Student Voice: Saying Goodbye and Saying Hello-Joaquin Antonio Villar, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Chile

AIU has restarted hosting international exchange students for the first time in two years starting from the Spring 2022 semester. Student Voice introduces what international exchange students have learned and experienced at AIU and in Akita.

Here is a message from Mr. Joaquin Villar.

Mr. Joaquin Villar at Goshikinuma ponds in Fukushima prefecture

My name is Joaquin Villar, I’m an exchange student from Adolfo Ibañez University, Chile and I’m studying for 2 semesters at AIU. 

My first semester just ended and I had an amazing experience. I truly love Tohoku, Akita prefecture, AIU, and especially campus life. I was lucky enough to make many good friends and I deeply enjoyed every time I randomly encountered them on campus, had a quick chat, some lunch, a walk to the athletic park or the forest, or even made bigger plans for enjoying our free time. 

A serow in the forest next to AIU while taking a walk with friends (Photo by Mr. Joaquin Villar)

I cannot express all my appreciation in just a couple of paragraphs. Probably at least a whole essay would be necessary. The people, the nature, the calmness, the fun, the opportunities, and the bonds you make with your friends are all incredibly wonderful and priceless.

But now the time to say goodbye has come. The first semester is over and most of my closest friends are leaving with only a few of us staying for the 2nd semester. Luckily, Kanto Festival was held just recently just happened and it was the perfect excuse for gathering up one last time with everyone, enjoying ourselves, and having the chance to say our proper goodbyes.

So, for the exchange students who are coming in the next and future semesters, I encourage you to spend your time at AIU to the fullest, because you won’t believe how fast it goes. Try new things, talk with new people, make plans, and execute them. Join a club, go to the bar, engage with the locals, and participate in the different activities and trips AIU and Student organizations offer to make. And please, just enjoy. Don’t hesitate and have a great time in your future home, AIU.

Farewell, thank you, and Hello.

Next to a waterfall in Otakiyama Natural Park, 40 minutes away from campus by car.

Form the Center for International Affairs

As Joaquin said in his message, when you come to AIU, please try many new things. While studying abroad at AIU, you will be exposed to different cultures not only in the classroom but also in every aspect of your life on campus. The strengths and experiences you develop on this campus will surely help you in the near future. We hope that he continues to make his campus life at AIU even more fulfilling in the fall semester.