I would like to propose a new field of studies. If this already exists somewhere, let me know! I will definitely look into it. Before I jump into the details, I would like to thank Pinterest for the inspiration. Oh, Pinterest.
Every day I log on, I see pictures of places I have never been and of foods I would have never thought to create, of clothes I would have never thought to wear let alone design. All of these new and wonderful things inspired me. Thank you Pinterest.
I propose a study of the world, in it's entirety. Mostly culturally. The world would just be "Earth" if it wasn't for the people that make an impact. As a human race, we have the ability to care, to change, to create. That is a constant throughout the world. The purpose of these studies would not be to break language barriers or to learn one culture (or any) in its entirety. The purpose would be to get a broader concept of what goes on all over the world.
Sure, they have exchange programs where one student can live with a family of another culture and learn more about their structure- their schools, their language, their society. As humans, we are constantly evolving. Exchange programs have existed for long enough to seek improvement and growth. We should be expanding beyond one other culture, beyond learning languages. We should be learning about people.
Things identified as cultural basics can vary from one person to the next. Language may make it easier to learn about the differences but there are many other ways to read a culture than by understanding what they are saying. Even just on the plain of communication, there is body language and there is expression through a multitude of media- music, dance, adornment.
My proposal is to experience, understand and/or interpret these other ways to "read" culture and take something from it. Let me be clear- As americans, the purpose is not to bring it back and Americanize it although I'm sure that would make for an easily expandable business market. I know it can be easy to sell someone on something from another culture, especially if it seems new to them and especially if it seems like something that will be widely accepted by their current culture.
There are a few reasons for me to propose it as a class instead of a personal experience. First, I think it would be much easier and much more likely for others to participate if it were organized by someone at the university level. This point isn't so much to have translators but just to have a plan. People have a tendency to talk about doing things but fall through with it if they don't initially set up a concrete plan. Also, this way general observations can be shared and these findings could potentially inspire others to go too. Lastly, it is a proposal to improve on the mainframe of university studies as they are today. I am encouraging all levels of growth from personal to world-wide growth, global adaptation, and a giant step towards an evolution of the learning process.