Student Voice

2016.03.07Student Voice

Student Voice: Jeremy Sullivan, Beloit College, USA

Ordering at a traditional-style Japanese restaurant during Silver Week beach trip, a group of friends from Taiwan, Canada, Hong Kong, along with myself, the lone American. After spending plenty of time in the sand and the onsen that overlooked the water, we decided to stop somewhere for dinner since we knew we probably wouldn't return in time for cafeteria food.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

At the time of his interview, Jeremy Sullivan was a first-semester exchange student from Beloit College, USA

Academic Experience

My major is Japanese Language and Culture, so my first semester course selection focused on those subjects: Japanese 300, History of Pre-Modern Japan, Introduction to Japanese Society, and Representing Japan: Image, Sound, and People. I come from a liberal arts college, so the class format at AIU is similar to what I'm used to. But I've seen students from large, lecture-style universities struggle to adjust. You have to go to class every day, participate in discussions, and complete all of your smaller assignments. It's not just about the final exam!

Extracurricular Activities

I talked to a student the other day who complained, "I don't have any friends here." But when I asked what activities she was involved in, she said she hadn't joined anything. At AIU, you have to get involved in something. That's how you're going to make friends and enjoy your time here. I've joined the Tennis Club, Badminton Club, Diversity Club, and Extreme Martial Arts (XMA) Club.

Racket Sports

After I joined the Tennis Club, our very first outing together as a club involved 'hiking', and being from Florida, I assumed that meant walking through some sort of wooded area, Instead, we climbed a mountain, reaching two peaks where we were clearly in the clouds, walking on a narrowly carved 'path' with air thinner than I am accustomed to.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

I was looking to join tennis when I came here, so I joined that club during the Club Day in orientation. Later, there was a "Racket Party" that got the tennis and badminton clubs together. I made several friends from the badminton club and ended up joining that, too. Both tennis and badminton have a good mix of Japanese and international students.

Diversity Club

It's been interesting to learn about the problems that sexual minorities face in Japanese society, and even at AIU. It's much harder for students to reach out for help anywhere in Japan than it is in the US. We held a workshop on understanding sexual minorities earlier in the semester and gave presentations in Japanese and English to try to help more people understand.

Advice for Future Students

I've always had an easy time adapting to new situations and getting involved, but even if you struggle, it's important to try. Go to the Club Day during orientation and sign up for something!

Taken during a trip endearingly titled "Leaf-Peeping" with the tennis team in Kakunodate.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

My teacher from Beloit came to visit and we took a trip to the Oga Peninsula. One of the various sites were visited was the line of latitude that is located there, which is just along the breezy coastline where the picture was taken.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

Ordering at a traditional-style Japanese restaurant during Silver Week beach trip, a group of friends from Taiwan, Canada, Hong Kong, along with myself, the lone American. After spending plenty of time in the sand and the onsen that overlooked the water, we decided to stop somewhere for dinner since we knew we probably wouldn't return in time for cafeteria food.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

At the time of his interview, Jeremy Sullivan was a first-semester exchange student from Beloit College, USA

Academic Experience

My major is Japanese Language and Culture, so my first semester course selection focused on those subjects: Japanese 300, History of Pre-Modern Japan, Introduction to Japanese Society, and Representing Japan: Image, Sound, and People. I come from a liberal arts college, so the class format at AIU is similar to what I'm used to. But I've seen students from large, lecture-style universities struggle to adjust. You have to go to class every day, participate in discussions, and complete all of your smaller assignments. It's not just about the final exam!

Extracurricular Activities

I talked to a student the other day who complained, "I don't have any friends here." But when I asked what activities she was involved in, she said she hadn't joined anything. At AIU, you have to get involved in something. That's how you're going to make friends and enjoy your time here. I've joined the Tennis Club, Badminton Club, Diversity Club, and Extreme Martial Arts (XMA) Club.

Racket Sports

After I joined the Tennis Club, our very first outing together as a club involved 'hiking', and being from Florida, I assumed that meant walking through some sort of wooded area, Instead, we climbed a mountain, reaching two peaks where we were clearly in the clouds, walking on a narrowly carved 'path' with air thinner than I am accustomed to.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

I was looking to join tennis when I came here, so I joined that club during the Club Day in orientation. Later, there was a "Racket Party" that got the tennis and badminton clubs together. I made several friends from the badminton club and ended up joining that, too. Both tennis and badminton have a good mix of Japanese and international students.

Diversity Club

It's been interesting to learn about the problems that sexual minorities face in Japanese society, and even at AIU. It's much harder for students to reach out for help anywhere in Japan than it is in the US. We held a workshop on understanding sexual minorities earlier in the semester and gave presentations in Japanese and English to try to help more people understand.

Advice for Future Students

I've always had an easy time adapting to new situations and getting involved, but even if you struggle, it's important to try. Go to the Club Day during orientation and sign up for something!

Taken during a trip endearingly titled "Leaf-Peeping" with the tennis team in Kakunodate.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan

My teacher from Beloit came to visit and we took a trip to the Oga Peninsula. One of the various sites were visited was the line of latitude that is located there, which is just along the breezy coastline where the picture was taken.
Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Sullivan