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Moving to a foreign country may require special preparation to get along with different cultural conventions in your new environment. If you are trained to pay attention to intercultural details, you will discover many differences during your stay abroad. Have YOU ever had an intercultural experience where you have felt as if you had been thrown into the cold “intercultural” water? Perhaps a situation which made you wish you had taken an intercultural preparation class – to be better prepared for situations like that? Actually, there are so many different cultures with so many different conventions, which can never be taught in one single classroom. So, we asked ourselves, how can we achieve intercultural “awareness” and be well- prepared for such varied situations?
In previous episodes we heard a lot about intercultural experiences of exchange students who have come to Europe. They told us about some intercultural incidents which had shocked or embarrassed them in their new surroundings. However, we never asked ourselves how these students could prepare themselves interculturally, so that these painful situations could be softened or even avoided? Let us listen to Domas, who points us to an opportunity for intercultural preparation by using an online learning-platform called Keenjar
Many people expect that they will pick up intercultural differences naturally while they are in the new culture but if you have a theoretical framework before you go you might do a much better job interpreting all the new impressions?
Let us listen to Collette. She is a moderator of an online intercultural preparation course, in which students who go to different European countries for their practical training share their intercultural experiences. Collette, herself, had to do without such training when she moved from Kenya to Europe and it felt to her as if she had been thrown into the cold water. This is why she now appreciates intercultural preparation instead of learning the hard way.
On Collette’s course, sharing one’s practical experiences with other people who are in similar situations is the way forward to developing an intercultural awareness that helps us master new intercultural situations.
Audrius is going to give us some more details about how the online school works. Learning something new in a group with people from different cultures can be a very powerful intercultural stimulant. This could happen either in a physical classroom or, as in the case of Keenjar, in an online environment, where the teacher is in one country and the students are contributing their experiences from different geographical locations world-wide.
The festive season is round the corner and wherever you are in the world and whatever religion is predominant in your country, there is still a good chance that we will all be listening to “Jingle Bells” from the radio one of these days. Do you celebrate Christmas in your country? Will it be a white Christmas – or will you, like me, have a day off on the beach? We asked ourselves what kind of present we could make to our audience in such diverse cultural settings at the end of the year? And we are happy to say: we found the perfect intercultural present.
Dr. John Cressler is going to give us some information about his historic novel called “Emeralds of the Alhambra” which tells the story of an intercultural Love Story involving Christians, Jews and Muslims…
Would you like to share with us your own intercultural experience in foreign countries? If so, we would be delighted to hear both positive and negative experiences, so don´t hesitate and share your intercultural experiences with it with us on our Facebook Page.
Our next show will be coming to you on 3rd January from Anne Fox in Denmark.
Until then –
Bleiben Sie absolut interkulturell!
And please visit our Facebook page.
The host of this show is: Dr. Laurent Borgmann
Editor: Younes Jaber