Hello and welcome to show 247 of our podcast “Absolutely Intercultural”. Today’s show is about Working Abroad. Maybe you’ve always dreamed about stepping into a new work environment overseas? We will hear from Sandie, an Australian lecturer who taught in Germany, and Nika, from Georgia, who worked as a bartender in Norway. Our interviewer today is Kalvin Mitchell, also from Australia, who is doing his semester as an exchange student at RheinAhrCampus, Germany. He has been our editor for a while and was curious how worklife changes from country to country.Continue reading “New Skills +++ Professional Challenge +++ Working Overseas +++ Absolutely Intercultural 247 +++”
university internship to a career as an intercultural trainer we’ll be talking
to people at both ends of their career in show 244 of absolutely Intercultural.
My name’s Anne Fox and this show is coming to you from Denmark.
First, Gabrielle Lachance, a French Canadian Masters student interning with a consultancy company in Denmark, tasked with getting a good response rate to a survey about electrification in southern African countries. But what are the chances of getting a good response when you send an email asking for complicated technical information to people that you have no connection with?
And then I
talked to Iris Schneider who I met at the SIETAR congress in Belgium in June
who is an intercultural trainer based in Bonn Germany. How did she get her first
intercultural trainer job? She applied as a relocation expert and then this
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
In today’s podcast we focus on people who speak more than one language and on how these languages have an impact on our daily lives and even on our thinking. We will hear Issa Assaf from Jordan who tells us how he learned first Arabic, then English and now German and which new worlds these languages have opened up for him. Issa tells us stories and mentions some books which could potentially change your life, so – beware! Also we will listen to Thomas, who grew up with an Austrian mother and an English father. Is there really an advantage in growing up in a bilingual environment?
Today I would like to pick up the topic of your last show. We talked about CSR which stands for “Corporate Social Responsibility”. In times of global markets and increased business competition, Small and Medium sized Enterprises must find a way to increase their competitive edge. Therefore they often try to save costs as a result of competitive conditions and market instabilities. However, maybe a cultural change in companies will give them a competitive advantage? Implementing and practicing CSR may lead to increased costs and you may not see the benefits immediately. So why do successful companies go in that direction? Apparently around 50% of American and European SMEs believe that CSR-activities are somewhat effective for their business. SMEs can change their company culture and provide significant benefits by investing in small, efficient projects in society to increase their own visibility in the community. Some companies may do something good for the environment or donate money and others might start working in close cooperation with Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations. This time I would like to approach the topic from a different angle. CSR is becoming more and more important in business life and thus future managers should have a solid knowledge about it. In previous shows I talked to CSR specalists such as lecturers from different European universities and employees of companies which have implemented CSR in their business plans. Our focus was to find out how CSR work changes the culture within the company but also the contacts between a company and its stake holders. Today my focus is on students and what they learn about CSR during their studies of Business Administration. I interviewed students from Hungary, Russia, and Mongolia who dealt with corporate culture and CSR in their last semester at RheinAhrCampus in Germany in one of my courses called “International Business Simulations”.
absolutely young In our first category I asked Katalin Perjési from Hungary what she thinks about CSR and what she learnt on the course. She will tell us about a project where the students designed and implemented their own CSR projects for the university. They invited school children to the campus to teach them about respect and diversity in the community. Some said afterwards that they walk past the university every day but had never dreamed of spending a day inside before they reach their A-levels. As these were school children who often get taught in classes with many national backgrounds it was not so surprising, how much they already knew about diversity, respect for different cultures and dealing with other children who do not have the same first language.
absolutely green I interviewed Nadya Kokareva from Russia. She will tell us about the vague ideas people have about CSR and gives us some examples of how a university could practice CSR. This is not exclusively about institutions “going green”, which means saving the environment. Nadya also took part in the course and participated in another project. This time, the target group were not the children in the community, but the elderly people who live in a nursing home just 800 metres from campus. In spite of the proximity, the students who took part in the project had never visited the home.
absolutely courageous Oyunbileg is an exchange student from our Turkish partner university in Izmir. However, she is originally from Mongolia and is currently doing her Erasmus semester abroad. In our last category she will talk about her theoretical lectures on stakeholder relationships and relates the theory to the practical CSR projects she was involved in last semester. Finally she gives us an idea of the cultural differences she experienced moving between Mongolia, Turkey and Germany.
