A certain “Je ne sais quoi” that I don’t think you could get elsewhere: Samuel Chiappetta, University of Manitoba, Canada

Samuel, the second from the right, having fun with his club mates on the top of Taihei-Zan (Mt. Taihei/1,170m).


What an unbelievably eventful 6 months it has been; I can hardly wrap my head around all the things I have done here at AIU. Starting in the fall, I got involved as fast and into as many clubs and activities as I could. Right away, I can remember how surprised and fun it was to go to a local school to interact with the kids there through the RCOS program and be greeted by an entire gym full of kids standing up and giving a fully synchronized musical number as a welcoming present for us. And then there was the hiking club. Coming from a very flat region of Canada, it was an absolute pleasure climbing mountains all over the Tohoku region. I can’t forget AUWA either: a club offering opportunity after opportunity to go outside the campus and interact with the local people. And, as for on campus activities, I could sing to my heart’s content with the Acapella club. As a member of the Japanese language themed house (just one of several themed residences), I had even more chances to, of course, improve my Japanese outside the classroom, but also do a whole host of activities with fellow members of the house. While I’m at it, I’d like to give a shout out to Akita itself as well; there is absolutly no shortage of beautiful scenery accompanied by equally kind people here, and a certain “je ne sais quoi” that I don’t think you could get elsewhere.

And finally, of course, I would be remiss to not mention perhaps the most important part of my stay: the people I have met. From my roommate, to my friends from all over the world, and to my professors and everyone in-between, I have truly met many great people who I am just thrilled to have had a chance to meet.

Yes, I think I would need a few hundred more pages to get halfway through doing my time here justice, but, for now, I’ll go for a simple, yet heartfelt, cheers to an unbelievable 6 months that I am never to forget. So, cheers; until next time!

Samuel, the fifith from the right in the last row, at After Party of Local Festival enjoying meal at the local IZAKAYA (Japanese Pub)