About AIU

Various Approaches of AIU

AIU’s Unique Programs and Activities

In the global society of the 21st century, we must have the ability to accept each other's different values and views of the world and use our collective intellectual capacities to solve various problems to create a future together. Akita International University strives to develop well-educated human resources with excellent communication and practical skills and global expertise to contribute to the international community and the local society, as well as to establish liberal arts of global standards and present the concept to Japan and the rest of the world.

1. International Project-Based Learning

We offer various international collaborative PBL (Project-Based Learning) courses in cooperation with overseas universities including partner universities. In these PBL courses, students of AIU and overseas universities form a group and explore solutions from a global perspective for concrete issues in the real world through fieldwork at home and abroad. In collaboration with their fellow students, they gain practical problem solving skills, coordination skills, and tolerance to different values.

The answer is in PBL.

International Project-Based Learning (PBL) courses are conducted with partner institutions in the ASEAN region. In PBL, students work on various issues related to each area of the region through lectures, documentary research, data collection and analysis through fieldwork and other means, presentations and discussions, and report writing. Through cross-cultural experiences and interactions, students will aim to develop the ability to think and solve problems based on multifaceted analysis of the literature and collected data, as well as acquire communication and collaboration skills. In the 2019 academic year, PBL was conducted on these themes: the green economy (an economy that aims for sustainable development and growth) in the state of Sabah on Borneo, Malaysia; the potential for sustainable regional development and revitalization in Akita Prefecture and north-eastern Thailand; Japan-Thailand wartime relations, with a focus on Bangkok, Thailand; and the potential for cultural and economic exchange between Akita Prefecture and Thailand.

Dr. Norihito MIZUNO,
Project Promotion Director

International Project-Based Learning 01 International Project-Based Learning 02


2. Funded courses in cooperation with private-sector companies

Private Sector Funded Courses: Courses funded by JR East Japan (since AY2015)

Under a cooperation agreement between the East Japan Railway Company Akita Branch Office and the university, we are offering PBL-style courses on the theme of tourism in the stagnating Tohoku region. In this course, students will learn how to utilize tourism for sustainable community development and local resource conservation through lectures, groupwork, and field surveys with several invited experts.

* The theme is subject to change.

Private Sector Funded Course

3. Reform of English education

Top Global University Project (AY2014-AY2023)
English Village

Picture of English village in a local high school Picture of English village

We run a program called “English Village” for elementary, junior and senior high school students to learn English in English. Through the experience of receiving training from the teaching staff prior to teaching classes for school children, students (graduates, undergraduates, and international students) of AIU learn to be independent and active in their own studies. Children and students in Akita prefecture as well as outside the prefecture participate in the program and enjoy learning English in the global environment of Akita International University.

Teachers' Seminars

Picture of Teaching for teachers Picture of teacher's demo class

We also hold teachers' seminars for English teachers of elementary, junior and senior high schools inside and outside Akita prefecture. Workshops on fundamental understanding of teaching English in English, practical teaching methods and class management are held during teachers' seminars. It fulfills the function of recurrent education to promote the development of global human resources in primary and secondary education based on the practical methodology of English education we have developed for the common good.

4. Partner's Programs

Top Global University Project (AY2014-AY2023)

One of Akita International University's initiatives under the Top Global University Project has been to co-develop special short programs in Japan Studies with faculty members from partner universities.

These Partner's Programs give participating students the opportunity to experience unique aspects of Japanese language and culture and enhance their understanding of Japanese culture with coursework not available anywhere else.

Details about our partner's programs are available at the following webpage.

Partner's Programs

5. Themed House

Top Global University Project (AY2014-AY2023)

Picture of Themed Houses

Themed Houses at AIU offer international and Japanese students the opportunity to live together based on common interests and work together on projects and activities throughout the semester. Themed Houses began with the Japan House (Japanese Arts and Culture House) in the Spring 2015 and the number of houses and their specific themes change each semester. In the 2020 academic year, four houses—the Nihongo House, Russian (Slavic) Language & Culture House, English Education House, and Political House—were established. Activities are also being continued at Komachi Hall, a mandatory dormitory, as “Komachi House.”

Details about our themed houses are available at the following webpage.

Themed House