In 2019, the theme of the Cross Summer Academy was “Open Minds Change the World.”
Together, we accomplished one very important goal: we demonstrated that no matter where we are from, when we come together to celebrate life, we all grow. We accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible. We demonstrated that, in human terms, our world is borderless.
Throughout the Academy we celebrated the openness of discovery: the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, the creative potential in technology art and design, the passion of Wasabi cultivation, the exploration of Karst geography, and much more.
In 2020 our theme shifts slightly to recognize one of the worlds most symbolic gestures of community: the Olympics. Our theme, as a consequence, is “Olympic Minds Change the World.” We recognize this by recognizing the Olympic potential in all of us, in sport, engineering, art, exploration, and more.
In 2019 the Cross Summer Academy welcomed people from all parts of the world: Morocco, France, Georgia, the USA, Sri Lanka, Canada, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, China, and Korea.
The 2020 Cross Summer Academy is going to be an even more diverse experience. Together, we look forward to defining the kind of world we choose to live in.
Put your child in a total English and International environment.
Are you considering sending your child overseas to learn English? Are you thinking about International School Education? Are you just returning to Japan and hope to maintain your children’s English and International exposure? If you respond “Yes!” To any one of these, then the Cross Summer Academy is for you!
Put your child in a total English and International environment. Let them work in English, to accomplish exciting learning objectives with kids and teens from around the world. Help them gain the confidence to become part of the international community!
If life is ultimately dependent on the choices we make, then Education should focus on the skills we require and understandings we need in order to make them wisely. In his poem, “The Road not Taken,” Robert Frost offers suggestions, and I have questions…
Dear Mr. Frost, I know all about your choice of the road less travelled, the grassier one. The one that wanted wear. But I wonder. In our lives, while we tend look ahead at impending decisions, we seldom arrive at those junctures with comfort or certainty or the emotional security of knowing or understanding the consequences of the choices we must make. To do so would require a modicum of prescience.
When the road splits, we choose one. What I dearly want to understand is not just the merit of a road less travelled, but how to even recognize the fact that it is! Whether I move in one or the other direction, how can I not be left ultimately with a “What if?” and with that, unrequited experience.
You see, those forks in the road, past, present, and future, have all at some point been in the future. To understand which are travelled less than others, to know which make more sense than the alternatives, to determine which are better, is, at any pending juncture, intimidating. Though the actions best taken may well be suggested by the paths that lead to forks, the implications and inexorable consequences of the choices to be made remain, for the most part, unknowable. Consequentially, the propositions are daunting.
I know! Some say, “Of course, everything suggests you turn right.” Others arrive at the completely opposite conclusion. Ultimately, Interpretation is the nearest thing we have to prescience. The interpretations that ultimately guide us to one path over another present us with perhaps the most unsettling of human experiences. Risk, the fear of loss, the unknown.
Carpe Diem! they say. We are told to celebrate risk. Challenge ourselves. Carve our own paths through life. Go where no (hu)man has gone before. These are all noble. Admirable. And yet, every decision we make leads us in a direction rife with unknowables. Each time we decide, new consequences emerge, not only for ourselves, but also for those who have been parts of our journeys to each point of divergence.
And then there are those things that are born of events and relationships during our travels along the paths we’ve already chosen. As a simple consequence of being, haven’t they also their own rights to exist. What of them? If each decision we make marks the demise of things that may have otherwise been, then each decision we make also becomes an act of sacrifice.
So how should we proceed? How do we move ahead? They say life is full of compromise. Every choice we make leads us in one direction over all possible others, the sum total of which become entire lifetimes unrealized. Roads less travelled? I would venture a parallel characterization: lifetimes lost.
The choices we make carry with them the weight and responsibility of sacrifices made and possibilities abandoned. As a consequence, each choice, every road, every sacrifice comes with it a promise and a responsibility to ensure it was the right one. “Life is like pain dipped in honey.” This is a line from another poem I did not fully grasp in my youth. Now, Mr. Frost, framed by the roads I have taken and sacrifices I have made, I think I do.
