Student Voice

2015.12.21Student Voice

Student Voice: Kimberly Cielos, University of Manitoba, Canada

Kimberly Cielos is a first-semester exchange student at AIU from the University of Manitoba in Canada.
kimberly in fox festival costume

Kimberly participating in the Fox Festival along with other members of the Japan House theme house.
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Cielos

Academic Experience

I'm a history major at home and I'm taking Japanese Language, Chinese Politics and Thought, Representing Japan, and Modern Korean History at AIU.

Chinese Politics and Thought

Chinese Politics and Thought is probably my favorite class. The course focuses on Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, though we haven't started reading about Deng yet. Of course, I've studied Chinese history and Mao before at home, but the approach and perspective I get in class at AIU is quite different. In Canada, I studied under a Chinese professor, and we covered Mao's actions and relationships. Here at AIU - with a Japanese professor - we get into his personality and personal life as well, so it's a new and interesting perspective. The source materials here are different, too. At U of M, the class focused on my professor's own research, but the professor at AIU draws from a wide variety of resources, including primary sources. I like the class format, too. In almost every class, we have one student present, so it helps us improve our presentation skills, too!

Extracurricular Activities: Intercultural Affairs Committee

I'm a member of the Yatose Club and the Intercultural Affairs Committee (IAC) and I also take part in a lot of RCOS [Community Outreach] activities. The IAC has been an interesting experience. We try to promote different cultures through events. We've break into task groups for each event. For instance, for the upcoming Thanksgiving Event, I'm in the decoration group. During the AIU Festival, we put on several children's activities and intercultural games for the community members, and we also did a haunted house. The students in charge of that went all out. They borrowed panels from a community center to make a maze and we put on a pretty scary event. My favorite part was the high school boys that came through - they got really scared!

Campus Life

I like that AIU is small, so you get to know everyone. It's not like a large university where everyone you see is a stranger.

Living in the Japan House (Japanese Arts and Culture Theme House)

I'm really fortunate to be living in the Japan House with a Japanese roommate. The Theme Houses at AIU are still a new concept, so we've gotten involved in experimenting with the structure and changing how it runs. We have semi-weekly meetings to discuss our resources and activity planning. So far, we've attended a Noh play and got to participate in a "Fox Festival." We dressed up in kimonos and painted our faces to look like foxes then paraded around a neighborhood to bring luck.

Campus Location

At first, it seems like the university is in the middle of nowhere, but that's really not the case. There are a lot of interesting things around here, like the spring and shrine. The bus to AEON mall doesn't take very long, either, though you do have to plan to make sure you don't miss it!
Kimberly Cielos is a first-semester exchange student at AIU from the University of Manitoba in Canada.
kimberly in fox festival costume

Kimberly participating in the Fox Festival along with other members of the Japan House theme house.
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Cielos

Academic Experience

I'm a history major at home and I'm taking Japanese Language, Chinese Politics and Thought, Representing Japan, and Modern Korean History at AIU.

Chinese Politics and Thought

Chinese Politics and Thought is probably my favorite class. The course focuses on Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, though we haven't started reading about Deng yet. Of course, I've studied Chinese history and Mao before at home, but the approach and perspective I get in class at AIU is quite different. In Canada, I studied under a Chinese professor, and we covered Mao's actions and relationships. Here at AIU - with a Japanese professor - we get into his personality and personal life as well, so it's a new and interesting perspective. The source materials here are different, too. At U of M, the class focused on my professor's own research, but the professor at AIU draws from a wide variety of resources, including primary sources. I like the class format, too. In almost every class, we have one student present, so it helps us improve our presentation skills, too!

Extracurricular Activities: Intercultural Affairs Committee

I'm a member of the Yatose Club and the Intercultural Affairs Committee (IAC) and I also take part in a lot of RCOS [Community Outreach] activities. The IAC has been an interesting experience. We try to promote different cultures through events. We've break into task groups for each event. For instance, for the upcoming Thanksgiving Event, I'm in the decoration group. During the AIU Festival, we put on several children's activities and intercultural games for the community members, and we also did a haunted house. The students in charge of that went all out. They borrowed panels from a community center to make a maze and we put on a pretty scary event. My favorite part was the high school boys that came through - they got really scared!

Campus Life

I like that AIU is small, so you get to know everyone. It's not like a large university where everyone you see is a stranger.

Living in the Japan House (Japanese Arts and Culture Theme House)

I'm really fortunate to be living in the Japan House with a Japanese roommate. The Theme Houses at AIU are still a new concept, so we've gotten involved in experimenting with the structure and changing how it runs. We have semi-weekly meetings to discuss our resources and activity planning. So far, we've attended a Noh play and got to participate in a "Fox Festival." We dressed up in kimonos and painted our faces to look like foxes then paraded around a neighborhood to bring luck.

Campus Location

At first, it seems like the university is in the middle of nowhere, but that's really not the case. There are a lot of interesting things around here, like the spring and shrine. The bus to AEON mall doesn't take very long, either, though you do have to plan to make sure you don't miss it!