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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Green Culture +++ Cultural Clashes +++ Green Challenge +++ Absolutely Intercultural 263 +++

Hello and welcome to show 263 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will talk about green culture. We have all heard about being vegan, consuming less energy, using paper-based packaging, reducing co2 emissions and driving sustainable vehicles. But is this really a culture, or just a trend brought by the 21st century? How does it affect our lifestyle? Is it always good to be green or it also has some disadvantages? Is it easy to adapt to green culture?

In this episode our guests attempted to take part in the green challenge – the experiment where everyone spent 4 days adapting to the green lifestyle: cutting meat, plastic and streaming out from their daily routine.

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

absolutely challenging

In our first category, “absolutely challenging”, Jan Lübke talks about the issues and challenges of being green in different cultures.

absolutely confronting

In our second category “absolutely confronting”, Rabee Jarrar from Jordan, tells us how can green culture clash with his own traditions and religion:

absolutely controversial

Finally, in our category “absolutely controversial” we set down with 6 participants of our green challenge which took place during the weekends for 4 days. We asked Jan, Ariana, Jency, Nikos, Lara and Moritz to try and adapt to the green culture, and after 4 days tell us what was the most difficult challenge they faced during this period.

What are your thoughts about this? Are you a green person or you are trying your best to contribute? Let us know in the comments.

Our next show will be coming to you on the 2nd of July.

Until then, 

Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!

The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann

Chief Editor: Giorgi Sulaberidze

Assistant Editors: Alina Vor, Natalia ObikhodNatia NikvashviliEsjona Musta.

 

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Gender Stereotypes +++ Gender Roles +++ Keeping Tradition +++ Absolutely Intercultural 257 +++

Hello and welcome to show 257 of Absolutely Intercultural, Gender Roles, coming to you from beautiful Remagen in Germany. We are talking about what life is like as man or woman in different countries. Have you ever been the victim of inequality because of your gender? If you had a wish – what would you change? Well, in today’s episode, we interview students from three different countries about gender roles in their cultures and how those may differ from the views they are confronted within Germany. Continue reading “Gender Stereotypes +++ Gender Roles +++ Keeping Tradition +++ Absolutely Intercultural 257 +++”

Hidden Cultures +++ Cultures in Management +++ Empathetic Leadership +++ Absolutely Intercultural 251 +++

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_81492-684x1024.jpgHello and welcome to show 251 of Absolutely Intercultural, Cultures in Management, coming to you from the beautiful Rheinland in Germany. Today’s show is about the culture of management, where we listen to three managers and how they handle some of the more hidden cultures in their workplace to be effective leaders. Culture can be more than just national or geographical identity, it can be about direct/indirect, female/male, formal/informal, old/young or it can unite people who have the same profession but who all grew up in the same country. You will have certainly encountered some of these yourself throughout life.

Continue reading “Hidden Cultures +++ Cultures in Management +++ Empathetic Leadership +++ Absolutely Intercultural 251 +++”

Intercultural Adventures +++ Green Erasmus +++ Solo Traveler +++ Absolutely Intercultural 249 +++

 Today’s show is about Green Erasmus. Have you ever wanted to adventure like Indiana Jones or simply wanted to travel without harming the environment? In today’s show we give two very real examples: Kalvin, an Australian exchange student living in Germany, who bicycled around Europe without pre-booked accommodation, and Jean, a German student who took the land route to India! For those who don’t know, Erasmus is a scholarship for university students coming to or from the EU on exchange programs.

Continue reading “Intercultural Adventures +++ Green Erasmus +++ Solo Traveler +++ Absolutely Intercultural 249 +++”

Growing Stronger Abroad +++ Germany and Shanghai +++ Hari and Marina +++ Absolutely Intercultural 243 +++

This show is about growing stronger overseas. Maybe you’ve always dreamed about a new life or modifying your old one? You will hear about two students who used their time abroad to reinvent themselves and discover how they managed this change with SMART goals. You will be surprised how these students spent most of their energy.

