The objective of the Cross-Cultural College is to help students develop the skills that will position them to better engage in a human, meaningful way with the wider world. University is the time to stretch oneself to the fullest, and the CCC is designed with that in mind: to introduce students to new perspectives and lifestyles that are very much a part of our globalizing international society. Through collaborative work on joint projects, Japanese and Canadian students will have a cross-cultural experience, see diversity in action and make friendships that will last a lifetime. Even if your longer-term aspirations lie more at home than they do abroad, remember that learning about others - and from others - makes us better understand ourselves. I can think of no more effective mechanism than the CCC to assist you in this regard. So, take up the challenge, join the program, and develop the communication and cross-cultural skills that will make you a world citizen.
What sort of person will be able to contribute to the sustainable development and growth of global society? From a survey of 70 firms, we found that although foreign language skills are of course essential, what these firms regarded as most important was the ability to perceive and solve problems effectively, and to work in a multicultural environment, unhampered by cultural biases and preconceptions. These conclusions accord with my own experience of some 25 years working in foreign countries. The program of the Cross-Cultural College will be built around a core of practically-oriented courses in which Canadian and Japanese students work together to understand and solve problems. Its courses will nurture the abilities needed in the future for students to act effectively on the global stage.