Curricular Flow

Akita International University has established the educational method that we call Applied International Liberal Arts (AILA) to take our International Liberal Arts education a step further.
AILA is a structure for fostering global leaders through the interaction of “Integrated Knowledge” and “Interpersonal Skills”.

Applied International Liberal Arts (AILA)

This page introduces our educational method for fostering Integrated Knowledge and Interpersonal Skills that AIU offers, along with the students' learning flow.

Fostering Integrated Knowledge

AILA 1Foundation

Picture of a class

Upon entering AIU, students first learn academic English in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Students gain the necessary competence in English to be able to further their learning by attending and understanding lectures at AIU, as well as the overseas university where they will study, voice their ideas, and write essays. (Required to earn 9 credits or more in EAP I, II, or III Program. Required to earn 3 credits or more in EAP Bridge Program.)

Class Level EAPⅠ (9 Credits)
TOEFL ITP® TEST score of 479 or below
Reading Develop reading strategies for increased reading comprehension and speed, and develop understanding and use of high frequency vocabulary.
Writing - Focus on fundamental writing skills that are basic to good writing.
- Review sentence-level grammar.
- Learn and practice basic paragraph-level writing.
Listening & Speaking Develop and practice English speaking and listening skills in formal and informal contexts.
Computer Basics Develop computer literacy for EAP classes and future university coursework.
TOEFL® TEST Preparation Assist students in preparing for the TOEFL® TEST. The course offers guidelines and practices for all skill areas tested on the TOEFL ITP® TEST.
Class Level EAPⅡ (9 Credits)
TOEFL ITP® TEST score 480-499
Reading - Build and develop students' reading strategies, reading comprehension and speed, knowledge, and use of the 2,000 most frequently used English words.
- Identify the main point(s) and/or plot(s) of readings
- Discuss, present, and write about their extensive reading
Writing - Develop students' awareness of a variety of English language writing and thinking skills.
- Shifting from paragraph-to-paragraph writing to contextual writing.
- Produce logical and easy-to-understand writings.
Listening & Speaking Preparing students for the more rigorous demands of academic speaking.
Computer Basics Develop computer literacy for EAP classes and future university coursework.
TOEFL® TEST Preparation Assist students in preparing for the TOEFL® TEST. The course offers guidelines and practices for all skill areas tested on the TOEFL ITP® TEST.
Class Level EAPⅢ (9 Credits)
TOEFL ITP® TEST score 500 or higher
Reading - Develop the reading skills and acquire the vocabulary needed to successfully complete university-level assignments.
- Assigned readings focus on intensive reading to develop critical thinking.
Writing - Develop ability to write formal and informal, academic, and multi-draft essays.
- Self-editing practice and peer feedback sessions.
- Recognize, select, and use appropriate patterns, tone, and voice for a specific audience and essay assignment.
Listening & Speaking Work on academic speaking, including, but not limited to, public presentations and demonstrations, group discussions, and critical arguments.
Computer Basics Develop computer literacy for EAP classes and future university coursework.
TOEFL® TEST Preparation Assist students in preparing for the TOEFL® TEST. The course offers guidelines and practices for all skill areas tested on the TOEFL ITP® TEST.
EAP Bridge Program (3 Credits)
  • ◉TOEFL ITP® TEST score of minimum 550
  • ◉Experience living abroad or growing up in an English-speaking environment
Bridging program to prepare incoming first-year students, whose background includes significant time of prior studies in English, for university-level coursework.

Students are given opportunities to learn about cultural and hybrid identities within their experience and how those identities fit in the larger contexts of university life and the world around them.

In addition to the Bridge course, students will go through the following three Foundation Courses classes.

Academic Reading
(3 Credits)
Develop students' confidence in their academic reading abilities through an emphasis on the self-directed learning of reading skills that, in turn, engenders a stronger ability to comprehend and comment on texts.
(3 Credits)
Write formal, academic essays ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 words to acquire university-level academic writing skills.
Computer Literacy
(3 Credits)
Basic knowledge and proficiency of the computer for future career.

Details of EAP

Arrow from AILA 1 to AILA 2

AILA 2Growth

Picture of a class

Develop skills on university-level learning, basic English proficiency, the global society, and career development. (Required to earn 30 credits or more.)

