Hello and welcome to show 264 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today we will listen to our chief editor Giorgi Sulaberidze from Georgia, Eastern Europe about his cultural experiences during his exchange semester in Germany.
How does the exchange program influence international students’ lives? What are the cultural challenges? Which aspects of life in a foreign country turn out easier than expected? How do our exchange students spend their free time during their stay abroad and what cultural insights do they gain from each other?
In our first category, “absolutely independent”, Giorgi asked his international friends about things they did for the first time in their new cultural environment.
In our second category “absolutely connected”, Giorgi tells us how the group of international students is spending their free time together and how they stay connected through sports and games.
Finally, in our category, “absolutely standing”, Giorgi talks about cultural exchanges amongst the international students. His friend Rabee taught him that the most traditional Jordanian dish, Mansaf is eaten with your right hand while standing around the table.
Our next show will be coming to you on the 6th of August.
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.
In our first category, “absolutely challenging”, Jan Lübke talks about the issues and challenges of being green in different cultures.
In our second category “absolutely confronting”, Rabee Jarrar from Jordan, tells us how can green culture clash with his own traditions and religion:
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.
Hello and welcome to show 218 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the third of a series of “Erasmus” podcasts to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of the most successful of all student exchange programs. In this episode our students are going to share their own experiences and stories with you. You will hear some useful advice for your exchange semester. How should you be prepared before going abroad? How to make your integration easier? Also how Erasmus effects non-exchange students, and how they profit in their home country. And we will listen to a beautiful story about how an exchange semester resulted in a lovely Erasmus couple. Continue reading “Absolutely Intercultural 218 +++ Erasmus babies +++ advice for the exchange students +++ indirect Erasmus effects +++”
In today’s podcast we hear from people who are comparing their life styles in Germany with that in their home countries. However, we will also discuss different beer traditions with a Belgian who gives beer seminars in Germany.
We hear from Ru´a and Francisco, exchange students from Jordan and Spain who tell us how some everyday experiences in a new culture can be a little overwhelming at the beginning.
Then we listen to Filip, the “beer seminarist” from Belgium. He will explain the main differences in beer brewing to us.
In our last part Issa tells about his ideas about Germany before he arrived. He held many stereotypes before coming to Germany and he will admit that some of them were disproved right on arrival.
Our New Editor from Spain: Elena Colunga Caballero. Welcome to our team!
So what should we be listening to in this podcast:
How do you personally try to gain authentic information about a country and culture that you are interested in? Do you trust the official view of the foreign office website? Or do you go straight to Wikipedia? How about listening to some real people from that country? This way you will get the unofficial story from the citizens themselves. Perhaps it could be interesting to listen to a father of two children who can tell you what it is really like to take the two on public transport or to a restaurant? This is inside information that you may not find in any of the official publications of the country. Under a system which is called Rotation Curation Movement, Karsten Kneese will host the twitter account of I_amGermany for a week starting next Monday.
Let us explore what you, the listeners can find out about his culture if you follow him during that week. In our first category “absolutely twitter” I asked Karsten how the Rotation Curation Movement has developed since it started in Sweden last year. If you are interested, please find “I_amGermany” on Twitter on Monday and follow Karsten around for a week. This is grass-roots journalism on Twitter that I think you should not miss. You have the opportunity to find out the real story from real citizens without having to travel to the country.
I spoke to a group of students from the German-Jordanian University who jumped in at the deep end and decided to spend a whole semester in Europe. In our second category “absolutely stereotypical” I asked them what their parents and friends had warned them about before they left.
In our third category “absolutely international” I am talking to a young but very well travelled person. After spending all her holidays abroad since she was 15 she has also studied in France and has now started doing her practical training in the department of Languages /International Affairs at the University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz. I asked Elena from Spain what her friends and family had said when she was planning her big step.
Let us now return to the group of Jordanians who told me that in their country it would be very unusual for a lecturer to go to the university by bike, because there seems to exist a bigger “power distance” between lecturers and their students. We also learn that in Jordan, if you get invited to dinner you have to refuse several times in order to be polite before you finally accept. So one of the students politely said “No” to a dinner invitation in Germany but then learned the hard way that here you only get one shot, and he was not invited again. In our last category “absolutely different” I asked the students to explain major cultural differences which they have observed during the first weeks in Europe.
Our next show will again be coming to you on 2nd of November from Anne Fox in Denmark.
absolutely individualistic: We talk to Jennifer, an American professor for Eastern European Politics at a liberal arts college in Beirut, Lebanon. She tries to encourage her students to develop a more critical and individualistic attitude, which she has missed personally since she left the US. She wants her Lebanese students, but in fact students all around the world, to be at least a little bit more revolutionary, to question the status quo and to express their personality with a “benign whacky individualism”.
absolutely female: For women travellers to some Arabic countries often the most normal things can turn into an exciting cultural adventure. Emma travelled to Syria and Jordan with her sisters and shares with us some everyday occurrences for European women travelling in some Arabic countries. We are able to relive her anxieties at the check-in at the airport when she gets separated from her sisters, her problems getting served in a restaurant and even a confrontation with some seven years old kids with machine guns, apparently serving some kind of military service.
absolutely timeless: We learn from Maris, who went from Latvia to Egypt why time is less important in Egypt sometimes. He tells us, that every time you hear the very common expression “Insha’Allah” in an Arabic country you should try to remain as relaxed as the Arabs. This frequently-used expression means that everything will happen as and when Allah wants it to happen, and is a good explanation when a train or a bus come late and you will soon recognize, that life can be easier if you just accept this fact.
absolutely basic: Cultural misunderstandings often arise from language barriers and a lack of cultural interests. Beatrice explains to us how you can make your journey to an Arabic country a lot more enjoyable if you learn only a few phrases of the Arabic language. You will not only open a lot of doors to the warm and friendly Arabic hosts, but you will also defuse culturally-based stress situations. Showing interest in the foreign culture will distinguish you from the ordinary tourists and people will start to invite you to their homes.
absolutely champion: Absolutely Intercultural has been nominated for a Danish podcasting award because every other AI show is produced in Denmark. If we are to have a chance of winning then we need more nominations before we get to the voting stage! So if you like what you hear then send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
Name of the podcaster(s): Anne Fox
URL of the podcast: http://www.absolutely-intercultural.com
Nominator’s name and email address (to take part in a prize draw of nominators)
Reason for nomination: optional but you can explain why the podcaster deserves the nomination
Deadline for this first round is May 12th. If your Danish is good you can read more at http://www.podcasterprisen.dk/
The next show will be coming to you on 2 May from Anne Fox in Denmark.