Our next show will again be coming to you on 7 of September.
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We’ll start with Niki Davis, a professor in New Zealand who was speaking at the online Cultural Diversity in a Digital World conference in January. Actually, online conferences are quite common these days but what made this one special was its attempt to include three languages, English, Arabic and Hebrew. The conference was organised in Israel which explains the three languages chosen. But what would make you participate in an Arabic session if you don’t speak the language? Perhaps the fact that simultaneous translation was offered in the other two languages? You’ll hear Jay Hurvitz who was chairing Niki’s session refer to this as he introduced Niki to the multicultural participants. Niki was talking about the place of online communication in intercultural understanding and how the blandness of online communication makes face to face contact even more important.
So now I’m going to invite you to think back to your maths lessons at school. Was that something you looked forward to? I’m actually one of those who people who enjoyed maths (for a short while) but I do know that it’s not everyone’s favourite subject. So our next piece is about how (and why) teacher LaMar Queen in Los Angeles, started using rap music to teach mathematical concepts. Even more extraordinary is the fact that there is a World Pi Day to celebrate the mathematical constant Pi which you need to work out various things to do with circles. Come on! You remember this stuff right? World Pi Day is on March 14. Why that date? You can hear more maths raps at musicnotesonline.com. So how would this go down in your town, your school? And I wonder what would be an approriate meal to eat on Pi Day? Apple pie for dessert obviously but what about the main course?
In our last category, absolutely Maori, we’ll return to that trilingual online conference in Israel and find out why it’s important to learn the Maori language in New Zealand and why it is that you can’t just use a dictionary to translate into Maori. This is just a short extract from Niki Davis’s session and although the conference was in January, it was recorded and you can find the links to this and all of the other sessions and recordings here.
Our next show will be coming to you from Dr. Laurent Borgmann on June 1st so kia ora and stay tuned!
Today I am going to talk about the exciting decisions of those students who broaden their horizons by studying abroad. Furthermore we will talk to an expert who helps these students get the right information and financial support for fulfilling their dreams of living and studying in another country. Last but not least I would like to share an urban myth about an intercultural incident on a British Airways flight complete with a happy ending (at least for some of the people involved!)
In Germany it is normal for about 20% of students at universities go abroad during their studies. However, Anne Gründer, is rather special in many ways. She studied Biomathematics and chose to spend a semester studying abroad at EWHA Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. And because she enjoyed her time so much she actually extended her stay for a second semester. Anna also successfully learned the language with the Asian symbols that look so unfamiliar to the western eye. Now that she is back in Germany she looks back on the cultural differences she experienced and shares how she benefited from her stay. In our first category she will start by telling us why she chose South Korea as her destination for her semester abroad.
absolutely courageous If one of our listeners is toying with the idea of coming to Germany, our interview will be particularly interesting for you. Kata Perjési is an Hungarian student. After spending a study semester abroad in Finland, she had planned to do her internship in Finland too. However, luckily for us she ended up being our new intern here at RheinAhrCampus. Kata is from Corvinus University in Budapest and will stay here for six months. In our next category she is going to tell us, why she chose Germany as her destination and what benefits she expects to get out of her stay abroad.
Our last guest for today is Wolfgang Kräft. He is working for the “German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD”. Together with his team, one of Wolfgang’s jobs is to travel through Germany and to inform German students how they could study abroad and which financial support they can get. They stop in bigger cities with their go-out mobile bus and provide students with a lot of information. In our last category Wolfgang will tell us what the ideal study abroad student should look like, how students can receive information about a semester abroad and finally he will give us advice on how your stay abroad could be the most productive time of our studies.
Let me finish today with an intercultural urban myth about a black man and a white woman – a story has turned into a well-copied piece on the internet over the last decade. According to different versions this incident would have happened on about 17 different Airlines which is not very plausible but the story is nice enough to be re-told here:
“A 50- year old white woman on a British Airways flight arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man. Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.
“Whats the problem, ma?” the hostess asked her
“Cant you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him! You have to change my seat”
– “Please, calm down” – said the hostess
“I think, all the seats are occupied, but I`m still going to check if we have any.”
The hostess left and returned some minutes later.
“Madam, I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn`t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”
“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class be upgraded to the first class. However, given the circumstances, the captain thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person.”
And turning to the black man, the hostess quickly said:
“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your hand luggage, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”
And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some giving standing ovations.”