Student Voice

2016.01.25Student Voice

Student Voice: Elizabeth Mudie, University of Leeds, UK

Elizabeth Mudie is a first-semester exchange student from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Academic Experience

I'm enrolled in a joint honors degree at home with Japanese as one of my focuses, so I've been taking Japanese courses here at AIU as well as modern history of Japan and Japanese literature.

Japanese Classes

In addition to the core Japanese class, I'm taking Reading Comprehension, Kanji Foundations, and the Practice course. The material is different – for example, the core class presents new kanji on a source basis, while the Kanji class introduces us to new characters based on complexity – but they fit together well. I like that the core class meets four times per week, and that we approach the material from different perspectives, from reading in context to studying grammar and vocabulary.

Elizabeth (back row, third from right) with Core Japanese classmates and professor at the end of the semester.
(Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Mudie)

Kanji Foundations meets once per week and Reading Comprehension meets twice, so those classes move much more quickly through material. For my Practice independent study, I've been translating song lyrics from Japanese to English as well as keeping up regular conversation practices with my roommate and going out with other Japanese friends.

Extracurricular Activities:

I've made most of my friends through club activities at AIU. Unlike courses, where everyone tends to leave as soon as the class ends to get to their next subject, my experience in the Yatose Team and Drama Club have given me a chance to get to know Japanese and other international students better.

Yatose Team

The Yatose Club has been the best way to mix with Japanese students. We all perform in one large group, so we work together in practice as well as out. This semester, most of the practices have been in English, because the club leader speaks English very well, but she's leaving to go on exchange to Leeds over the winter, so I don't know what it will look like next semester!

The Yatose Team during a practice in Student Hall.
(Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Mudie)

One of my favorite experiences was when we went together to a large Yatose performance at another university's festival. Since the dance moves are similar regardless of the team, when they performed a song we knew, we got up to join them! Many of the team members are staying for the Winter Program, so I hope we'll be able to keep up our practices.

Drama Club

This semester, the Drama Club put on both and English and a Japanese performance. We could all audition for either one, but in the interest of the performance quality, all of us short-term international students ended up in the English performance.

AIU Community

I actually didn't expect to be able to practice Japanese much here, since everything is taught in English, but if you try, you can find opportunities to practice! Even though the campus is remote, there are a lot of organized activities and opportunities. If you can sift through all of your messages, you can find invitations to a lot of cool events!
Elizabeth Mudie is a first-semester exchange student from the University of Leeds in the UK.

Academic Experience

I'm enrolled in a joint honors degree at home with Japanese as one of my focuses, so I've been taking Japanese courses here at AIU as well as modern history of Japan and Japanese literature.

Japanese Classes

In addition to the core Japanese class, I'm taking Reading Comprehension, Kanji Foundations, and the Practice course. The material is different – for example, the core class presents new kanji on a source basis, while the Kanji class introduces us to new characters based on complexity – but they fit together well. I like that the core class meets four times per week, and that we approach the material from different perspectives, from reading in context to studying grammar and vocabulary.

Elizabeth (back row, third from right) with Core Japanese classmates and professor at the end of the semester.
(Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Mudie)

Kanji Foundations meets once per week and Reading Comprehension meets twice, so those classes move much more quickly through material. For my Practice independent study, I've been translating song lyrics from Japanese to English as well as keeping up regular conversation practices with my roommate and going out with other Japanese friends.

Extracurricular Activities:

I've made most of my friends through club activities at AIU. Unlike courses, where everyone tends to leave as soon as the class ends to get to their next subject, my experience in the Yatose Team and Drama Club have given me a chance to get to know Japanese and other international students better.

Yatose Team

The Yatose Club has been the best way to mix with Japanese students. We all perform in one large group, so we work together in practice as well as out. This semester, most of the practices have been in English, because the club leader speaks English very well, but she's leaving to go on exchange to Leeds over the winter, so I don't know what it will look like next semester!

The Yatose Team during a practice in Student Hall.
(Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Mudie)

One of my favorite experiences was when we went together to a large Yatose performance at another university's festival. Since the dance moves are similar regardless of the team, when they performed a song we knew, we got up to join them! Many of the team members are staying for the Winter Program, so I hope we'll be able to keep up our practices.

Drama Club

This semester, the Drama Club put on both and English and a Japanese performance. We could all audition for either one, but in the interest of the performance quality, all of us short-term international students ended up in the English performance.

AIU Community

I actually didn't expect to be able to practice Japanese much here, since everything is taught in English, but if you try, you can find opportunities to practice! Even though the campus is remote, there are a lot of organized activities and opportunities. If you can sift through all of your messages, you can find invitations to a lot of cool events!