The Department of Cross-Cultural Studies provides students with a global perspective through the comparative study of various cultures—including Japanese culture—with the aim of enabling students to bridge the gaps between their own culture and those of other people. Cross-Cultural Studies covers four major areas: Japanese Language and Culture, Multicultural Understanding, the Arts and Cultural Diversity, and Reading and Information Culture. Interdisciplinary knowledge of cultures, languages, international relations, and media helps students integrate their appreciation and understanding of humanity from multiple perspectives and develop skills for cultural exchange in the contemporary world.
Speech Communication Program
Conveying, expressing, or otherwise communicating one’s own thoughts can be a challenging task. In the Speech Communication Program, expert instructors teach students about using their voice and about presentation skills and basic techniques for making speeches.
In small-group seminars conducted throughout four years of study, each class of around 10 students receives detailed and individualized assistance from the instructor in charge. This program fosters close teacher-student relationships; students are therefore free to consult their instructor about any topic of interest. Students also develop their ability to learn in cooperation with their colleagues.
Four Educational Highlights
Students at Notre Dame can take advantage of a versatile curriculum and a system of flexible academic credits to meet their diverse interests and goals. Subjects from different courses can be combined to design a curriculum tailored to a unique personalized goal—for example, becoming a Japanese-language teacher with information-processing expertise or a museum curator with cross-cultural communication skills.
Japanese Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture helps students gain a deep understanding of the Japanese language as well as traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Language courses focus on the history of the Japanese language and advanced skills in contemporary Japanese. In addition, students in the Japanese-language training course gain specialized knowledge and skills to teach Japanese to speakers of other languages; upon graduation, they will receive the Japanese Language Teacher Certificate. Students deepen their knowledge of Japanese history and culture through the study of literary and artistic works and through fieldwork in the rich cultural environment of Kyoto.
This course examines the current status and history of international exchanges between Japan and countries around the world. Students explore the languages and cultures of Asia, the Middle East, and the West. A number of different teachers with real-life experience of living abroad make presentations on the customs and everyday life found in various countries. When languages differ, so too do lifestyles and cultures. By understanding the ideas, values, and lifestyles of other countries, students are able to study and learn their languages in greater depth.
The Arts and Cultural Diversity
Students gain knowledge and appreciation of cultures in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East through the study of art, comparative culture, foreign languages, literature, music, philosophy, and international relations. The broad chronological and geographical range helps students develop insight into aesthetics, various worldviews, and relations between people of different cultures as they prepare for more specialized studies or for professions that require the ability to communicate with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Students who complete the required qualification courses will receive the Museum Curator Certificate upon graduation.
Reading and Information Culture
Reading and Information Culture is an interdisciplinary area in which students acquire a rich awareness of new approaches to information science and the use of information tools in various cultural contexts. Courses include studies in reading, library and information science, media, social and technical aspects of information processing, and Internet communication. Students who complete the required qualification courses will obtain upon graduation the Data Processing Specialist Certificate and/or the Librarian Certificate.
Elective Certificate Programs
- Japanese Language Teacher Certificate
- Librarian Certificate
- Teacher Librarian Certificate
- Museum Curator Certificate
- Secondary School Japanese Language Teacher License
- Upper Secondary School Japanese Language Teacher License
- Data Processing Specialist Certificate
- License to be appointed as Social Welfare Director (Qualification)