The most comfort in conclusion I can reach is one, driven by compromise, and perhaps, importantly, the respect owed to the sacrifices I have myself made: maybe those sacrifices are, in reflection, our best guides, to help us learn, to teach us how to make the best of the choices we do make. We owe them our dedication, effort, open minds, passion, love, and inspiration.
Perhaps, with that, our paths will lead us to new achievements and greater satisfaction. We may also discover ways to resume, in our journeys through life, paths we considered lost forever.
For one special week, from August 12th
to August 16th, Cross Education will move the base of its Summer
Academy operation to the OKUTAMA＋Old
Furusato Junior High School facility at 594 Kawai
town site. There, for one entire week, the Summer Academy will engage in the Cross-Okutama International Obon Outdoor
Camp experience. In an effort to bring sustainable international education
opportunities to the residents of Okutama. Cross Education intends to grow this
program annually, inviting more participants each year from Japan and countries
from around the world. This year the Academy is hosting kids from Japan,
Russia, Canada, the US, Finland, Australia, Morocco, France, Georgia, Taiwan,
and beyond, and we look forward to sharing the experience with the kids and
teens of the Okutama region. Cross programs tie in local, regional, and
globally relevant applied learning opportunities that highlight culture,
society, arts, technology, environment, and internationalism. We look forward
to those using the things that are important to the people of the Okutama
region in order to help kids and teens to learn more about each other, and the
wider world around them. We believe this, in partnership with the community
residents, businesses, schools, and municipal authorities, can grow into a
local highlight and a strong example of regional internationalism.
Cross Education was established in 2018 to build international education in Japan in a new and exciting way, and to bring an exciting new learning opportunities to Japan for bot local and inbound international students. The President of Cross Education, Greg Culos, spent the majority of his career in Canada bringing students to Canada to participate in globally relevant education opportunities. When he returned to Japan in 2012, he discovered that international education in Japan was almost entirely dedicated to international families who already lived in Japan. He discovered, to his amazement, that Japan had almost no culture of inbound youth student mobility for programs of international relevance.
So, the mission of Cross Education is to be the vehicle to accomplish that goal.
The directors of Cross education, through their efforts to reach out to international student sources from around the world, have discovered there is a massive amount of interest in this regard. Students from all corners of the planet see Japan as an exciting destination for international studies, and a unique option from the traditional centers around the world. And Cross has set out to do what few to none have made efforts to accomplish: to create the systems required for students to access not only programs of relevance, but also the services they require to come to Japan as students. In its first year, Cross Education has established means for students to select programs of interest, provide accommodations and services, and begin growing, internationally, a culture of inbound students coming to this country to participate in applied learning opportunities, in English, in the arts, sciences, technology, engineering, fine arts, outdoors, language, culture and more. What is an entirely unique approach to international programs in other parts of the world, Cross programs are equally relevant to inbound international students, resident international students, and local Japanese students.
Cross programs are a where the youth of the world can truly meet to learn things that are relevant anywhere.
Cross has the full and collaborative support and partnership of Showa Women’s University, the municipal government of Mine City in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the UNESCO Chair on Global Education, and Okutama+ Community Building and Tech Incubation Center in the Okutama region of Tokyo. Cross Education is not only proceeding along its path towards its goal, but also achieving one further of its objectives: to open the regional centers of Japan to participate in the growth of its brand of international education opportunities. In this way, Cross Education is in fact pursuing the goal of helping revitalize regional Japan with an exciting proposition to both local inhabitants and the international community as a whole.
The Cross Education International Summer Academy, in particular, based mostly from the Showa Women’s University campus, has dedicated two of its seven Academy weeks to two regional locations.
