Last week I was in Belgium in the beautiful city of Leuven for the SIETAR Congress.
SIETAR stands for the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and their biennial congress is a very friendly affair. Of course a Congress is always very diverse, forgive the pun, and in addition diversity was one of the main themes of the Congress this year so todays show is also very diverse.
If you are listening to this from our website then you will see a beautiful image of the gothic town hall of Leuven. This is where we had the opening reception to the Congress and this is also where we heard the mayor of Leuven, Mohamed Ridouani, give a very inspirational talk about what you can do at local level to make people feel valued and included. Unfortunately I did not ask him to be on the podcast but we do have an interesting variety of people for you in the next 25 minutes or so.
I’m sitting here in Denmark after having attended the annual IATEFL conference in Liverpool in the UK. There are always people from all over the world at this conference, which is one of the biggest gatherings of teachers of English as a foreign language in the world and this year was no exception.
One really nice surprise for me was to meet up with We’am Hamdan who I had recently worked with virtually. I love working online but it’s always nice to meet people face to face and We’am had travelled a long way from Palestine to be in Liverpool where she was leading a session for the IATEFL Global Issues special interest group. We’am was talking about a really interesting and universal topic so we have decided to devote this whole show to it.
Thanks to Katie Stewart who contacted us about an interesting initiative she had heard of and which means that for the first time on Absolutely Intercultural we’ll be hearing about make-up and how that differs across cultures.
And we’ll also be going to China to find out more about the universal social monitoring that you read so much about.
Happy New Year! In this show, we are going to go back to shows 70 and 74 in 2008 and 2009 when I talked to Signe Møller here in Denmark about a new charity she had just set up.
This show, 234, is ten years later, so why am I re-visiting Signe’s charity 100% to the children? Because I bumped into a stall for her charity at a local Christmas market last November and I was curious to find out how this one-woman organisation was doing.
What is a virtual exchange? Maybe not what you think. We’ll be digging deeper into that in this special edition of Absolutely Intercultural coming to you from Denmark. My name’s Anne Fox and this is show 232. Today’s show is mainly about promoting dialogue between different groups of people. So what is dialogue? And can you tell the difference between dialogue and, for example, debate?
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.
In the show today I decided to contact three people who would describe themselves as intercultural trainers in order to find out more about what that entails and how they came to do this work. Predictably we ended up talking about much more than this so we will start with Lucy Fogarty, an Irish trainer based in London who has developed training that is based on cartoons. Why images I asked her?
Then I talked to Lisa La Valle Finan in the US who had a word of warning for the young.
And finally I talked to Brett Parry, an Aussie based in the US who was able to answer the question, what do you do on a Monday morning and much else besides.
In this show we are going to find out how a shaman does his work, as well as first impressions of Finland when you come from Zambia. Strangely enough, it was also my first time in Finland and we did discuss in the project team whether it was a good idea to visit in January but we are planning to go again in June when there will be 24 hour daylight and mosquitos out in full force so we will get the whole range. The occasion was a small-scale conference in which the Prof E Sus project was wrestling with the idea of defining, measuring and creating a sustainable mindset in the teachers of home economics. One of the participants was Dr Hosea Lupambo Chishala a teacher trainer from Rockview University in Lusaka and he shared with us that in Zambia you can mark your status by how much you are able to waste. This means that he is faced with a really big challenge. And we’ll also be talking to Mia Fox about how she stumbled across a shaman unexpectedly in Myanmar
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.
On our Absolutely Intercultural Facebook page we recently reached the 700 Likes milestone so thank you for that! Our 700th liker could have been Cécile Saint-Espès, Laurent Kazimotol or Selsela Arya. Thank you all.
In this show we’re going to look at different types of exchanges both study and work. So what effect does an exchange have on you?
And what’s the best way of preparing yourself to benefit from an exchange?