Uncertainty +++ Decision-making +++ Semester abroad +++ Absolutely Intercultural 271 +++

Hello and welcome to show 271 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Our topic today is “Uncertainty”. We are all faced with uncertainties every day, but the way that we deal with them and the way we feel about them makes us unique. Some of us feel terribly helpless in situations of uncertainty. On the other hand, there are people, for example those who enjoy playing poker, who think that certainty is boring and are always looking for the adrenaline which uncertainty provides them with during their adventures. Are there any tricks, for those who don’t like uncertainty to be able to take decisions and feel safe with their choices? Or for those who seek uncertainty as a thrill in life and enjoy weighing up different probabilities?

absolutely homeless

In our first category, “absolutely homeless”, Elene from Georgia shares with us how she left her lovely, predictable and comfortable home in Georgia and ended up sleeping rough in a car in Amsterdam together with three friends.

absolutely uncertain

In our second category, “absolutely uncertain”, Adika, a student from Azerbaijan, tells us about a situation where she observed a man well because she was not so sure whether she should accompany him to his house for CouchSurfing.

absolutely open

In our last category, “absolutely open”, Amauri, a student from Brazil tells us about how he resolved the uncertainty of living with a roommate from an Arab country. Amauri had read on the internet that single Arab men do not like to have girls around their house and feel a little awkward when there are female visitors at home.

What about you? Have you recently experienced uncertainty in your life? How did you feel about it? Will the tricks that we shared help you when you face uncertainty?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 4 March.

Until then – allow a little more uncertainty in your lives – and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia ObikhodElene Mikeladze

 

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Managing Cultural Diversity +++ Sprachen/Internationales +++ Sustainable Innovation+++ Absolutely Intercutural 270 +++

Hello and welcome to show 270 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will talk about the biggest intercultural event of Sprachen/Internationales during the Winter Semester which is called the Managing Cultural Diversity Seminar. Every year – for the last 20 years we have invited guest lecturers from our partner Universities from literally all around the world to join our seminar. The main idea of the Managing Cultural Diversity Seminar is one intercultural topic that is discussed in detail by participants from every part of the World. This semester we looked at Sustainable Innovation. Local and international students together with the guest lecturers were divided into groups to work on Sustainable Innovation ideas and at the same time collaboration intercultural teams.

absolutely entrepreneurial

In our first category, “absolutely entrepreneurial”, we will listen to the conversation of two international students who both participated in the seminar. Carlos from Brazil and Lorena from Albania went out of it, motivated to take initiative and to start their own business ideas just because of having listened to the stories of the other participants in the seminar

absolutely project-oriented

In our second category “absolutely project-oriented”, we speak to guest lecturer Vilmante from our partner university in Lithuania. Vilmante has generously contributed to the Managing Cultural Diversity seminar for more than 10 years now and for her MCD is not only the place where she will meet old and new friends but also the place where great projects with other guest lecturers from all around the world are conceived and planned.

absolutely innovative

Finally, in our last category “absolutely innovative”, we listen to Tea, a guest lecturer from our partner university in Tirana, Albania. She held a workshop about Sustainable Innovation in Crisis, and gave a simple solution to a topic which sounds as if there cannot be a simple solution. She gave Esjona an insight before her own workshop took place.

What about you? Have you thought about finding a way to stay connected to people who live far from you? Have you started thinking of your own sustainable innovation business idea?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 4th of February.

Until then – start formulating your next sustainable innovation idea – and Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Internalization +++ Erasmus Experience +++ Life In a Cultural Exchange +++ Absolutely Intercutural 269 +++

Hello and welcome to show 269 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will listen to our Chef Editor, Esjona Musta from Albania who will share with us the biggest step in her internationalization story so far. Have you got any plans for internationalizing yourselves? What can you do to have a multitude of intercultural challenges? How does an Exchange program like ERASMUS change young people’s lives? How did Esjona manage to integrate herself so quickly and learn about traditions of a new culture and religion? 

absolutely integrated

In our first category, “absolutely integrated”, Esjona will take us into the Carnival Celebrations in Cologne. Imagine her in a crowded train full of Germans dressed as Movie characters, such as Pocahontas, but also as the Christmas Grinch, next to Santa Claus, and the whole zoo.

absolutely traditional

In our second category “absolutely traditional”, Esjona will get an unexpected Christmas present while she is describing how it feels to celebrate a traditional Christmas in Germany. 

absolutely Erasmus

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely Erasmus”, Esjona makes a toast with mulled spiced wine to the most valuable lesson she learned during her ERASMUS semester.