The 1st Annual Akiyoshidai Youth Summit
From August 26th to 30th, the entire Academy will be relocated to Mine City in Yamaguchi Prefecture where they will include the local community in their activities, and execute what will be the 1st Annual Akiyoshidai Youth Summit. This is intended to be the first year of an event that will grow across the upcoming years, becoming a signature locus of International education for the region that hopefully will act as a catalyst for further international education industry growth in the region. This project, where youth from around the world will gather to work together on globally relevant issues, is fully supported by the City of Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and the UNESCO Chair on Global Education.
Obon Week Okutama Outdoor Camp
In the same spirit of regional revitalization and the determination to grow inbound youth international education opportunities, Cross Education, with the collaborative support of Okutama+ Community Building and Tech Incubation Center, Cross Education will transport its the entire Academy population to the community of Okutama, in the foothills of the Japanese Alps, to experience a week of international education and learning inspired by all of the social cultural assets that the region offers. The goal is, as in Akiyoshidai, to open up new opportunities for people from around the world, and locally within the communities of the surrounding region. Among the activities planned for this week is an International Summer Festival where the local community can participate with the international participants in a festival celebrating both local and international cultures.
For more information, call us, or contact us at email@example.com.
An interesting phenomenon occurs when you examine the behavior of light at the microscopic level. Depending on the kind of test you use to observe its behavior as light passes from point A to point B, it is, at the same time, both waveform and particle form. Without getting into what exactly that means, since you can, I suppose, simply Google it, this “wave-particle duality” is central to the field (notion?) of quantum mechanics. I would also venture it is central to, at least correlated with, and perhaps even somehow responsible for the world’s current socio-digital zeitgeist, especially when it comes to the sanctity (or lack thereof) of notions of sequence, order, and predictability in time and space.
This essay is an expression of thoughts and concerns towards current trends in education. It expands upon a particular correlation between current scientific theory, advances in technology, and how their combination has, in recent decades affected both social thought and education theory and practice.
For the UNESCO Chair on Global Education at the Institute for Strategy of Education Development of the Russian Academy of Education
I’ve come to a realization. Effective education is simply, and exactly, this:
To encourage and
inspire people to communicate well; and through this process, enable them to
develop their inner selves and their potential as it relates to both their
success and that of their communities.
What we learn is not inconsequential, but to presume we can teach someone, anyone, to be good at anything in particular, is, I believe, misguided. People take themselves on those journeys and end up in places that are entirely of their own discovery, making, and determination. We can guide, suggest. Put coals on fire, and stoke it; but the direction the flames take, should there even be any, has nothing at all to do with us. We can stand by, watch, and, perhaps, become inspired ourselves by witnessing the potential people have within themselves. Our role, as teachers, is quite straightforward: to stoke the inspiration that will take people on journeys of their own determination.
This realization rests at
the core of this, my little exploration into the future of education. It’s a
simple idea, not reliant on technologies or trends or modes of pedagogical
thought that are, on many occasions, flavours of the day. Indeed, it’s an idea
that I believe has never changed. While the tools, science, social systems,
modes of thought, and resources that surround us today most certainly have
evolved, we are ultimately the same vulnerable, sentient beings that have
existed for millennia. We share the same capacities, strengths, limitations,
needs, desires, hopes, and dreams as our distant ancestors who learned to control
fire itself (something, incidentally, we’ve yet to perfect). We learn what is
relevant and necessary for survival determined by the environments within which
we live. Beyond that, we learn best those things that catch our interest and
inspire us to delve more deeply. We learn best in an effort to define who we
are, to ourselves, to others, in ways we hope to be perceived, and in ways we
yearn to be able to interact within our communities.
