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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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #7


Go Sweden!
Welcome to the 7th episode of ‘absolutely intercultural!’.

After a round of feedback we continue our discussoin about “Culture as the software of the mind” in our column ‘absolutely theoretical!’. We talk about how we integrate updates into our daily lifes and will continue the next time with another aspect.

OK, and we couldn’t help noticing that there is something going on in Germany right now – The FIFA World Cup 2006, so the rest of this show is devoted to the game of all games!

For our column ‘absolutely personal!’ Anne interviewed John Brodie, a member of the tartan army, about a trip to Belarus he made last year and why he is cheering for the Togolese team right now in Germany.

Right after that we have a report of an eyewitness of the match Sweden vs. Trinidad & Tobago. Marie Nilsson from Sweden will let us sneak a peek into the stadium.

And for the last part of the show, which we might call ‘absolutely prepared!’, Laurent has interviewed Dr. Beate Blüggel, who works for the “Deutsche Volkshochschulverband” and who has organized the welcoming of millions of fans from all over the world in German trainstations.

We hope you enjoy the show. Please let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment here on the blog or by writing us an email. You are of course always welcome to send us an audiocomment and make suggestions on what we should talk about in our shows.

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Karsten Kneese
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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #6

The show opens with a song but what is the language?

Translating the idea of software of the mind into practice, why not listen to today’s guest talking about the time she lived in a different country and note the tone of her voice when she talks about something which was obviously incompatible with her cultural programming. You may learn more about Icelanders than you do about Scotland which is where Icelander Gunnhildur Oskarsdottir spent three years.

After a little round of feedback the German station continues its discussion about the metaphor of culture as the software of the mind, and this time they focus on updates.

We finish with the Polar Bear podcast where you will always find out something new about Sweden in every episode. This extract comes from a special joint episode in March where Andy, the Polar Bear podcast host teamed up with Bruce of the Canadian Zedcast podcast and in which they compared notes about misconceptions about their respective countries.

The Host and Editor of this show is: Anne Fox

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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #5

In one of our first shows we asked the question: Can culture be taught? And apparently that struck a chord with many of you. We’ve been asked to follow that question up, and that is what we are going to do today.

We have two stimulating interviews with Elen Rana and Audrey Fernandez-Diehl, who give courses and seminars in intercultural communication. They will tell us their opinions and share some intercultural activities with us, which can be used to raise cultural awareness.

Right after that we talk about Geert Hofstede’s concept “Culture as the software of the mind”. It is amazing how many parallels there are between two seemingly so different things. We’ll have some more insights on that in our next shows, and we invite you to join the discussion by leaving a comment on our blog or sending us an email or an audiocomment.

We also have a new jingle, and we’d like to know how you like it. Would you like to hear your voice in it? Well, then please let us know.

By the way, this show is with 28 minutes a bit longer then the ones before, but it really is worth taking the time to listen to it.

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Berit Wiebe

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