Crystallizing my passion for Japan
In Europe, you often get to hear or learn a bit about Japan and other Asian countries or culture, either at school or from books, however, unless you have a definite passion for it, you won’t do more than scratch the surface. Coming in close contact with people, having discussions with them, and seeing the world through another culture’s eyes: such interactions change you forever, and that is what AIU offers!
For a long time, I have been passionate about Japanese culture and tradition as well as its way of respectfulness and kindness towards each other. I began learning Japanese language on my own as a result, and I was very excited to try out conversations with actual Japanese people when coming to Japan. AIU provided not only an environment in which you could find many Japanese and talented international speakers of the language, but students also have a lovely and warm environment in which to further pursue Japanese studies, whether through intensive courses, activities or specially arranged facilities with many books and media through which one can self-study. I found myself enjoying the vast material in the LDIC training room, where you could just take books and read for as long as you wished!
“A Frog in The Well Knows Nothing of The Great Ocean”
The biggest thing that surprised me with the university classes and campus in general lies in its very (very!) strengthened focus on global perspective.
In all my economics classes, our teachers were analyzing and comparing Japan with US and Europe (Great Britain, Germany, etc.) when explaining almost every concept. They were also bringing in tools and data for us to go and look at the world state, not just the situation in Asia or Japan. And because the campus has brought together people from 29 countries (it’s true!), one could really have meaningful conversations and learn different perspectives easily from just a simple chat during lunch with the person sitting next to you!
Feeling Japan Through Heart-to-heart Interaction
I never thought I would actually get to work in Japan, even for a little bit, but through the RCOS team at AIU I could experience first-hand how to interact with Japanese school children by doing activities and teaching English to them. It was a really powerful message these children were sending: they wish to learn good English, because they wish to know, help and understand others in the future. That is something we can all learn from.
As a message here to everyone that I met, that helped me make my stay at AIU such an enriching adventure, who shared with me countless priceless memories through which we could learn more about one another, the world and oneself: I am forever grateful, thank you!!