What about you? Have you had intercultural experiences which changed your mind set or your behavior? Have you thought about starting your own internationalization story in your own country or abroad?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 7th of January.

Until then – start formulating your next steps in your own internationalization – and Bleiben Sie absolutinterkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Intercultural Stereotypes +++ Nationality Stereotypes +++ Absolutely Intercultural 268 +++

Hello and welcome to show 268 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Sometimes we are the objects of other people’s stereotypes and sometimes, we are, in fact, the people who actively use overgeneralizations to simplify our social lives. When we use stereotypes, we instinctively categorize others using shared beliefs about a certain target group. But do cultural stereotypes really always make our lives easier, or do they sometimes ruin relationships and harm the relationship between two different cultures? Our mothers told us, not to use stereotypes, but then, some people tell us that stereotypes may be a great trigger for small talk ?Are cultural stereotypes the bridge that connects two cultures, or are they the reason why this bridge between two different cultures is never built?

In our show, three students tell us about concrete situations, where they were the objects of stereotyping and how those stereotypes affected their personal lives. 

absolutely Christian

In our first category, “absolutely Christian”, Berla, a student from Iraq tells us about being stereotyped as a Muslim by her fellow classmates before they had even seen her in her new school in Germany. They were in for a surprise.

absolutely secular

In our second category, “absolutely secular”, Erta tells us how a friendly bus driver in her university town wished her Eid Mubarak just because he knew that she is Albanian. In his mind all Albanians are Muslims.

absolutely white 

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely white”, Ali from Yemen remembers a story where a girl he met in a club was a little surprised by his skin color.

What about you? Have you been the object of a stereotype? How did you react? Do you try to use these situations to connect to others or do you just ignore them and move on?

Please write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up interview with you in one of our next shows. We could go deeper into other categories such as Heterostereotypes which we have about the others and Autostereotypes which we have about our own cultural group. On our web page, www.absolutely-intercultural.com, you can get more information about this show and previous episodes and you can leave comments. And if you enjoyed the show, please like us on Facebook too. 

By the way, did you know we are also on iTunes or Apple Podcasts? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. 

Our next show will be coming to you on 3 December.

Until then – try to watch out for stereotypes – and

Bleiben Sie absolutinterkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta

Assistant Editors:  Natalia Obikhod,  Elene Mikeladze

 

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Cultural expectations+ Helpful expectations +++ Parental expectations +++ Community expectations+++ Absolutely Intercultural 267 +++

Hello and welcome to show 267 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will talk about “cultural expectations”. Whether we like it or not – we are all trying to meet cultural expectations in our daily lives. Some of us may struggle with those preconceived ideas. Others insist we conform to cultural expectations. Back at school, for example, we may have noticed that others expected us to conform to male or female patterns of behaviour.

Can the expectations placed upon us help us be succeed in this complex worldand should we be grateful for cultural guidance on our path to success? Or will these well-meant pieces of “you should be” and “you should feel” advice become a very heavy burden and limit our opportunities?

In this show we are going to listen to the stories of Leo, Adika and Pravesh, all threeconfronted with everyday cultural expectations in very different places, at home, at school or even in the street by a random person.

absolutely shameful

In our first category, “absolutely shameful”, Leo tells us that because of the gender expectations of the other school kids, he had to stop playing with his favourite toywhich his parents had given him for his birthday,  – it happened to be a baby doll.

absolutely small

In our second category, „absolutely small”, Adika, an exchange student from Azerbaijan, describes how a random stranger  approached her to help with her heavy bags outside the supermarket.

absolutely reversed

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely reversed”, Pravesh, from Pondicherry University in the South of India, explains that in Indian families usually the sons are expected to bring in money for the family. For him -this is different. In his family, the financial help actually comes from his successful sister.

What about you? Did you ever have to change your behaviour or your plans because of the cultural expectations that other people had for you?

Our next show will be coming to you on the 5th of November.

Until then – stay as diverse as you are – and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta 

Assistant Editors:   Alina Vor, Natalia Obikhod, Elene Mikeladze

 

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Home country+ Host country+++ Cultural surprises +++ Reverse cultural shock +++ Absolutely Intercultural 266 +++

Hello and welcome to show 266 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we talk about the cultural surprises that will happen to you when you live abroad and far from your home country. For some of us, living abroad is a temporary expierience in life and for others living abroad has become a permanent challenge or joy. When we go home, mostof us instantly feel comfortable again but for some their home country doesn’t feel like home anymore. 