Lists of the Foundation Courses are available below:

Acquire knowledge and skills throughout a wide range of disciplines, and build the foundations for the Advanced Liberal Arts Courses. (Required to earn 30 credits or more.)

7 Clusters: Guide to Academic Disciplines

Classes of the Liberal Arts Foundation Course and Advanced Liberal Arts Course are categorized into one or more of the seven clusters, which are groups of academic fields under the three programs. Clusters help students clarify the academic disciplines that are focused on throughout a course.

  • BBusiness
  • EEconomics
  • GGlobal Society
  • PPolitical Science and International Relations
  • SSustainability Studies
  • HHumanity, Culture, and Communication
  • TTechnology and Future Society

Lists of the Core Liberal Arts Courses are available below:

*Courses cross-listed with Advanced Liberal Arts Courses are also included.

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AILA 3Development

In AILA 3, students will go on their one-year study abroad. There, they will integrate the knowledge and intercultural experiences they gain through rigorous study at overseas universities with their studies at AIU to prepare for their graduation thesis.

Picture of a student in the Study Abroad Program

Advanced Liberal Arts Courses (ALA)

Students select their "axis of learning" and deepen their understanding in various disciplines based on clusters. (Required to earn 48 credits or more.)

One-year Study Abroad

AIU students must study abroad at a partner institution for one year and earn credits under student exchange program. The key to growth is the “substance” of your study abroad experience. This program is a small-group program with a few individuals, not a group experience, and unlike language study abroad programs, it allows students to improve their English or third language skills while studying specialized subjects.

Study Abroad Program

The spread of globalization is making corporate activities increasingly complicated and complex. In modern times, the speed of change is accelerating, and uncertainty is growing. For companies to provide valuable goods and services to society sustainably, they must accurately grasp the needs on both a regional and global scale and formulate appropriate strategies. In response, the GB program provides a broad education centered on economics and business, seeking to cultivate human resources with creativity, critical thinking, and global perspectives.

See Details of the GB Program

Introduction of Courses

ECN230 International Financial Management

You need to accurately understand how funding and investment work and grasp the general behavior of the international financial market to comprehend the global activities of businesses and forge effective strategies. Moreover, to study finance is to prepare yourself for uncertainties and risks ahead. This course will introduce the fundamentals of business and economics as a basis for more advanced studies.

ECN318 Global Marketing

To efficiently offer value to customers in today's dynamically changing global market, a company must focus not only on concepts and theories related to marketing strategy but also on cultural, historical, economic, legal, logical, and social issues. This course covers multifaceted methods of research, analysis, and assessment for the global market.

ECN368 Environmental Economics

Implementing regulations and policies on environmental pollution and climate change generate both benefits and costs. In the Environmental Economics course, students appropriately learn the relationship between these tradeoffs and study evaluation methods based on the benefit-cost analysis framework regarding real environmental policies like environmental taxes and emissions trading.

Logical thinking and creative ingenuity based on a wide range of background knowledge are indispensable in surviving this era of globalization. The GS program invites students to enroll in diverse courses on the history, culture, society, politics, and economy of various countries and regions, as well as in classes of multinational and multi-regional relations, the functions and roles of international institutions and organizations, and global phenomena and issues. Students will strive to accumulate and deepen their knowledge and refine flexible thinking and analytical skills without being confined to conventional ideas and values through active participation in learning activities.

See Details of the GS Program

Introduction of Courses

SOC310 Social Issues in the Global Age

In the midst of globalization, the world faces numerous social issues today. This course aims to offer students an insight into some of the most pressing social issues that span both the global north and south. Students will focus not on a particular nation or region, but on the pressing social problems that can be found universally or at a global level such as poverty and inequality, environmental degradation, displacements, religion and ideology, and gender imbalance.

SUS200 Sustainable Futures: Concepts, Issues and Actions

The exponential growth in the global human population and economy are increasing the demands on resources, such as energy, mineral, water, and food. Our daily lives and economic activities are causing global environmental problems, such as climate change, that threaten our own future. Recognizing the serious consequences, nations worldwide have agreed upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations to secure our sustainable future. It is time for action. In this program, students will deepen their understanding of global sustainability issues and explore solutions from multi- and interdisciplinary approaches in this critical endeavor.

