Christina Jaeger is a second-semester exchange student at AIU from Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur (ZHAW), in Switzerland.
Becoming Part of the AIU Community
My journey started at home by receiving an email saying that I would go study abroad in Akita at AIU. I was looking forward to this new adventure and my feelings were a mix of excitement and thrill of anticipation.
Starting in AIU was way simpler than expected. I remember getting here the very first day where other students gave us a warm welcome, which made arriving on campus stress-free. I met a lot of people in the first two weeks, which I then called friends for the time to come. One thing I love about living on campus is that it feels more like a big family. I can see my friends whenever I want by just going to their rooms. This is something I don’t know from my home university, so living in an environment like this special and new to me.
Differences in Classes at AIU
Classes are slightly different as well. Usually class sizes are a little smaller comparing it to what I am used to. I like this a lot because it gives you a feeling that you can ask questions easier and also have time for discussions here and then.
Traveling Around Japan
Despite my credit load and all the late night study sessions in the library with my friends, I somehow still managed to explore a lot of Japan.I went to Tokyo several times and other cities as well, but one of the best trips was the one to Hokkaido. Five other international students and me went to Hokkaido by ferry and rented a car once we got to Sapporo. Being from Switzerland I thought I could not get surprised by seeing snow, but believe me, in Hokkaido I saw a lot more than expected for that time of the year. After a slight snow shock we finished our trip with a compulsory “onsen” (hot spring) visit. This entire experience was so much fun because it was spent in good company.
I could fill a whole book with good memories from my study abroad but most important of all is that I am very thankful for this experience, which not only brings me further in life on a educational level but also on a personal one.
A year abroad is not one year in life; it is a life in a year.