The future of education,
I believe, is no different than the past of education. While trends in
education will continue to come and go, trends are derivatives of a whole; they
tend to be particular aspects, qualities, approaches, activities, and
philosophies elevated to lofty cultish heights. The truth is, when separated and
formalized into “new approaches to learning,” they lose both essence and
effectiveness. Without delving too much into current trends and directions in
educational thought, theory, and application, safe it to say that much emphasis
is currently placed on the notion that our level of technological prowess
enables approaches to learning that are somehow superior to “traditional
approaches.” Here, and pointedly, I disagree. First, the notion of a
traditional approach to education is a vague one that tends to fall apart with
closer inspection. And second, while our current state of technological prowess
enables us so much further than humans have ever been enabled in the past,
those technologies are not capable in themselves to improve how and why we
So, what, in my mind, is
the future of education. This is where I return to my opening words. The future
of effective education lies in what effective education has always been: “To encourage and inspire people to
communicate well; and through this process, enable them to develop their inner
selves and their potential as it relates to both their success and that of
How do we proceed? We
forge communities of learning, something that has always been core to effective
learning. We create reasons for people to be together that hinge on shared
challenges. While our social and environmental surroundings define basic levels
of understanding that we share and require to participate and survive within
them, we then and together discover how each of us carries some particular
solution to the larger questions we face as a whole. There is a place for
learning skills we apply in unison. And there is a place for our individual
strengths to benefit those communal needs. While society requires us to work in
teams, in synchrony, according to requirements that apply equally to each of
us, it also gains from individual understandings and approaches that can and do
improve the ability of the community to improve how it behaves as a whole.
We all must learn to
read, write, sing, count, and strategize. Beyond that, we all should be enabled
by and engaged in the breadth and depth of the tools and capabilities now
available to us: incredible technologies, fantastic mobility, and seemingly
instantaneous access to information, anywhere, and anytime. Human society has
changed dramatically in the preceding three decades. We live in a world that I
believe is experiencing a schism of a magnitude never before seen. On one side
we have the political orders, isolated communities corralled by power
structures and defined by invisible and arbitrary boundaries determined (more
than we’d like to admit) through oppression within and beyond those boundaries.
On the other side we have an entire world of people all sharing the same needs,
hopes, desires, and goals: to live, love, succeed, survive, and to feel
included in community.
As a direct consequence
of our incredible technologies, fantastic mobility, and seemingly instantaneous
access to information, traditional borders are rendered meaningless. Power
structures of the past should remain there. I have spent my professional career
in education, and in particular international education. And through my three
decades in this field, I have concluded this: technology has brought together
people from around the world in different locations for different purposes and
to accomplish goals that are relevant to all of us. Each of us today belongs to
social circles where colleagues, mentors, friends, teachers, mothers, fathers,
relatives, brothers and sisters were, only a half century ago, bifurcated as
allies or enemies. For the most part, we were led to believe that “they” were
not “us.” The fact is, what we have discovered in recent decades, is, indeed,
exactly the opposite. The past 30 years has provided all of us an emancipation
of thought and being that changes everything… except for how we learn. That
remains the same, and rests at the core of our future together.
technologies, fantastic mobility, and seemingly instantaneous access to
information will only improve, and dramatically so. As a global society we will
continue to use those tools and technologies to bring us closer together in
greater diversity to face challenges of survival and social improvement that
will benefit all of us. We will continue to require education in fundamental
skills and awareness. At the same time, the opportunities available to each of
us as a consequence of our own unique talents and dispositions will increase
exponentially as well, and as a direct result of the exponential increase in
the kinds of communities we are now capable of creating.
We’re excited you have discovered Cross, and we welcome and encourage you to explore our pages and learn about who we are and what we do.
Common Ground & Common Purpose
Cross Education was born from a simple idea: when we learn together, on common ground, with common purpose, we, people from around the world, become more versatile, more effective, and more impactful. In doing so, we increase our capacity to make the world a better place for everyone. When we learn together we remove the traditional biases and boundaries of education, and create a platform of inclusivity and open-mindedness where all of us share and benefit from what we all share equally: the human experience.
At Cross we believe that no matter where we are from, and indeed we are all from often very different social, geographical, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds, the essential things that make us human are equal. We are born, we live, we strive to accomplish, we seek the company and comfort of others, and when we are gone, we hope that our lives and actions impacted the world, somehow, positively.
