Cross culture refers to the interaction of people from diverse backgrounds in the education, business or sports (Investopedia, 2002). Cross culture is a crucial issue in higher education as the success of this education highly depends on the interaction of teachers and students from different regions and cultures. Higher education centers are devoting massive resources in ensuring that both teachers and students interact well among each other and fomenting a good cross-cultural experience.
Cross culture may be experienced by a student or a teacher taken to a region or location which is quite different from a familiar territory. The teacher or student must learn the language or culture of the persons around him/her and vice-versa. In a cross cultural environment, a person must be able to learn the culture and language of the people around in order to succeed. In this expanding global economy, the issue of adaptability and cross culture will continue to be crucial factors in the world of higher education (Investopedia, 2002).
Cross culture can happen at a local or international level. Some countries have communities that speak different languages and different cultures. When students meet at an international level in an institution of higher education, they facilitate a cross culture. This opportunity permits students to interact with students and teachers from a different culture. Some students may experience culture shock, but this culture shock diminishes as time passes since a student will get used to the culture. Universities normally attract students from different parts of the globe.
The Importance of Cross Culture in Higher Education in the 21st Century
Cross culture plays a critical role in higher education in this century. It is important to note that after students graduate from institutions of higher education, they go to various regions and participate in the development of those areas. Cross culture by this time would have impacted the lives of these young people a great deal. Institutions of higher education understand the importance of cross culture and that is the reason why these institutions encourage international students to enroll in large numbers.
Students move from one continent to another in search of higher education. Many parents believe that international institutions for higher learning allow their sons and daughters to have an international exposure. International exposure leads to international thinking due to close interaction with people from diverse countries and cultures. This opportunity enables students to meet their colleagues from different regions hence sharing many things that some of them do not know. In order to go forward as a society, it is important to appreciate other people’s culture by learning from them (Gudykunst, 2003). Every culture is unique in its own way hence the need to recognize the culture of other people. What makes the world beautiful is the fact that there is a lot of diversity around the globe. There are thousands of cultures owned by billions of people in the world. When people from different cultures meet, it offers an opportunity to learn a different culture from a neutral perspective.
Cross culture gives room for students to learn from other people. People from various backgrounds have different ways of life that can be beneficial to other people. For example, some communities may possess some skills and knowledge on farming or industrialization that can benefit other people. Cross culture in higher education permits students to learn important lessons from other people that can be beneficial to them in many ways. The Chinese people boosts of beneficial eating habits that is critical to their health. Students from other backgrounds, for example America, can learn these habits that will end up helping them in their own health. The development realized in most parts of the world has been as a result of people learning from other people
Cross culture leads to international peace
Cross culture in higher education facilitates international trade (Essex, 2010). It is important to note that for international trade to function, nations must understand each others languages and ideologies. Higher education in a cross cultural environment allows students to learn various languages. Learning a different language enhances the opportunity for people in different countries to communicate effectively. Proper communication leads to smooth trade. Many nations and communities depend on international trade for their development. Some countries export oil and other minerals while others export agricultural products. For these exportation and importation to happen, communication is the most important thing. English speaking nations must learn French and vice versa in order to facilitate proper communication in their deals.
Healthy competition comes into play in a cross cultural environment. Competition in both academic work and games in a school environment is very prevalent. Every nation in the world has national values that bring the nation together. Citizens of the nation will do anything within their power to ensure that they make their country proud. Competition among students from various backgrounds is critical since the standards of education will rise to another level. It is important for young people to learn competition early enough in life since competition brings higher productivity and competence. In the recent past, the world ranking in terms of best performing Universities ranked top those Universities known to have many international students. International students bring stiff competition to those institutions thus improving the standard of education. For many years, thousands of students have moved to other countries to seek education in a cross cultural environment. On returning home, these students have helped propel their countries to great heights in terms of development. The skills and knowledge gained in these institutions helped them come up with strategies and policies to help the economies of their countries.
Cross culture in higher education boosts diplomatic relations of various countries. Some countries do a government to government exchange of students to their institutions in order to boost diplomatic relations (Essex, 2010). Some countries even give scholarships to students of a given country for students to learn in their top institutions. Many Africans and other third-world countries benefit from these scholarship schemes. These scholarship schemes give room for needy students to acquire higher education for their own benefit. Once these students acquire education, they return to their countries to participate in development by offering their expertise. The United Kingdom has a scholarship program that targets Commonwealth countries. Yearly, thousands of students benefit from this scheme. Some students come from needy backgrounds and without scholarship they may not get an opportunity to progress in their academic endeavors. Despite benefiting the students directly, the countries that offer scholarships and beneficiary countries all benefit in terms of improvement in diplomatic relations. There is a need for a good diplomatic relation between and amongst countries to facilitate trade and international peace. Countries that enjoy good diplomatic relations have embassies to work on behalf of the various governments.
Cross cultural interaction has led to common monetary terms for European countries. Europe has a common currency, Euro and there is also free movement of citizens across European countries. A single monetary currency and easy movement of citizens has led to improved trade that has boosted the economy of these countries. Other continents or regions are doing all within their possession to ensure that international embargoes do not exist. In East Africa, for example, the heads of state and governments recently signed an agreement that may lead to a single monetary currency. All of these efforts started when the countries encouraged a cross border facilitation of education. Students from one country moved to institutions of higher learning of another country raising the need for integration of the countries. The increase of appetite for higher education has led well-known Universities and colleges to open campuses in other countries. This not only improves the standard of education, but also improves development in various sectors of the economy.
