First Impression of AIU
This was my first time being far away from home. I was feeling excited for the new experience and worried at the same time. But my worries disappeared when I stepped on the campus of AIU.
Why? Because I felt the welcoming feeling and the provision of help from everyone. Also, I was impressed with all the nature surrounding the campus.
That was the beginning of the best experiences I ever had in my life.
Most of my classes I took were Japanese-language courses.
Intercultural Perspectives on Japanese Society
One of them was called Intercultural Perspectives on Japanese Society. This class was attended by Japanese and international students as well. It was a discussion class in which we talked about relevant themes. Then we compare the topic with other countries. It was much easier to discuss because the class size was small.
I want to highlight that there were field trips incorporated in this classes. We visited temples, elementary schools and Yokote city. Through the field trips I had the opportunity to learn more about Japan and interact with the local community.
Living with a roommate and sharing the same space also with a suite-mate was totally a new experience for me. I lived in Komachi Hall, the freshman dormitory. I really like this dormitory because it was connected with the cafeteria, the library and the classrooms.
Knowing the culture through club activities
AIU had many club activities that caught my attention, so I just joined as many as I could.
Club activities helped me to better know the Japanese culture. I want to express my gratitude to the Volleyball Club, Soft Tennis Club and Happy People in Akita, a few of the clubs that I joined.
First, I have to mention that the clubs made my interactions more enriching. Sometimes it was difficult to balance the classes and club activities but it was a worthwhile experience.
Traditional Japanese Dance Club
The first picture is the Traditional Japanese Dance Club. This dance seems easy at the first sight because the movements are slow but it was actually very difficult to hold the poses. Besides learning to dance, I learned how to wear the kimono by myself.
Tea Ceremony Club
Before joining the club, I didn't know that there was a process of making the tea. There were a lot of steps to follow and it was confusing at the beginning.
However, the teacher and the club members taught me the steps very kindly and I kept practicing to remember them. Also thanks to the club, I can eat now anko (red bean paste) which is inside almost all okashi (japanese sweets).
This dance is originally from Akita, so you can only experience it here. Most of the Yatose songs are energetic, cheerful and have easy steps. I really enjoyed all the genki (energetic) practices we had. We dance with naruko (small wooden clappers) held in our hands.
Also, during the semester I had the opportunity to participate in the Yatose Matsuri (festival) representing AIU which was an unforgettable experience.