Cross Cultural Studies Concentration
Carleton College, with a generous grant from The Starr Foundation, launched a new academic program of Cross-Cultural Studies in the fall of 2000. The Cross-Cultural Studies program brings together American and international students in team-taught, interdisciplinary seminars to address and explore global issues and problems in a comparative, collaborative framework.
Through regular course work, study abroad programs, and on-campus social events, faculty and students analyze topics that cut across traditional national and cultural boundaries and share cross-cultural experiences.
The Cross-Cultural Studies program is designed to increase students' intercultural competencies and produce graduates who are able to participate in a global society and working an increasingly multicultural and global workforce. The program also intends to attract international students who, in coming to Carleton, will experience a culture not their own, giving them an experiential basis for comparative study.
The Cross-Cultural Studies program helps students interested in a particular culture or tradition place that area in a broader, comparative and cross-cultural context by seeing how it participates in and is influenced by trans-national dynamics and problems. The program is designed as a concentration at Carleton. A concentration is a series of related courses representing a variety of disciplines that complement work in a student's major, whatever that may be.
Carleton faculty in such disciplines as history, religion, art, political science, sociology, anthropology, music, philosophy, and economics as well as languages will teach most courses in the program.
Students electing to participate in the Cross-Cultural Studies Concentration take a variety of courses in several different academic disciplines. For example, students can enroll in a first-year seminar that focuses specifically on growing up cross-culturally, viewing childhood and adolescence in comparative perspective. Students will be expected to take a second year methods course designed to explore the basic tools of conducting cross-cultural comparisons effectively. Four additional courses, including regional, comparative and globally focused courses are also required to complete the concentration. These courses may include such topics as Culture, Modernity and Identity in China and Japan; Ethnography of Latin America; English and Chinese Short Stories; Myth, Ritual and Symbolism; Economy, Ecology and Culture.
Students will also complete a senior capstone seminar in which they will use their own expertise and knowledge of the country or culture they have studied to research and write an essay that compares that country's experience to that of the United States or another country.
"Asia in Comparative Perspective"
The intent of the Cross-Cultural Studies program is ultimately to become global in its reach and perspective. In these initial years of the program, however, the concentration will offer a special focus on Asia in Comparative Perspective.
The program builds on Carleton's traditional strengths in Asian Studies by engaging students from Asia and students from the United States who are studying an Asian culture in-depth. Jointly, they explore history, cultural expressions, politics and values, based on their personal experience as well as academic coursework.
"One of the great advantages of this course is its ability to allow students to compare their own experiences with those of classmates. In the process, students come to understand not only their own values and priorities, but also what they share with others from different parts of the world.”
Professor Jim Fisher, Director of Cross-Cultural Studies Program
Asia in Comparative Perspective is a distinctive program offered by one of America's finest liberal arts colleges. Students in the program will:
- Take a series of seminars, content courses, and methodology courses that enable them to explore cultures in depth.
- Enjoy a student-faculty ratio of 10:1.
- Complete any of 30+ majors offered at Carleton in the sciences, arts, social sciences, or humanities.
- Use one of the largest undergraduate libraries in the country.
- Have opportunities to seek internships with local, national, and international companies.
- Use a wide range of computing services, including Ethernet connections to the Internet and World Wide Web in every student room on campus.
- Have access to a well-equipped Center for Modern Languages.
- Take part in off-campus study experiences, in Asia for students from the United States and in the United States for students from Asia.
- Live in residence halls with other Carleton students.
- Develop lifelong friendships with students from across Asia and the United States.
- Join theater, music, arts, journalism, broadcasting, athletics, government, volunteer, and other activities that enhance the undergraduate learning experience.
- Live in a unique small town with ready access to the major metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
For international students interested in Cross-Cultural Studies
With generous suppport from the Starr Foundation, Carleton is able to offer scholarship assistance to qualified students from Asia for four years of study at Carleton College leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Starr Scholars are expected to participate in the Cross-Cultural Studies concentration, although they are free to pursue any major they desire. Carleton College and the Starr Foundations expect that Starr Scholars will return to their home countries or regions either after graduation from Carleton or participation in a postgraduate program.
All international students are invited and encouraged to participate in the Cross-Cultural Studies concentration. Additional limited scholarship funds are available for international students through the Kellogg and George scholarships. The Kellogg Scholarship provides assistance with college expenses for any non-U.S. citizen. The George Scholarship is given to students from developing nations that demonstrate economic need and exceptional academic potential and promise. All international students may select any major and still participate in the Cross-Cultural Studies concentration.
All international students will have a special orientation before classes start, designed to acquaint them with the College, the program, and life in the United States. Throughout the four years of study, international students will work closely with both an academic advisor who will aid in the selection of courses, and an Advisor to International Students who will assist with visas, orientation, and activities to fully integrate international students into the life of the College.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my freshman seminar, Growing Up Cross-Culturally. The professor did a good job of incorporating many different media into the course…while realizing that we could also learn a great deal from the incredibly varied experiences of students in the class.”
- Kate Bourdow, 2004, USA
“The reason I decided to come to Carleton was simple: great academics, excellent reputation and the freedom, of every sort, that comes with studying in a small liberal arts college. Carleton has more than lived up to my expectations. In just the second term of my freshman year, I have experienced more intellectual and emotional growth than I would have thought possible. I have already made friends-for-life, and am widening my horizons everyday.”
Saurabh Chatterjee, 2004, India