About AIU

Various approaches of AIU

AIU’s Unique Programs and Activities

In the global society of the 21st century, we are required to have the ability to accept each other's different values and views of the world and use our individual 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. In FY2016, topics for a green economy were carried out (PBL course with University of Technology, Malaysia and University of Malaysia Sabah) and addressed immigration problems (PBL course with the University of California, Berkeley).

Picture of  a survey

Members of the international PBL research team at Kinabalu Park

Picture of a fieldwork

Fieldwork at Kamakura Pavilion in Yokote, Akita Prefecture


2. Courses funded in cooperation with companies

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

This is a PBL course held under joint partnership agreement between JR East Japan Akita branch office and AIU aiming to solve the social problem of stagnant tourism in Tohoku. In the course, students learn ways to protect the heritage of valuable areas and convert it into tourism resources to use it for sustainable development. Students gain a broad vision and practical problem solving skills through field survey of sightseeing spots sponsored by the company and report the results of research to the employees of JR East Japan and local government officials.

Picture of local exchange activities

Staying at a local guest house in Yokote, Akita prefecture


3. Reform of English education

Top Global University Project (AY2014-AY2023)
English Village

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 Teacher's seminars

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 Japanese Nature & Culture House

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. Themes scheduled for the Spring 2018 are Japanese Nature & Culture House,  Nihongo House and Fitness House.

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

Themed House