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 +++”
Welcome to show 216 of our podcast “absolutely intercultural” which is the second of a series of “Erasmus podcasts” to celebrate and highlight the 30th anniversary of this “mother of all student exchange programs”. In this episode we are going to hear from the three participants of the program sharing their dearest experiences and stories with you. What is it like to be an Erasmus student? What is is an “Erasmus Experience”? Perhaps living on your own in completely different country for the first time! Stay tuned and listen to our international exchange students from Azerbaijan and Spain, as well as a guest lecturer from Canada.
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Have you ever thought about preparing yourself “interculturally” before going abroad? Did you know that you can simulate a culture shock without ever going abroad? It is perhaps possible to internationalize yourself within your home country’s borders through games and simulations.
absolutely foreign For young academics it does not seem to be adequate any longer to only study in their home countries. Recruiters pay a lot of attention to intercultural experiences that candidates may bring to the new job as a consequence of an exchange programme or an internship abroad. It is a fact that young people whose personal and academic life has been enriched by several stays in different countries are likely to get the jobs they wish. Saskia, Younes and Philipp, three university students, want to share with us their plans to internationalize themselves. However, their stories may be true or false (if you want to find it out, have a look at our facebook page). Who knows, maybe you will get “itchy feet” while listening to these stories and make a similar plan abroad?
In our second category “absolutely privileged” we focus on a game named “How far can I get in my society” inspired by Alexandra Haas and her project “Teaching Culture!“. Matthew and Tehlia, both Australians participants in this game, were amazed at how it makes the social barriers in a society visible. They noticed how some people can go very far whereas immigrants and poorer individuals, with limited opportunities, are often in a disadvantaged position and get left behind.
absolutely real If you are planning to go abroad and it is your first time, maybe the card game BARNGA, which we have already talked about in previous shows, can help you with your intercultural preparation. It really helps experience the real feelings that you will have when moving to another country. Zydrune shares with us her impressions when she played this game, and how it reminded her of her first days in Germany, the feeling of being in a place with a different language, rules and culture from her home country, Lithuania.
Maybe you want to listen to the opinion of a university lecturer of intercultural communication to understand the didactical aims of these games and simulations. In this last category, Elena, our editor, interviews Laurent, the host of the show, who explains the reasons why he believes simulations are sometimes preferable to real life and talks about their advantages and disadvantages.
If you want even more background as to broader issues behind our intercultural stories in this podcast then you might consider visiting the Absolutely Intercultural Amazon store here where we have both classics, basics and specifics for sale, a small proportion of which goes to us to support the costs of maintaining this podcast.
Our next show will be coming to you on 1 March from Anne Fox in Denmark.
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.