Hello and welcome to show 221 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the fourth of series of “Erasmus 30” podcasts to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of the most successful of all student exchange programs. In this episode, our two lecturers will share their exchange experiences and stories about their studies abroad. How did teaching in Germany under the Erasmus mobility program benefit a lecturer’s research activities and his academic life? Then we will listen to a lecturer from RheinahrCampus, he will talk about how he studied abroad two decades ago. Was it more difficult to arrange than an exchange semester today? What were the required documents in the past and now? And finally, we will look at the differences in student lives in different countries.
Yes it may be cliché Scottish music, but Amazing Grace is the only bagpipe music that I could find with a Creative Commons licence, and I did like a bit of bagpipe music when I lived in Scotland a long time ago. A couple of months ago I was on a trip to Scotland where all the talk was about the Scottish referendum so I thought I would talk to a few people about it, but would they talk to me? Continue reading “Scotland +++ referendum +++ Ewan McIntosh +++ Absolutely Intercultural 184 +++”
Why do different people have different perspectives? How can the same person have different perspectives on traffic only because one time the person experiences it in the car and the next day on a bicycle? How do our perspectives on events change over time. How big is the cultural influence on our perspective? And how does our perspecive change when we move to another culture?
All of us have different perspectives on the everyday things that surround us, we watch news on television, hear stories and we think we are perfectly informed about everything. But are we really? Sometimes a trip to another country or a new episode in our lives can change our perspective on the World dramatically.
Take Paul MacAlindin for example. He moved from small-town Scotland to big-town Germany and this move changed his geographical perspective to one which for Continental Europeans seems very normal.
Emese Bognar an exchange student from Hungary, vividly illustrates different perspectives and changing perspectives when she told me what irritated her when she attended a lecture and how her perspective on traffic changed, when she did her driving license.
Agnes Dus from Hungary interviewed Adelheid Korpp, who had tried the “hospitality club”, which is a clever system for travelers to get cheap accommodation. The traveler applies for accommodation to a host, contacts the host and asks if they can stay for 1 or 2 nights. This seems to be a pleasant way for travelers to get around and have a cheap bed for the night. However, more importantly, this could be a good way to change your perspective from that of a regular tourist to that of a dear friend invited to the country. But let us listen to Adelheid how this works in detail, because first of all you need to get approved.
In our fourth and last category Roman told me about his time in Australia; he spent a semester at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and we now really have to change our perspectives here, because he is telling us that in the middle of the Australian summer you can still feel pretty cold, but listen to him yourself.
Our next show will be coming to you from Anne Fox in Denmark on 01 April
From Iceland to the 3D College to Chernobyl to Seattle.
In this show we are going to hear from a number of people who have found themselves in a different culture for a short period but they haven’t just been on holiday.
Our first guest is Anne Würtz Petersen, a Danish scientist who found herself on a scientific expedition in Iceland examining the threatened Greenland White-fronted Goose in a group consisting mainly of British colleagues. How did she cope with the technical language and the speed of native speaker language? Tony Fox, one of her colleagues on that trip, tried to find out.
absolutely animated 3D college in Denmark trains young people from the age of about 16 or 17 in this fast growing industry and as part of their studies these students all make several study trips one of which is to Seattle in the USA where they can learn from some of the best in the world such as animators from Disney. Do we see so much American TV and cinema that we all have the feeling that we already know the place before we even set foot there? I talked to Mads and Tobias about the trip and about some of the pictures in an unofficial blog of their travels which has lots of pictures.
At least Mads and Tobias were able to communicate with their host families as they had English as a common language. But what if you went away for a month to stay in somebody’s house where there was no common language at all? Could that work? That was the situation faced by some old friends of mine, Nicky Penford and her son Adam in Aberdeen Scotland when they agreed to host two boys from Belarus for a month, earlier this summer. Belarus was badly affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 and the whole country is still polluted by radiation which affects people’s health. The Chernobyl Children Lifeline charity offers Belarusian children a month’s homestay in countries around the world since it turns out that a month spent in a place with clean air and food can add as much as two years to a Belarusian’s life expectancy. But the Belarusians speak Russian and my friends and their son speak only English. So how did it go? BabelFish was a useful tool for giving the boys an idea of each day’s programme.
I was looking for information about the theories of Stephen Pinker when I came across a couple of really interesting tests which you can take to help his research. The tests are not explicitly about intercultural communication but are trying to find out how people express themselves in difficult or awkward situations. So if you are quite good at English go to http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/ and click on ‘participate in a study’ which will take you to the first test and then suggest you participate in a second study run by one of his colleagues. I am not allowed to say more about the content otherwise I’ll spoil the research. But I will say that both tests raise all sorts of interesting intercultural situations and it is worth thinking about how people from other cultures might react to the same dilemmas.
The next show will be coming out on the 7th of September and will be coming to you from Germany.
Welcome to the 7th episode of ‘absolutely intercultural!’.
After a round of feedback we continue our discussoin about “Culture as the software of the mind” in our column ‘absolutely theoretical!’. We talk about how we integrate updates into our daily lifes and will continue the next time with another aspect.
OK, and we couldn’t help noticing that there is something going on in Germany right now – The FIFA World Cup 2006, so the rest of this show is devoted to the game of all games!
For our column ‘absolutely personal!’ Anne interviewed John Brodie, a member of the tartan army, about a trip to Belarus he made last year and why he is cheering for the Togolese team right now in Germany.
Right after that we have a report of an eyewitness of the match Sweden vs. Trinidad & Tobago. Marie Nilsson from Sweden will let us sneak a peek into the stadium.
And for the last part of the show, which we might call ‘absolutely prepared!’, Laurent has interviewed Dr. Beate Blüggel, who works for the “Deutsche Volkshochschulverband” and who has organized the welcoming of millions of fans from all over the world in German trainstations.
We hope you enjoy the show. Please let us know what you think about it by leaving a comment here on the blog or by writing us an email. You are of course always welcome to send us an audiocomment and make suggestions on what we should talk about in our shows.
The show opens with a song but what is the language?
Translating the idea of software of the mind into practice, why not listen to today’s guest talking about the time she lived in a different country and note the tone of her voice when she talks about something which was obviously incompatible with her cultural programming. You may learn more about Icelanders than you do about Scotland which is where Icelander Gunnhildur Oskarsdottir spent three years.
After a little round of feedback the German station continues its discussion about the metaphor of culture as the software of the mind, and this time they focus on updates.
We finish with the Polar Bear podcast where you will always find out something new about Sweden in every episode. This extract comes from a special joint episode in March where Andy, the Polar Bear podcast host teamed up with Bruce of the Canadian Zedcast podcast and in which they compared notes about misconceptions about their respective countries.