Uwe Terton, our guest in this show, will share  the details of his decision to live in a minimalistic life, up on the hill with a stunning 360° view.

First, Uwe will explain the details of the fauna and flora around the container-home. In the second part, we will go inside the container and we will discover how to use smart ideas to live comfortably but in a sustainable way. And finally we learn how the couple used recycled materials in the construction of the container-home.

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Australia +++ Scumbags Barbershop +++ hair dressing +++ political correctness +++ Absolutely Intercultural 240 +++

Tomi the Barber

In this show, we are going to immerse you in the “culture of barber shops” which means you can expect to meet rough guys with motorcycles, full beards, dirty boots and, of course, a beer can in their hands.

First, we will listen to Tomi, perhaps the happiest barber in Australia, who shares his daily life as an employee in Scumbags Barbershop. Rashad, our exchange student from Azerbaijan is our second guest and will tell us his points of view about the barbershop culture.  And finally, we will go listen to Tomi again, and this time he will tell us about the Scumbags philosophy.

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SIETAR +++ Syria +++ Pilbeam +++ diversophy +++ Absolutely Intercultural 239 +++

Leuven town hallLast week I was in Belgium in the beautiful city of Leuven for the SIETAR Congress.

SIETAR stands for the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and their biennial congress is a very friendly affair. Of course a Congress is always very diverse, forgive the pun, and in addition diversity was one of the main themes of the Congress this year so todays show is also very diverse.

If you are listening to this from our website then you will see a beautiful image of the gothic town hall of Leuven. This is where we had the opening reception to the Congress and this is also where we heard the mayor of Leuven, Mohamed Ridouani,  give a very inspirational talk about what you can do at local level to make people feel valued and included. Unfortunately I did not ask him to be on the podcast but we do have an interesting variety of people for you in the next 25 minutes or so.

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gender issues +++ Palestine +++ IATEFL +++ Absolutely Intercultural 238 +++

I’m sitting here in Denmark after having attended the annual IATEFL conference in Liverpool in the UK. There are always people from all over the world at this conference, which is one of the biggest gatherings of teachers of English as a foreign language in the world and this year was no exception.
One really nice surprise for me was to meet up with We’am Hamdan who I had recently worked with virtually. I love working online but it’s always nice to meet people face to face and We’am had travelled a long way from Palestine to be in Liverpool where she was leading a session for the IATEFL Global Issues special interest group. We’am was talking about a really interesting and universal topic so we have decided to devote this whole show to it.

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Sadhana Forest +++ Auroville +++ India +++ Community +++ Absolutely Intercultural 237

In this show, you will hear about Sadhana Forest. This is a nonprofit organization which was set up in the alternative international township, Auroville, in the South-East of India about two hours south of Chennai. You may remember that our show 231 was also about Auroville and if you have the time you may want to re-listen to that episode. The main activity of Sadhana Forest is to plant trees with the aim of re-creating the forest which used to be in that area.

At first, we will listen to Mike Roy, who is originally from the United States and is the Project Director in Sadhana Forest, in this show he explains why he made the decision to pack up and be a member of this community in India. Noel Parent, our guest in episode 231, tells us how the volunteers contribute by working in the Auroville community. And finally, we will go back to Mike Roy and this time he talks about how to get involved in Sadhana Forest project.

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cosmetics +++ Mara D’Louca +++ Instagram +++ China +++ Absolutely Intercultural 236 +++

Thanks to Katie Stewart who contacted us about an interesting initiative she had heard of and which means that for the first time on Absolutely Intercultural we’ll be hearing about make-up and how that differs across cultures.

And we’ll also be going to China to find out more about the universal social monitoring that you read so much about.

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Australia Day +++ Can-do attitude +++ The lucky country +++ Absolutely Intercultural 235

Please put your headphones on and listen to a very lively Show 235 from Australia!

Today our show will take you to the “Lucky Country“,  where the Australians with their often multicultural backgrounds have developed a positive “can-do”- attitude and try to give everybody a “fair go”.  I have been pretending to be one of them for four months now, as I am teaching and doing research down-under at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Listen to my interviewees in Australia.  Last Saturday, 26 January 2019 we celebrated Australia Day, and I planned to go out with my microphone to share my Australian impressions with you, the listeners. In order to prepare myself, I listened to my own show about Australia Day which I did five years ago which really nicely captured the spirit of the day. I hope you will forgive me, but at that point I put away my microphone, uploaded show 175 again and enjoyed the celebrations in Noosaville hands-free, as a guest, not as a podcaster this time.
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