As a liberal arts institution since its foundation, Franklin University Switzerland has emphasized what it has designated the "international imperative" in higher education, regarding higher education as the experience of thinking internationally. Events in recent decades, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11 to the Syrian crisis, have given even greater urgency to the need for authentic international education. The emphasis, academic and social, on cross-cultural perspectives is designed to affect the direction and meaning of a student's university years, life and career. Accordingly, the University advocates that substantive international studies should be an integrated part of a university education as both a prelude to and a basis for the commitment to a major field of study. This commitment to providing courses of study which are international in perspective and cross-cultural in content remains the cornerstone of the educational mission of the University in the global environment of the twenty-first century.