Harigautham Somasundaram, from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, spent a semester at RheinAhrCampus, Germany, doing an academic internship. He explains how he moulded a new personality using a technique he learned in Germany – SMART goals. Marina, from Germany, shares her personal transformation in China. Initially, she was too scared to order food from a restaurant in China, but by the end, she was exploring the Chinese country-side far away from the trodden paths of regular tourists.

Continue reading “Growing Stronger Abroad +++ Germany and Shanghai +++ Hari and Marina +++ Absolutely Intercultural 243 +++”

Sadhana Forest +++ Auroville +++ India +++ Community +++ Absolutely Intercultural 237

In this show, you will hear about Sadhana Forest. This is a nonprofit organization which was set up in the alternative international township, Auroville, in the South-East of India about two hours south of Chennai. You may remember that our show 231 was also about Auroville and if you have the time you may want to re-listen to that episode. The main activity of Sadhana Forest is to plant trees with the aim of re-creating the forest which used to be in that area.

At first, we will listen to Mike Roy, who is originally from the United States and is the Project Director in Sadhana Forest, in this show he explains why he made the decision to pack up and be a member of this community in India. Noel Parent, our guest in episode 231, tells us how the volunteers contribute by working in the Auroville community. And finally, we will go back to Mike Roy and this time he talks about how to get involved in Sadhana Forest project.

Continue reading “Sadhana Forest +++ Auroville +++ India +++ Community +++ Absolutely Intercultural 237”

International township Auroville +++ Magical place +++ Learning by doing +++ Absolutely Intercultural 231

In this show, you will hear about Auroville, an experimental international township in the South of India. This interpersonal and intercultural experiment was founded exactly 50 years ago in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa also known as “the Mother”. At first, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about his intercultural and spiritual journey and give us some detailed impressions about life in Auroville and what he enjoys most about this magic place. Our German student Lucas Bolten, who is currently studying a semester abroad at our partner university, the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in India, will talk about his experience as a guest visitor in Auroville. And finally, we will listen to Noel Parent talking about the educational system and the importance of “learning by doing” in Auroville.

Continue reading “International township Auroville +++ Magical place +++ Learning by doing +++ Absolutely Intercultural 231”

India +++ Personal shopping +++ Non-vegetarian +++ absolutely intercultural 229 +++

In this show, you will hear about the grocery shop in India and believe me you will be surprised how different it is from European grocery shopping. Hari Gautham Somasundaram Dr. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan and Dr. TJ Kamalanabhan will talk about their own experience grocery shopping in India. In India, you need to go shopping early in the morning to get the best fruits and vegetables from the stalls. Hari, who is a student, tells us that he prefers going to the supermarket rather than the market or buying fruit from trollies in the street. Dr. Arvind, on the other hand, will talk about the challenges of grocery shopping in Indian markets.

Continue reading “India +++ Personal shopping +++ Non-vegetarian +++ absolutely intercultural 229 +++”

Classroom Response Systems +++ Interactive Classroom +++ Learning Culture +++ Auto-Evaluation of Essays +++ Absolutely Intercultural 226 +++

Can technology in the classroom change the culture of teaching and learning? Could this culture be more democratic and give a voice to participants who in regular seminars would not be heard? Let us listen to Hannah Peter an exchange student from Canada who talks about a Classroom Response System she has tried out as a teaching assistant in lectures at RheinAhrCampus. Then we hear from a professor Jalal Kawash, also from Canada who has been using Classroom Response Systems for years. Finally,  Tsegaye Misikir Tashu from Hungary talks about a tool for Automated Essay Evaluation where professors can leave the reading and grading of essays to a computer program. Should we be scared by such innovations in the culture of teaching and learning? Continue reading “Classroom Response Systems +++ Interactive Classroom +++ Learning Culture +++ Auto-Evaluation of Essays +++ Absolutely Intercultural 226 +++”