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A Major Minor

Andriana writes about completing her cross-cultural studies minor!

Andriana writes about completing her cross-cultural studies minor!

Hello hello and happy March!

I am writing to you with tenth week in the rearview mirror and spring break rapidly approaching. As much as I have loved my courses this term, it has been a busy winter trimester. I am glad to be nearly done and have a couple weeks of rest before beginning the new spring term.

One of the biggest things to come of this term is that I completed the capstone for my minor! While I have written in the past about my English major, I have yet to devote a post to my minor: Cross-Cultural Studies. In light of finishing the culminating component of my minor, I will share why YOU (yes, you!) should choose Cross-Cultural studies.

What is Cross-Cultural Studies?

An academic definition:

Cross-cultural studies is a comprehensive field grounded in the theory of cultural interaction. Admittedly, this is quite expansive, permitting the examination of cultural interaction at both the individual and societal levels. Courses might conduct cultural comparisons, explore the feeling of alienation, and identify power structures that contribute to the establishment of social hierarchies.

My definition:

My love for cross-cultural studies comes from its exploration of a deeply human experience. Courses explore the connection between person and place. They question how people from different places can transcend cultural boundaries to form relationships. They wonder what it means to love a place despite the knowledge that you can never fully belong to it. These are complex questions that ultimately get at the question of what it means to be human.

Why did I choose the minor?

In addition to providing the distinctly human focus that can, at times, feel absent from an academic environment, Cross-Cultural Studies reflects my own upbringing. My dad was born in Greece and my mom, like me, was born in the United States. Although I was born and raised in the US, I am a dual citizen, and my Greek heritage played a significant role in my childhood.

Andriana in Greece
During a trip to Greece, 2017

I felt attracted to the minor because I felt like it could help me better understand my own experience growing up. It wasn’t until I began my studies that I realized how valuable the minor was in its widely applicable curriculum.

What is a capstone?

Departments often use the term “capstone” in reference to a project that serves as the culmination of the learning experience. For Cross-Cultural Studies, the capstone was a digital portfolio in which we focused on an aspect of the cross-cultural experience. We spent the term putting together a website and had the final presentations of our portfolios on Wednesday.

andriana greek dancing
The young me Greek dancing

The portfolio was a wonderful opportunity to bring together all that I have learned during the past three years at Carleton. I enjoyed reflecting on earlier course experiences and explicitly applying them to my upbringing. Completing the Cross-Cultural studies minor has been a great experience, and I am so grateful to be part of the department!

Andriana is a native of Richmond, VA, though her love of snow suggests she might be a northerner at heart. She is in her junior year at Carleton, where she is an English major and a Cross-Cultural Studies minor. When Andriana isn’t busy staying warm in the Minnesotan tundra, you can find her binge-reading, playing music, or watching a favorite movie or show for the umpteenth time. Meet the other bloggers!