We started in 2006 exactly ten years ago. We started in March 2006 and this… is our 200th show.
Along the way we have collected a few awards such as the Edublog award for best educational podcast in 2006 and the European Podcast Award for Denmark in the non-profit category in 2010.
So how to celebrate?
We thought it might be fun to get in touch with some of the people from our first year.
So it is time for those New year resolutions which we don’t tend to stick to. Maybe we have too many? Maybe we don’t share them with anyone so that makes them easier to break? In this show I am going to be exploring just one idea. Maybe, just maybe, if we stick to one idea then we have a better chance of succeeding. And that one idea is about being a good neighbour. How about it? Worth a try?
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Did you know that if you are a student in a European University you are able to take part in an intensive seminar with students and lecturers from all over the EU? We’ll be hearing from some students who took part in one such seminar in Lithuania earlier this year. Did you follow Karsten Kneese on Twitter last month? Karsten took over the ’I am Germany’ Twitter account for a week early in October. One thing I learnt about during that week was the German work canteens which are open to the public. So what do you think of this as a way of representing a country? You can add your comments to our blog here or on our Facebook page. Thank you An, Vian, Sammy, Katherine and Roman who are the latest to have liked us there.
So in May, 35 students and lecturers from all over Europe gathered together in Lithuania to work together for two weeks on an intensive seminar about entrepreneurship called RECEIVE. The topics explored included marketing, intercultural differences, digital communication, coaching and critical thinking. Critical thinking not only has an application to entrepreneurs but is also an important skill for students who have been taught in quite a different way across the world.
I talked first to Serge Koukpaki from Edinburgh University, which attracts many international students each year, about why he teaches a course on critical thinking and the effect on his foreign students. Then I talked to three of the students Serge brought with him to participate in the RECEIVE project who came from China, Thailand and Tanzania to find out what they thought of bringing a diverse group together to create joint products. Guangqian Li from China spoke about his experience of working in a multinational group. I was certainly surprised to learn that this intensive seminar in Lithuania was Li’s first experience of a truly multicultural educational setting. Didn’t he have that in Edinburgh I wondered? Next I spoke to Duanjam Surbpong or Mo for short from Thailand about the benefits of the Intensive programme; extending your network is certainly a useful entrepreneurial skill. My final interview was with Hassan Iddy, a teacher trainer from Tanzania who found that the communal living aspect of the project reminded him of life in Tanzania much more than in Edinburgh where he is currently studying for his Masters.
absolutely challenging So far we’ve heard a lot of good things about the Receive project but there were also a few challenges. For example the group visited holocaust memorial museums while in Lithuania which lead to a discussion on genocide and the question about whether China’s one child policy could also be classed as genocide. For Li, whom we heard from earlier, this was a problem as he explains. And that wasn’t the only challenge. In my own workshop where we were constructing the project website, we suddenly noticed after about four days of work that all the personal photos on the website were of males. This was quite a shocking realization which lead us to review all the photos on the website as well as discussing how this could have happened. In fact it wasn’t just about photos. You may have noticed that all my interviewees in this pod cast were also male. So lots of food for thought.
If you are interested in following up the cross-border entrepreneurial theme you can join me in the free online Global Education conference on Monday 12 th November at 18:00 GMT when I’ll be showing a way of helping interns make more of their foreign posting through online skills training. All details and links will also be on our Facebook page.
And finally don’t forget that if you are interested in following up any aspect of intercultural communication we have put together a collection of books, old and new, theory and practical in the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon book store. You don’t pay any extra but we get a small contribution to help continue pay the expenses of this podcast. Now that the northern nights are drawing in, a book may be just what you need here! You don’t pay any more to buy them through our store and every purchase contributes a little to the running costs of the podcast so if you’re thinking of buying, consider using our new store. There is a permanent link at the top of this blog page.
International Week at RheinAhrCampus – Study abroad – Where is Lithuania heading?
For one week each year we celebrate the international and intercultural aspects of the University of Applied Science Koblenz, this year again with support from the DAAD initiative Go Out!. Every year we invite guests from our partner universities and experts who give presentations for our students about studying or working abroad. However, this time, there were not only students from our own university, but also Agnes Dus from Corvinus University in Budapest in Hungary, and Johan Olsson from Umea University in Sweden. Agnes and Johan were our roving reporters for this week, and they ran from one location to another, always looking for good opportunities to interview people and find out about their international and intercultural experiences.
For our first column they have interviewed three students about their intercultural experiences and plans. Isabelle for example talks about different cultural ways how people do business, and Daniel tells us how his stay in Singapore has changed his life and why you shouldn’t trust too much what you can learn from books about intercultural behaviour.
For the second column Johan spoke to Professor Patrick McMahon from the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education. He turned around the perspective and asked him, what he as a lecturer can learn from international students and what has changed most in the British student culture since he was a student himself.
Agnes met Ruta Jankauskiene from the University of Kaunas. Ruta will give us an insight on the Lithuanian perspective on international exchanges and where her country is heading. absolutely lifelong
And last but not least we are proud to present a new column “absolutely lifelong” where we will share good ideas to organise your own life long learning. Today’s contribution has been produced by Anne Knopf and Gereon Reuter, two of our students at RheinAhrCampus. They will give you some good advice on how you can improve your English in a realistic way and have a lot of fun at the same time.
Here are the links:
Thanks to all of you for your numerous comments after the first show – we were overwhelmed by your response! In our second show we ask ourselves: Can intercultural awareness be taught in a classroom? Can it be taught in online courses?
We start by giving you some quotations from the 17 comments of feed-back on the first show. Fernando, a Spanish student who is doing his internship in Germany explains how surprised he was to hear Germans discuss different olive oils as if they were wines. Alexandra gives examples of how you can teach intercultural communication by facilitating intercultural experiences between participants of different countries. Ana shares her experience of an intercultural business simulation between her university and universities in Sweden and Lithuania.
And then we ask you, the listeners: Have you got any experience with intercultural classes? Perhaps even online? How can we gain intercultural awareness? In our gossip column Tommy from Denmark tells us how the Mohamed-cartoons crossed his holiday plans in Egypt and in our look at our favourite podcasts with cultural contents we hear about solar radio for coffee traders in Ruanda.
In our first show we take you along to Leon in the North of Spain. Some guest in a tapas bar tell us about the social aspects of the tapas culture. Dot from Sweden wonders when Spanish people ever get their sleep and Indre from Lithuania tells us the heart-breaking story of a Lithuanian basket-baller and his Israeli girlfriend who have different religions and whose wedding plans are overshadowed by gossip in their respective countries.