absolutely intercultural 18 +++ The BOBs +++ UK & NATO +++ schooling & worklife balance +++

You will hear about The BOBs, the GO OUT campaign and what British schools and the army have in common.

Absolutely Fantastic: The support you gave us for The BOBs was absolutely fantastic and thank you to everybody who voted, commented and listened. We came third in the user prize category and that is solely down to your votes. Add your comments here or send us a mail or audio message to let us know how we can be number one next year.

Absolutely Mobile: Laurent and Karsten from the Fachhochschule Koblenz, Germany, give you some background information on the “GO OUT” campaign initiated by the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD. During this week students can prepare themselves for a semester abroad, both, at a partner university or in a company.

Absolutely Personal: The show concentrates on two individuals who both went to work for a period in the UK.

First we hear from Dane, Tommy Søholm, who went for three years working for NATO in the UK. Life was not as regimented as you might think for Tommy the soldier, but on the other hand even his youngest child was drafted into the disciplined ranks of the British schooling system much to everybody’s surprise in the family.

Then we hear from Yogesh Bang, a software engineer based in India who has been posted abroad for short periods on assignment several times now. Hear what he has to say about the work life balance and the concern shown to him by his landlady in the UK as he went off for a weekend in Chester.

The next show will be coming to you from Germany on the 1st of December.

Until then…stay tuned!
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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absolutely intercultural 16 +++ Moët et Chandon +++ Internships in France +++ Bilingualism +++ Intercultural faux pas +++


Using cultural informants from your own personal network.

Absolutely interactive highlights the Crossing Borders forum which aims to foster intercultural dialogue.

In Absolutely Personal we talk to Greg Houfe who had two French internships almost twenty years ago as part of his degree in European Business Administration.
Looking back did he think working at Moët et Chandon benefited him? Would he now employ a former intern preferentially over someone who had not had this type of experience?

In Absolutely Linguistic I talked with Gwen and Mia, 12 and 9, who are bilingual in Danish and English. Does this affect their identity? Do they mix the languages up?

And finally in Absolutely Confidential I talked to Tony Fox who was caught out in a conference in Germany recently.
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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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!’ 13 +++ The Scholar Ship +++ Re-entry shocks +++ Culture as a mosaic +++

An intercultural university on a boat, how to deal with re-entry shocks and a great metaphor for culture.

!!! If you had any problems downloading this episode with iTunes or another podcatcher, please try again now. I made a mistake by including the wrong file in the feed, but I’ve fixed the problem. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope, you’ll enjoy the show !!!

Thomas Berger and Bill Nolting at the NAFSA conference

Welcome to episode 13, which comes to you in parts from the NAFSA conference in Canada.

Curious things are happening around us and our show and we seem to become rather famous – or should we say infamous?

We had a rather serious research article of no less than 11 pages written about our first show by Fred Dervin from the Department of French Studies at the University of Turku in Finland.
Paul Braddock has developed a lesson plan, also for our first show. This is absolutely amazing! He has taken our show, transcribed it and developed several exercises, including listening comprehension and some games. Paul, thank you so much! We are really honored.

And another amazing thing has happened. Two good friends of us have produced a show for us. Thomas Berger and Theo Schenk both work for the intstitute inter.research in Fulda, and Thomas recently went to the NAFSA conference in Canada, where he recorded several absolutely fantastic interviews with:

  • Bill Nolting, head of the NAFSA Education Abroad Subcommittee, about his experiences as a student in Germany
  • Dr. Josef Orlander, captain of the The Scholar Ship, which is an intercultural university aboard a cruiseliner
  • Alice Wu, an intercultural consultant and teacher at Cornell University, about re-entry shocks, and how to avoid them.
  • And Charles Hodgson from Podictionary explains how the word “ciao” came into the English language.

We are also trying to answer one of our regular questions: What is culture? So let’s listen to the ideas of Rhiannon and Victor, two students from Canada and the USA who took part in the Hessen Global Summer Internship Program organized by the institute inter.research e.V. and the Universites of Hessen/Germany.

You see, the show is packed with interesting reports, and we really hope you will enjoy listening to it.
And speaking about conferences…Laurent, Thomas and other project partners from Sweden and Spain will be at the EAIE conference in Basel, Switzerland from 12th until 15th of September. So if you happen to be there, then why don’t you join our roundtable session in intercultural preparation of internships abroad at the EAIE on the 15th of September.

The next episode will come to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on the 22nd of September.
The Hosts of this show are: Dr. Laurent Borgmann, Thomas Berger & Theo Schenk
Edited by: Karsten Kneese & Theo Schenk

The music in this show comes from Derek K. Miller of Penmachine.com

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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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‘absolutely intercultural!’ – Show #3

This week the Chinese president travelled West to the United States to meet George Bush. Our virtual journey will take us in the opposite direction. We will take a closer look at one of the most fascinating and diverse but also controversial, countries in the world…China!

We have interviewed Professor Stefan Kammhuber, who has both, a scientific interest in the country, but he also fell in love with its people and its beauty.
And we’ll hear why Ching, a Chinese girl who studies in Europe, was very impressed by a little Belgian statue.

After that we’ll be ‘absolutely indiscrete’ again. This time we talk about the cultural implications of Google’s new Chinese name…and why what was called the “old hound” now likes to be addressed as the “harvest song”.

In the end we have a little Chinese lesson for you. Jenny and Ken from the ChinesePod-Podcast talk about politeness in China.

The Host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Karsten Kneese (the pod-Karsten)

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