Integration of Cross-Cultural Studies in the USA
The world is growing smaller at a rapid rate. As such, it is vital for people in every position to be prepared to deal with those of other cultures. In answer to this demand, increasing numbers of colleges and universities across the United States are integrating cross-cultural studies into their offerings. These studies range from certificate to graduate degree options and often include opportunities for students to study abroad.
The Growing Importance of Cross-Cultural Studies
At one time, the United States was fairly self-sufficient and created the majority of the goods and services needed by its citizens. Over time, however, business and industry has become highly globalized. This means that people today will be very likely to meet and deal with people from other cultures. This can be an issue because of language barriers and differences in cultural styles. While independence is strongly prized in the US and other cultures, still others frown upon independence and cherish interrelatedness.
In order for professionals to be successful, it is vital that they have a working understanding of such differences so they can conduct business and interactions in the most efficient and beneficial way possible. As this becomes more important, increasing numbers of colleges and universities will further integrate cross-cultural studies into the curriculum.
About Cross-Cultural Studies
At this time, it is possible to engage in cross-cultural studies at many secular colleges and universities, but far more programs are available at religious institutions that are geared toward training students for missionary programming assignments and to serve as religious leaders throughout the world. The length of a cross-cultural studies program will depend upon the level of degree to be granted.
Cross-cultural degree programs are geared toward students who wish to develop all of the necessary skills and knowledge for working in cross-cultural environments. Studies focus on appreciating cultural diversity, understanding the dynamics of various cultures, and negotiating such differences with the end goal of bridging any cultural gaps.
Specific coursework will vary from one institution to another but typically includes courses in conflict mediation and resolution as it applies to religious, corporate, legal, grassroots, educational, nonprofit, and non-governmental organizations. Many schools also include regional studies as related to the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, among others, with the purpose of teaching global perspectives. Aside from general core requirements, students who engage in cross-cultural studies can expect to take a number of courses in history, literature, language, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and geography, all with an emphasis on cultural diversity. Students who choose to study abroad for part of their entire program will have the added benefit of being immersed into a culture they are studying. This provides a more solid experience and allows the student to practice all learning in a real-world environment.
There is little doubt that cross-cultural studies will be even further integrated into American education as the cultures of the world become more interdependent. In fact, some colleges and universities are already including a cross-cultural studies requirement for all students. This trend will probably expand over time to include such studies as part of the core requirements of all students.
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Author: James Powell, chief writer of bestessays.com