absolutely intercultural 26 +++ Second Life +++ B-people +++ Conference: Does Culture Still Matter? +++

Are there any B-people in Second Life? And does culture still matter?

Helen and Anne meet in SLabsolutely virtual
Second Life
is a virtual world but is it also a new culture which we can explore in the same way we can come to new cultures in the real world? To consider some of these issues I talked with Helen Keegan of Salford University who first visited Second Life on Christmas Day, 2006 and Sus Nyrop, a freelance educational consultant in Denmark who has visited both Danish and other areas of Second Life. We wondered whether your appearance matters and if it helps to have cultural informants as a guide.

absolutely flexible
BSamfundet
is a new society in Denmark promoting flexible working hours. The structure of the day and attitudes to time are aspects which vary greatly across cultures. B-samfundet means B-society and by catering to those who only come alive after 10 in the morning they maintain that this will reduce traffic jams and will help those so-called B-people who are only fully functional later in the day. But is this an issue that is going to resonate in Denmark where work starts and finishes early? To answer this question I took a straw poll of my colleagues in Grenaa and I did manage to unearth some shattered B-people.

absolutely important
Does Culture Still Matter?
That’s the name of the annual conference of the Intercultural Management Institute in Washington coming up on March 15 and 16. We were very honoured to be invited to cover the conference in an upcoming show.

The next show is our one year anniversary show and will be coming to you from our German station on March 23rd.

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 25 +++ Borrowed Identities +++ 40 people, 5 countries, 1 island +++ The lifeblood of Europe +++

Borrowed Identities – European Student Now! Project meeting on Achill Island and in Dublin, Ireland.

Welcome to episode 25 our Silver Jubilee of absolutely intercultural, which is absolutely Irish!
Laurent and I have just been on an excursion to Achill Island and Dublin in Ireland within the framework of the EU funded Intensive Programm “Borrowed Identities – European Student” now, and in this episode you will hear many different voices from many nationalities, but one in particular – Agnes Dus, a student from Corvinus University Budapest in Hungary has helped us a great deal with doing interviews and creating the concept for this episode, so thank you very much Agnes.

As a preparation for the proposed “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008” our project “Borrowed Identity” aims at creating an intercultural learning environment based on virtual and real mobility. The project is targeted at Business, Technical and Humanities students in Germany, Sweden, Spain, UK and Hungary and focuses on combining computer-mediated academic work, face-to-face meetings and intercultural communication.

This combination provided students with a new perspective of their own cultural identity as students, and the cultural identity of their foreign fellow students and hosts in Ireland.

So a short while ago 40 people from 5 different countries and actually 8 different nationalities met for 12 days in Ireland, to work together on a variety of academic workshops and to attend several intercultural lectures.


Now, to give you an idea of what the personal aims of the participating coordinators and teachers were we have asked some of them what they wanted to get out of the project, personally and for their professional life, and if their expectations were actually fulfilled.

We have also interviewed old friends like Sean and Margaret Cannon, who are a part of our “European project family” for more than 10 years now. And we have met new friends like Stephen Manning, who has just recently settled down on Achill after quite an exciting period of his life.

This episode is also a part of the general documentation of our whole project, and you can also follow a day-by-day travelogue of the excursion, written by the students themselves. Check it out – they have done a really good job!

A lot has happened during our time in Ireland, and we hope to give you a good impression of what our students have achieved, what the whole project is all about and what a good time we had on Achill Island.
The next show will be coming to you on the 9th of March from Anne Fox in Denmark.
So long…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 23 +++ Preparation for a stay abroad +++ bi- & multilingualism +++

How to prepare yourself for a stay abroad // multilingualism

languagesabsolutely abroad
What can you do to prepare yourself for a semester or a stay abroad? Is reading up on the country you’re planning to go to or getting information from the Internet enough? Ariane Curdy, an intercultural trainer and teacher, gives us the answer.

And if you’re interested in learning more about how to prepare yourself, or your students, for a stay abroad, then you might like to know more about a European project called LIPS. LIPS stands for Linguistic and Intercultural Preparation of Students for the workplace and the aim of the project is to identify key situations in collaboration with potential employers and students and develop an innovative media-based learning community. You can find more information about LIPS at www.eu-lips.de

absolutely bilingual
What is it like to raise four children bilingually? Elisabeth is from Austria, but followed her husband 33 years ago to England. The children have been speaking both, German and English at home, and we also asked her son Thomas, what it was like for him to grow up with two languages at the same time.

absolutely endangered
Christina Cunningham talks about how the working language of the Commission has changed since the last enlargements of the Union, and what is being done to give the less spoken languages, like Danish or Lithuanian for example, more visibility and a stronger impact in the daily work of the Commission.

The next show will be coming to you on the 9th of February from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited and co-hosted by: Karsten Kneese

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absolutely intercultural 21 +++ We won the Edublog Award +++ Image Projection +++ Internships and practical training abroad +++

Image projection and internships abroad – We have a winner for our frappr-map-competition – And hey! We won the Edublog Award!

Image projectionBelieve it or not – we are Number One in the Edublog Award in the category “Best Audio Blog”. This is really amazing and we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your votes and your support. And of course for all the comments and emails we got. We will get to all of them when we return from our Christmas break in January.

And our frappr-map-competition has come to an end. And the winner is… Zanele Khumalo from Cape Town in South Africa! Many congratulations, Zanele, and thank you very much for putting pin number 100 on our frappr-map. We will contact you soon and see how we can make you the guest host of one of our next shows. And of course we’d like to thank all the others for participating in our competition and for putting your pin on our map. It is nice to see where you are listening from.

We believe that “actively designing your image” is a very controversial but also an important concept that especially students should pay a lot more attention to when they are planning a stay abroad.

So let’s start with our first column ‘absolutely German!’ where Vera Klopprogge will tell us more about her internship at the World Health Organisation in Denmark.

But not only when you go abroad should you think about your image projection. Also when you start a new job or move to another city you could plan to try out something new. So we have asked Marlen Izquierdo from Spain and Anita Molnar from Hungary if they have worked on their image projection when they first started their new jobs, teaching at a university, and we call the second column ‘absolutely tiny!’, and you’ll soon understand why… =)

For our third and last column ‘absolutely abroad!’, we have interviewed Wiebke Begere, who is doing an internship in the tourist office on Achill Island, which is situated just off the west coast of Ireland. She’ll tell us about the differences between the buzzing Melting Pot Dublin, and the remote and very calm Achill Island. And she’ll also give us an insight on what she has learned from her stay abroad already.

We’d like to thank you once again for listening to us, for your support, for your comments and emails and basically for everything you have done to make this podcast what it is.

The next show will be coming to you on the 12th of January from Anne Fox in Denmark.

We are very much looking forward to the next year and hope that you will…stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Edited by: Karsten Kneese

oedbAnd this came in last minute: ‘absolutely intercultural!’ has been named a Top 100 Education Blog by the Online Education Database. Wow, thank you very much! Now we’re really under pressure to live up to all the expectations. =)

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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

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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

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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!’ – 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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