Please put your headphones on and listen to a very lively Show 235 from Australia!
Today our show will take you to the “Lucky Country“, where the Australians with their often multicultural backgrounds have developed a positive “can-do”- attitude and try to give everybody a “fair go”. I have been pretending to be one of them for four months now, as I am teaching and doing research down-under at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Listen to my interviewees in Australia. Last Saturday, 26 January 2019 we celebrated Australia Day, and I planned to go out with my microphone to share my Australian impressions with you, the listeners. In order to prepare myself, I listened to my own show about Australia Day which I did five years ago which really nicely captured the spirit of the day. I hope you will forgive me, but at that point I put away my microphone, uploaded show 175 again and enjoyed the celebrations in Noosaville hands-free, as a guest, not as a podcaster this time. Continue reading Australia Day +++ Can-do attitude +++ The lucky country +++ Absolutely Intercultural 235
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.
What pictures would you have in your minds when we are talking about people who are visibly different? Perhaps the difference could have something to do with their skin colour? In fact, today I present some exciting interviews for you with people who have children with a different colour.
Christiane Bainski, adopted a black youngster who was a pupil in her school class. Of course, this was not the typical way to adopt a child – the idea actually came from Busa himself, her pupil, who was taught by Christiane. Can you imagine how Busa convinced his teacher to adopt him? It was a big step for both, teacher and pupil – but the administrative side was less complicated than expected. Let us listen to Christiane’s report.
Iris Hansen, also a white woman has three beautifully coloured children. However, her husband is also white. So the obvious question is: “Where does all the colour of the children come from?” Sounds mysterious? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Iris’ husband likes dark chocolate as he sometimes jokingly suggests?
Paul Masson is also the father of a coloured boy. He tells us that Mathieu, his black son, sometimes misinterpreted stereotypes about black people he heard when he was young. For example one time he got really worried when at school he learned that black children do not get enough to eat …
Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 29 April
What can universities do to integrate foreign students interculturally? The Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue demands that “Higher-education institutions play an important role in fostering intercultural dialogue, through their education programmes, as actors in broader society and as sites where intercultural dialogue is put into practice”. So, let us look at how this political demand is put into practice by talking to both, students and experienced professionals who are responsible for integrating foreign students in universities.
absolutely welcome The Steering Committee on Higher Education and Research suggests, that “the university is ideally defined precisely by its universality – its commitment to open-mindedness and openness to the world, founded on enlightenment values. The university thus has great potential to engender ‘intercultural intellectuals’ who can play an active role in the public sphere”.
So let us do a reality check and find out how this open-mindedness and openness of the universities is put into practice in real life. Which methods are used to integrate incoming students in the daily academic life in the foreign country? I spoke with Adelheid Korpp, who is responsible for the incoming students at RheinAhrCampus in Remagen. In our first category, she told me what methods are used for facilitating intercultural integration for the foreign students. In fact, her services starts long before the students arrive in Germany.
One of these student mentors is Tobias Pfanner who has worked and studied in Canada and Australia and from his own experience he already knew how important intercultural mentors can be at the beginning of your stay abroad. He told me the story, how he took the decision to be a “buddy” and help a foreign student have a good start in Germany.
Are these methods of integration the same in different universities? Our student editor Dino spent a semester in León in Spain. In our next category he explains what our partner university did to integrate foreign students interculturally and help them network with each other. Do they also use a “buddy system”?
Unfortunately, not every stay abroad is well prepared and crowned with academic success stories. In our next category I asked Adelheid what happens if the intercultural integration does not work as well as we have heard in our previous stories? Do international students sometimes turn up in the international office in tears because they cannot make friends or because they cannot follow the academic courses in the foreign language?
In our last category, David shares his intercultural experiences at the university in Russia. Of course he he was prepared for seeing different behaviours even for facing situations which in his home country are unthinkable. However, even though he was well prepared for his stay in Russia the attitude of showing “flexibility in exams” reserved some culture shocks for him and the other foreign students. In my conversation with David we also talked about the role of the new social media for getting in contact and staying in contact with your new intercultural acquaintances after your stay abroad. However, in different countries students use different social media to get in touch and keep in contact.
Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 21 August