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CCS: What to Expect

Cross Cultural Studies has identified certain objectives that each cross cultural program will achieve for participating students. They are expounded on below.

  • To help the student learn how to study a culture.
  • To help the student integrate his/her existence into the contemporary world more insightfully and more holistically, while making a contribution to the climate of international interest and understanding.
  • To enable the student to gain an awareness of, exposure to, and perhaps even experience in, practical Christian service/response-and especially to the varied ministries of the Free Methodist Church whenever possible.
  • To enable the student to experience both cognitive and affective learning experiences outside the traditional classroom.
  • To foster in the student, with a Christian perspective in mind, the need to begin to assume leadership and responsibility roles in the areas of justice, empathy, and compassion in international and intercultural situations.

More specifically…

  • Any cross cultural option should consist of an exchange of cultural ways, but primarily, we must see that the culture flows into the students from the host setting, and only secondarily, if at all, from the students to the host setting, in order for the experience to allow for observation and analysis to take place. Therefore, it is expected that there will be numerous formal contacts and meetings with a variety of nationals from the host culture. These shall be in addition to the normal informal interactions one might experience with guides, shopkeepers, etc. in the course of a tourist-type trip.
  • There should be emphasis upon the five major social institutions – economics, education, family, government and religion –and the cultural elements by which those institutions are articulated:  architecture, fine arts, music, artifacts, language, crafts, leisure activities, and eco-diversity.
  • The above institutions and the cultural elements by which they are articulated should be studied in historical context.
  • The above institutions should be studied in as much depth and breadth as possible to show the inter-relatedness between the cultural elements and to allow for comparison and contrast with the student’s own culture, while considering everything in the context of the global village and international relations.

Note: The minimum length of the experience is three weeks (21 days) in the host culture. The Faculty Cross Cultural Committee (FCCC) knows that some institutions may receive more emphasis than others and the means by which the institutions are articulated are not always available at the study site. However, the guidelines are to be followed as closely as possible. The FCCC closely examines whether a proposal appears to meet the above objectives/criteria.