Discovering Ourselves Discovering the World
We believe in encouraging people to discover themselves, their potential, their strengths and weaknesses, and their capacities. We facilitate the ability for people to explore the world, it’s vast diversity, its beauty and potential. We celebrate problems, questions, and challenges in life, and through exercises in learning and effective community building, look for solutions to them. We seek ways to help people grow confidence in the abilities and capacities they discover within themselves, and learn to use them together and in combination with those of others.
Our Academy and Camp programs for youth are deeply rooted in these ideas. Our philosophy of education is manifested through applied learning experiences that include learning in communication (in Japanese & English), technology, society, culture, the arts, media, engineering, performance, sport, and much more. At the core of our approach is, indeed, diversity: diversity of people, of places, of ideas, of activities, and of challenges.
Showa Women’s University: at the Center of Our World
The Cross Summer Academy is our signature program held annually for the entire summer on site at the Showa Women’s University Campus in the heart of Tokyo. Located only minutes from some of the most exciting metropolitan centers in the world, within the rich cultural landscape of Japan, the Cross Summer Academy is based in a world class education facility. However, since a defining characteristic of Cross is diversity, our programs take advantage of a variety of locations in Tokyo and in different parts of Japan; we have an ecology center and farm in the outskirts of Tokyo, a full facility school in Okutama in the foothills of the Japanese Alps, and program facilities in Iwate and Gunma prefectures. In 2019, we look forward to expanding our reach of opportunities for students to other other parts of Japan, with considerations even beyond that!
Strength in Diversity & Community
Our community is equally diverse. We are a community of students, staff, and faculty who gather annually from Japan, from around the world, and from many different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Diversity is also demonstrated within our team of instructors. Not only do they come from around the world, but they are also professionals in their fields of specialization: world class athletes, renowned technology specialists, and accomplished performers and designers. Together, in English as our common tongue, we experience a world of learning opportunity, through the lens of Japan, that is second to none.
Finally, what we are most proud, is this: the smiles on our students faces that don’t ever seem to fade.
Cross Education has come to Japan to establish its fully cultural & communicative immersive learning experiences for both Japanese and inbound international students.
There are certain places in the world where international education community building has happened and flourished. We’ve seen so historically in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, the UK. We believe that Japan now makes absolute sense for may reasons: one for its global economic reach and impact; two for its positioning in the East, from where global economic growth is now largely being driven; and three, from a country that provides the connectedness, the safety, the security, and the richness of life and experience that inspire learning in all ways.
The directors have a long heritage in both Canada and Japan offering English-based experiential programs for international students. Through Cross Education, Japan, they proudly bring an exciting new brand of education to Japan to create a venue for people from all corners of the planet.
The 2019 Cross Summer Academy is a multi-locational program based in the Tokyo and in the Kanto region. It brings a community of children and teenagers (from 5 to 18 years old) together from around the world, and from around Japan.
Together they engage in up to seven weeks of challenge and discovery.
The Cross Summer Academy is open to participants from Japan and around the world, and from all social, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds.
The main language of program delivery is English, and the Academy is held within a native International English environment. For students whose native tongue is English, their participation will give them exposure and learning opportunity to all of the themes and subjects the Academy has to offer. As all participants, they engage in the community building emphasis of the program, and in particular they become English speaking mentors to those participants whose native languages are not English.
For those whose native language is not English, daily morning classes are separated by age and English speaking ability. These students learn as English second language learners as they engage in the same learning concepts and challenges as everyone else.
In the afternoons, activities replace the morning classes, and all students regardless of language competency participate in a variety of different groups depending on the challenges and events scheduled each afternoon.
For those students coming from overseas, the Academy offers a Japanese Language and Culture stream. During the morning class sessions that all participants are part of, this category of student engages in learning about Japan, its language, and its culture.