Why do we sometimes feel more comfortable in our host country than in the country where we were born? Which are the reasons that no matter where we go, there is something that drawsus back toour home country?

absolutely fitting

In our first category, “absolutely fitting”, Natalia,originally from Ukraine,tells us about the reasons why she feels that Germany has turned into her chosen home country. She explains that living, studying and working in Remagen has provided her the intercultural environmentwhich she had always been searching for in her home country.

absolutely shocked

In our second category, „absolutely shocking”, Ariana, an exchange student from Albania, tells us about her first loud and cheerful birthday party – at the age of 20! For her as an Albanian Muslim birthdays are apparently not a big deal and only communal celebrations such as Eid are celebrated in full pomp. 

absolutely indian

Finally, in our last category, “absolutely Indian”, Surya, from Pondicherry University in the South of India, shares with us that even though she tried hard to recreate an Indian-like environment here in Germany, not everything can be recreated. Compared to India, even big cities in Germany seemed “empty” to her and she misses the closeness of the crowds in India.

What about you? Do you have any host country that feels just like your home country, or even closer?  Is there something in your home country which brings you always back to it? Write a comment or mail us, we could do a follow-up with you in one of our next shows.

Our next show will be coming to you on the 1st of October.

Until then – stay as diverse as you are – and

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell! 

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Esjona Musta 

Assistant Editors:   Alina Vor, Natalia Obikhod, Elene MikeladzeNatia Nikvashvili

 

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Intercultural trainers +++ SIETAR +++ Ethiopia +++ Ghana +++ absolutely intercultural 227

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I have been curious about how you come to work in the intercultural field and have continued my conversations with people who are doing it.  One thing I realise now after talking to several people is that there are many ways into an intercultural career.

Here for example is Dawn who was based in Ethiopia and formed Broads Abroad, a support group for expatriate women, based on the conversations that used to happen after the Zumba lessons she started giving.

And Franklin Yartey, a professor of intercultural communication at Dubuque University, Iowa, worked as PR manager of a dance school in his native Ghana before ending up in the US to continue his education.

And once you are doing it, it seems that intercultural work is its own reward as Joe Kearns describes!

So this show is the second in our series on how to get into the Intercultural field. Thanks to everyone who agreed to participate.

Another thing I noticed about today’s contributors is that they all had a connection with Africa, two with Ethiopia and one with Ghana. Listen to find out which is which.

Continue reading “Intercultural trainers +++ SIETAR +++ Ethiopia +++ Ghana +++ absolutely intercultural 227”

Erasmus +++ Student stories +++ Exchange semester impact +++ Learned skills +++ Absolutely Intercultural 222 +++

To what extent does study abroad influence  students’ future life both in academic and career perspectives? Well, in this episode, which will be the last of a series on the 30th Anniversary of the ERASMUS program, we will listen to my colleague from RheinAhrCampus , who works with outgoing students, and helps them find the best partner universities for their stays abroad. She will talk about differences in students’ behaviors and appearance which she notices after they come back from their host country. We will also interview two guest lecturers from Portugal and from our partner university Indian Institution of Technology, Madras. They will talk about staying abroad and an extraordinary campus in India, and how it was first established with German aid in the 1960s. And we will hear some voices of international professionals who were once exchange students in Germany and who will tell us what skills and habits they gained during their studies at RheinAhrCampus. Finally we will listen to my co-host Anne Fox from Denmark who was in Germany and took part in our seminar Managing Cultural Diversity.

Continue reading “Erasmus +++ Student stories +++ Exchange semester impact +++ Learned skills +++ Absolutely Intercultural 222 +++”

Absolutely Intercultural 221 +++ before Erasmus +++ study abroad experiences +++ stereotypes +++

Hello and welcome to show 221 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the fourth of series of “Erasmus 30” podcasts to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of the most successful of all student exchange programs. In this episode, our two lecturers will share their exchange experiences and stories about their studies abroad. How did teaching in Germany under the Erasmus mobility program benefit a lecturer’s research activities and his academic life? Then we will listen to a lecturer from RheinahrCampus, he will talk about how he studied abroad two decades ago. Was it more difficult to arrange than an exchange semester today? What were the required documents in the past and now? And finally, we will look at the differences in student lives in different countries.

Continue reading “Absolutely Intercultural 221 +++ before Erasmus +++ study abroad experiences +++ stereotypes +++”

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 +++”