The remarkable progress of humanity, seen through the rapid creation and spread of diverse cultures, has been driven by the use of language and communication. In our complex global society, where information spreads globally in an instant, we need to understand how digital technologies and innovations such as AI are changing us, and how we can live meaningful lives in a world that is in constant change.

In the Global Connectivity (GC) program, students explore both the humanities – culture, literature, and philosophy – which allows them to find meaning and values of our lives, and technologies, such as computation and AI, which are the foundation of our modern society. Collectively, this combination provides students with literacy over both advanced technology and arts; literacy that is informed by critical thinking and transdisciplinary analysis.

In the GC program, students identify and explore connections between the humanities and technology and develop a holistic appreciation of their connectedness, allowing them to serve as effective bridges between these two domains in future society.

See Details of the GC Program

Introduction of Courses

DGT330 Artificial Intelligence and Humanity

From playing games to driving cars, diagnosing cancer to convicting criminals, artificial intelligence is playing an increasing role in people's day-to-day lives and society in general. Through this course, students will explore the landscape, evolution, and impact of AI, beginning with reading, reflection, and discussion of philosophical ideas about what intelligence is, an examination of technology's ability to perform intelligent action, and current approaches and challenges to advancing the field.

ENG175 Drama for Communication

Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal cues. Drama for Communication focuses on embodied learning by exploring global themes, including environmental, social, cultural, linguistic, and digital perspectives. It provides experiences in the form of drama for learning about global citizenship and opportunities to become a better communicator through active participation, collaboration, and problem-solving in response to creative tasks. The aim is to develop spontaneous responses and confidence in English communication.

Lists of the Liberal Arts Courses are available below:

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AILA 4Application

Students will complete a graduation thesis on a research theme of their choice that will be the culmination of their learning at Akita International University.

Picture of an AIU Commencement ceremony
Capstone Seminar

Integration of the knowledge and skills acquired at AIU to complete a final project.

Fostering Interpersonal Skills

Akita International University's mission is to foster world-class leaders. We define global leaders as people who serve global society with Interpersonal Skills as well as who possess Integrated Knowledge.

In order to apply Integrated Knowledge in the real world, students must have the ability to convey information that resonates with people with different perspectives and positions, as well as the kind of character that will gain people's trust and consensus. We offer the opportunity and environment for students to enhance their Interpersonal Skills including ethics, self-respect, contribution, perseverance, social skills, self-discipline, and the ability to understand and accept diversity by overcoming various challenges.

Picture of students on AIU campus

Campus Designed for Learning and Living

About 200 international students from over 200 partner universities* across the world study at our university, where the campus creates a multicultural space that looks like an epitome of the world. (*As of April 1, 2023) It is the stage of cultural exchange where you can spend time with international students and other students in the student residences, join clubs and societies to enjoy sports and cultural activities, and engage in casual conversations with them after lectures.

Cross Cultural Campus

Themed House enables 24-Hour Liberal Arts Education

The campus has a student dormitory for first-year students and student apartments for second-year and older students, where students live together with foreign exchange students. To enable students to take advantage of this diverse environment, the Themed Houses, where students live together for a semester, to plan and organize themed events. AIU considers campus life to be part of its liberal arts education, where students can enhance their skills in daily life in addition to their curricular activities.

Themed House

Extracurricular Activities

Active participation in club and circle activities enriches student life and builds interpersonal relationships, as well as organizational and social skills. AIU is a university populated by inquisitive and motivated students, and has many clubs and groups. Students from all over Japan and all around the world take part in these activities on a daily basis.


One Year Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a process of learning, discussing, gaining new understandings, and reflecting deeply on one's own country and oneself while encountering a broad spectrum of values together with other talented young people who will lead the future in countries around the world. These days, when so many study abroad programs are available, choosing a study abroad program with substance is key to growing while abroad and using the experience for a better future.

All students at the university will have this opportunity. After gaining discussion and presentation experience in English-language classes, our students can display leadership at their study abroad destinations and return to Japan as more developed individuals.

One Year Study Abroad

International Project-Based Learning

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.

International Project-Based Learning