absolutely intercultural 109 +++ go-out campaign +++ DAAD & BMBF +++ be prepared +++

Today I would like to introduce you to the “Go-Out” Campaign of the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Ministry of Education and Research.
Both institutions have formed an alliance to increase the percentage of German students who spend time abroad during their studies. The aims include studying abroad, doing an internship abroad, writing your Bachelor or Master thesis abroad or following language courses abroad. One of the aims is also to encourage students to look beyond Europe and spend some quality time in Asia, Latin America, or Africa in order to round off their studies in Germany. Please visit the web page of the Go-Out campaign at www.go-out.de. Please have a look at the profiles of former outgoing students such as Birgit and Siegfried who studied in Israel and China.

absolutely connected
Today I will invite you to listen to students from the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz, RheinAhrCampus, who have already been abroad or are planning their stay but also to professionals from the international office who share their experiences with us and can perhaps whet your appetites for such a stay abroad.
How should you prepare for your stay abroad? Why do German employers think that if you have spent some time abroad you will be a better employee? Let us try to find out why your stay abroad will be a unique opportunity. A stay abroad during your studies is certainly a valuable extra for your career planning. Your experience abroad, whether study or internship, will help you develop and round off your personality but will also provide impressions and insights which perhaps others will envy you later. Many job advertisements nowadays list the requirement “experience abroad”, even if the job itself does not seem to require international contact.

absolutely representative
Before and during their stays abroad students are often not really aware of what the real benefits of their experience will be. This will only show years later. And sometimes students unfortunately give up their plans because they cannot imagine where they should get the extra money from, whether they can survive with their basic English, or whether they should really leave their friends and family behind for several months. When you have these doubts, you should not give up but ask for help from your university. In this category I spoke to Andreas Faulstich who is responsible for the language program at RheinAhrCampus of the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz. I asked him how many of his students do actually go out to study or do an internship abroad. And what keeps those who decide against it from seeking that valuable experience? Is it always the extra costs that students may have to shoulder?

absolutely prepared
So let us turn to our next step, the preparation for a stay abroad. Some time ago I interviewed Carsten just before he went to Great Britain to do his practical training He is from a little village near the university and put a lot of effort into preparing himself for his practical training abroad and, as a consequence, managed to secure a scholarship for himself under a program called ERASMUS Placements. One of Carsten’s aims is to “grow up” through new personal experiences.

absolutely shocked
How can students find out what exactly needs to be prepared before they take their decisions and hand in their applications? At every university in Germany students will find help with these questions in the international office. In our last category I asked Barbara Neukirchen who works for the international office how early she needs to get in contact with students to prepare them strategically for their stay abroad.

The next show will be hosted by Anne Fox in Denmark on 28 May

Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Dino Nogarole

absolutely intercultural 87 +++ internship in Germany +++ American vs German culture +++ studying and working in Germany +++

signpost04--Ursprungsphoto-Today we are a little student-centred and try to solve the question whether from the cultural point of view it makes more sense to study abroad or to do an internship abroad. If you want to participate in this debate, please feel free to post your opinion. I am sure we can pick it up in one of our future shows.

absolutely serious:
I have Kyle Hickman from California in the studio. Kyle is doing an internship with a big national newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine  and tells us a little about the cultural differences he has noticed between California and Frankfurt in Germany over the last couple of months. For example, he seems to have detected a difference in attitude towards interns who are doing a practical training in a company. While he expected to be exploited as cheap labour – making coffee, copies or “cold calls” he noticed that his present internship in Germany is really centered on the development of the intern – often even based on the intern’s personal interests. So, from the beginning Kyle has been trusted with what he calls “real work” and has been able to contribute to the success of the newspaper. However, he also found out that smiling too much could be seen as negative and has adapted his behavior in this respect. He did not find it difficult to integrate as he jumped at every opportunity to be social with his co-workers. Listen out for what Kyle shares about eye-contact and how he had to adapt to a different cultural approach because I think eye-contact and smiling are two pieces of mostly intuitive behavior we need to think about every time before we visit another culture.

absolutely cultural:
When students come to my office and express an interest in going abroad one of the first decisions to be taken is usually whether they want to study at one of our partner universities or find a workplace abroad to do an internship. Personally, I find it difficult to assist in this decision as the two are so different and both have their advantages and disadvantages.
I interviewed Marie Nielsson, a Swedish student who has been to Germany twice, once as an intern and then as a student. You may remember her from Episode 7? During her internship she seemed to have learned a lot about the German working style in an office but she thinks that as an Erasmus student it was easier to find out more about the foreign culture as she had closer contact.

absolutely fabulous:
When you sit in any university restaurant anywhere in Europe, you will often hear students complain about their own university. “There are too many lectures, too much too learn for the final exams and sometimes there is even a queue for the food in the Mensa. However, a couple of weeks ago I heard completely different opinions at a neighboring table. One student sounded more positive than the next. Enough to get me interested and in our last category today we listen to some students who are praising their own university, RheinAhrCampus in Remagen as if they were paid for this. So what has happened? Have times changed? Why are these students so positive about their campus? I asked one of the students, Christian Gauglitz, and it turned out that he was, in fact, the minder of a student-led marketing activity. The students had developed a flyer and an audio file highlighting the strong points of RheinAhrCampus. He told me how they had worked and what their aims had been.

The next show will be coming to you on 24 July from Anne Fox in Denmark.

So long…stay tuned!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Jan Warnecke