The 21st century is known for the rise of internet and its various uses. The internet has made the world a global village since a person in America can easily communicate with another person in Asia by a click of a button. The internet has even made things easy for higher education since the internet provides enough resources for academic work. A professor in America is able to upload reading materials on the internet and a student in Africa applies the information in his/her academic work. Many higher education institutions around the globe have harmonized their curriculum such that a given course from different regions has the same reading materials. Cross cultural education facilitates easy availability of learning materials for students. The internet offers a platform for students to interact at an international level thus sharing ideas among each other.
Cross culture in the educational system help in eradicating stereotypes and racialism. Some cultures have stereotypes concerning another culture. These stereotypes are always due to lack of knowledge concerning the other culture (Elmer, 2002). When students and lecturers from different cultures meet in an educational background, some of these stereotypes are exposed. People come to learn that every person is important and well able just like other people. In addition, it becomes evident that ones culture has no impact in matters of education since what a person needs is an opportunity to show their ability. Many people thought that Africa was a primitive and dark continent due to lack of enough information concerning the continent. What has been revealed in recent years is that Africa has a lot of resources. Some of its sons and daughters such as Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela and Wangari Maathai have risen to be international well known personalities. These people have been known for their efforts around the world. Cross culture in higher education offers an opportunity for students from neglected background to show that they are not what people think they can not do. What these students needed was simply an opportunity and not sympathy.
Higher education prepares students for jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities in the world. When these students graduate, they go out and work together with people from a different culture. Cross cultural environment of higher education serves as an opportunity to prepare students on how to handle and treat people from other cultures (Essex, 2010). A person from American origin may get a job in interior Africa. As a result of cross cultural higher education the person experienced, he/she will find himself/herself at home in the continent. Cross cultural higher education prepares students for employment in different parts of the world. It is highly encouraged that a student gets an opportunity to interact with students from various backgrounds in order to know their culture. Many students make an effort to learn as many languages as possible. When a person learns these languages, he/she gets an opportunity to work in different pars of the world since communication will be very easy. Languages such as French, English and Spanish are widely spoken by thousands of people around the world. Communication is critical between people dealing with each other since without communication, no business can take place. Confusion reigns when language becomes a major barrier between two people who may want to do business with each other.
The 21st century has witnessed major developments in various sectors of the world economy. These developments have come up since people have recognized the opportunities in various areas of the world. Cross culture in the higher education sector allows students to market the various opportunities in their countries or region (Elmer, 2002). For example, a student from Africa studying in America will share with fellow students from other continents on the available opportunities in his/her mother countries. Other students may develop a love for that country and may plan a visit. This will in turn lead to a boost in the tourism sector and possibility of new investment partners. Tourism boosts the economy of many countries in Africa as tourists bring revenue to those countries. A cross cultural environment offers an opportunity for tourism promotion of a given country and eventually a boost in the economy. Students who travel in a different country or region for higher education will act as an ambassador for his/her country in the face of students from other countries and regions.
The world is undergoing a lot of changes. Many of the discoveries and inventions are taking place in higher education institutions. The students that make innovations study in well equipped institutions that give students an environment to be innovative. It is therefore critical for students from other countries to enroll to institutions that have international reputation so that they can participate in the innovations. The innovations happening in institutions of higher learning has helped revolutionized many things in this century. Innovations that touch the lives of many people have put the names of many students in the international boo of recognition. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, an Israel-American student started the use of social media ‘Facebook’. This social site has influenced the lifestyle of many people around the globe. Mark’s innovation could be attributed to the kind of environment he was exposed. This innovation has brought a lot of respect to his University and country.
Cross culture education has led to many reforms in the education sector. The education sector has been compelled to do many drastic changes to facilitate peaceful co-existence among the students. The institutions of higher learning have had to incorporate curriculum that appreciates diversity. The institutions have developed a mechanism to ensure that higher education in an instrument to bring diverse cultures of the world together. Institutions have introduced common courses that appreciate different cultures and the importance of these cultures to the people owning them. Institutions have also initiated ways to make students from different cultures to work together in harmony. Sports and other none academic activities have played a critical role in ensuring that students from different cultures mingle in an easy way. In order to ensure that students understand each other, institutions offers language lessons to willing students to enhance effective communication.
Many steps need to be taken to ensure that cross culture education receive enhancement due to its importance. Ministry of education of various countries must ensure that cross culture in higher education is practical in all corners of the world in order to allow appreciation of diversity of various people. Cross culture in higher education gives room for unity among different cultures and enhances development in many areas. Diplomatic relations heavily rely on cross culture education for them to strive. Many actions are yet to start to ensure that the areas of the world that experience challenges enjoy peace at least once. This requires everybody’s effort.
Cross culture in higher education in this century is very common. Cross culture is very common since the world is now a global village and people from various backgrounds interact in an easy manner. Regional blocks in many parts of the world has led has further lead to cross cultural search for education. In the coming years, it is a common knowledge that cross cultural education will receive enhancement. Cross culture in higher education is very important as it helps students from various cultures interact in a common environment. Understanding the culture of another person leads to its appreciation and hence international unity.
Elmer, D. (2002). Cross cultural connections stepping out and fitting in around the world. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press.
Essex. (2010). Cultural Diversity in America. Retrieved on December 9th, 2013 from http://www.maec.org/cross/2.html
Gudykunst, W. (2003). Cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
Investopedia. (2002). Definition of ‘Cross Culture’. Retrieved on December 9th, 2013 from
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