Student Voice: How I Made the Most of my AIU Experience

I’m Kaitlyn, a senior from The George Washington University in Washington D.C.! Since I think I made the most of my time at AIU, I would like to share how I achieved this.

I started with the AIU Summer Program, an intensive 6-week virtual Japanese language course. With the small class size, I maximized my time learning about and using Japanese. While building relationships with my teacher and classmates, I was already acquainting myself with AIU.

Solo trip to Sendai: Having breakfast with ryokan guests (12.04.2022)

When I arrived at AIU for the fall semester, I talked with a variety of international and Japanese students. I created a daily online journal to document each day’s activities and thoughts. Writing about the day-to-day was a crucial way to reflect and introspect, allowing for thought on how to utilize my time to the fullest. And of course, I joined many clubs. In the end, I was only seriously involved in one club, but it’s important to keep an open mind to begin with!

RCOS: After Kobiratai Harvest Festival (11.27.2022)
With friends: Winning Christmas axolotl at arcade in AEON Goshono (11.18.2022)

Since I was only here for a semester, I took advantage of every weekend to travel and explore (if I was feeling up to it of course)! I signed up for AIU’s bus trips, RCOS(Research and Community Outreach Services) activities, club events, volunteered at a conference, and went on trips with friends. If others were busy, I would spontaneously plan a solo trip for the weekend. I also paid attention to my immediate surroundings. In particular, I observed and learned a lot about the Jorou spider and the Japanese silk moth, among other insects.

AIU Festival (10.09.2022)
Akita Rural Studies class fieldwork day: Mount Takao and the Memeki Community (10.01.2022)

All in all, there’s a lot to do around AIU and Japan. Keep in mind that you will never run out of things to do. Whether it’s far away or right in front of you, there’s always something new and exciting for you to discover!

AIU bus trip: Hike to Furushiroyama Castle Ruins at Kakunodate (9.23.2022)