Over the last several decades rapid globalization has strongly influenced most nation’s economies, cultures, and societies. Educational institutions, and especially higher education have also been greatly affected. Certainly, globalization affects students studying abroad, drives students to learn foreign languages and cultures, exposes them to international students, ideas, and beyond. However, what does globalization in higher education actually mean for students and how are they connected to this trend? Moreover, during the pandemic COVID-19 era, it became nearly impossible for students to study abroad so what does it mean to learn international field exactly then? To provide a specific case study, I taught a course on intercultural education in 2020 in Japanese university where society and culture is generally more homogenous than other countries. The first point of this course, and the main goal, was for students to learn about modern American intercultural issues. The second, equally important point was to ask students to reflect upon and connect those learnings to their local reality in Japan. By teaching about modern and foreign American issues around topics such as racism, immigration, and political views, students can gain new perspectives and shift their mindset when it comes to how they perceive their own country. I will use this class as a case study and conceptual teaching method and proceed to discuss example cases of global issues where this can be applied. This will guide discussion of the large scope of globalization and how it can be integrated and applied to student learning.
Aki Yamada, Tamagawa University, Japan