Student Voice: Somewhere to slow down-Megan Sim, National University of Singapore, Singapore

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 Ms. Megan Sim.

One of the best things AIU has to offer is its location, though not in a way that many people might expect. Nestled somewhere in the mountains of Akita, AIU is definitely not the easiest place to get to without a car. It is a 15 minute bus ride away from the nearest train station, and with the low bus frequency, it is not uncommon for students to opt for the 50 minute walk there instead.

Coming from Singapore, adjusting to such a way of life was extremely difficult for me as it was the complete opposite of what I am used to back at home. I was complaining a lot at first, because of how long the walks were and the sheer amount of nature in the area, not to mention the threat of bears! However, it wasn’t long before I got used to it, and I came to love the long walks, whether it was to certain places or just around campus or in the park nearby. Something I have come to value and miss is the slow(er) pace of life in AIU.

In addition, the natural environment around AIU is picturesque, whether it is the view of the mountains in the morning, or the star-filled night sky on a clear night, and taking slow walks with my friends in the park and forest while admiring the scenery were some of the best memories I made there. If you like nature and would like to experience a slower pace of life in a small, tight-knit community, I believe that AIU is a great place to consider.

From the Center for International Affairs

With its small campus far from the lights of the city, AIU offers an environment in which you can concentrate on your studies.

Although you might feel unsure about it at first, as Megan did, your study abroad experience will be more fulfilling if you learn to adapt and find enjoyment in dormitory life and campus life.