Student Voice: It feels like home – my journey in Japan so far – Rebecca (Becca) NIRZA University of Maine at Farmington, U.S.A.

Rebecca (Becca) NIRZA, from the University of Maine at Farmington, U.S.A., is participating in our exchange program for the Fall 2023 semester. We would like to introduce her experience at AIU.

AIU Matriculation Ceremony – August 25, 2023

If someone would have told my younger self that before the age of 21 I would have visited Japan, I would have called them crazy.

Since I was young, I have grown to love Japan and its culture. When I found out that my home university is partnered with AIU, I jumped into the process to be an exchange student.

It has been nearly 2 months and a half since I got to Japan and I am loving it so far. I have been able to learn a lot from its culture and language, and also learn more about myself.

It feels like home

 One of my favorite things about Akita is how I still feel at home. I come from the United States, specifically, the state of Maine.

The weather here and in Maine is nearly exactly the same, warm, cold, rainy, snow, but also can’t decide if it wants to be warm or cold.

 I was able to prepare for these different weather patterns better due to the weather similarities.

Fall in Akita – In Front of Cafeteria Building at AIU – Late October 2023

Also with these similarities, I had an easier time adjusting to the change of being in another country.

 Even though I am away from family and friends, it still feels like I am at home.

If I could live anywhere in Japan, it would be Akita.

I’ve had many opportunities here in which I am very grateful for

 In October, I had the opportunity to exhibit my photography in Tokyo Japan.

Seeing my art in Tokyo – October 20, 2023

 It was my first time exhibiting my art, and I get to say that I did it in Japan.

Disney Castle at Disneyland Tokyo – November 4, 2023

Another fun opportunity I took was going to Disneyland in Tokyo. When I first got accepted into AIU, I knew I had to make a trip to Disneyland, which I recommend you do!

 I also have been on field trips with the school and my classes which allowed me to learn more about Akita prefecture.

Namahage taiko performance, bus trip to Oga Peninsula – September 23, 2023

Coming to AIU has opened my eyes to other opportunities of what I can be in my future.

 My experience at AIU has made me consider becoming an art (photography) teacher in Japan. It would be awesome to become an art teacher, especially at AIU.

I want to give students who major in the arts the opportunity to take art classes even while abroad.

Even though I only have a month and a half left of my exchange, I am excited to learn and do more!