Enjoying My Day on “Gakusai (AIU Festival)”: Muhammad Hafiz Zulkifli, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Muhammad Hafiz (left) on the Gakusai Day with his friends.


Leaving your home is a scary journey. Especially going to an unfamiliar place where you are all alone and you have no idea what to expect. But that is one of the blissful adventures of life. Oblivion can lead to unexpected journeys. Some parts lead to a beautiful memory that you want to keep. While some are just a scary nightmare. But we learn and grow from these nightmares. We embrace and utilize them to help us grow for the better.

Being here at AIU is a precious opportunity for me. Where I come from, not many of us are willing to postpone our studies in order to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. The wonderful experiences I had here in AIU are countless. I am grateful for all the experiences and I am looking forward to more. Akita itself is filled with breathtaking sceneries and cultures. Joining RCOS activities is also such a privilege for me as I had the honor to help the young locals practice communicating in English. For me, there is one AIU experience that stood out. Can you guess? It is the AIU Festival. I was part of the dance team where we performed in the Suda Hall. It was truly wonderful. I originally planned to travel to Sendai and Fukushima with my friends after my performance. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our plans due to the Typhoon Hagibis. Nevertheless, we had a memorable experience.

University Festivals or “Gakusai” is huge in Japan and I had the pleasure to experience it myself. It was filled with mesmerizing performances, fun activities and also a variety of food stands. Most of the food stands were set up by the students themselves. It was amazing how each stall had its own variety of food to cater to everyone. In addition to that, most of these food stands are organized by each student club to raise funds for their activities. The smores and the caramelized apples were my favourites. The whole event was filled with a variety of performances. They made it so effortless. Before the festival, I had the chance to come across all the AIU students practicing really hard for their performances. The performances included dance, rock band, acapella and some cultural performances such as Kanto. It was really a treat for the eyes and ears. They also showcased a bunch of variety shows and comedies.

At the end of the festival, there was a firework showcase along with a performance from the senior students. The musical performance was so entertaining. I admire how organized and well-practiced they are despite most of them do not have a performing background. After the closing ceremony, we had a bonfire session in the field. This festival was truly a once in a lifetime experience especially when you are here for just a short 4 months. I admire how everyone worked so hard for this 2 day – festival. Indeed, it was a “Gakusai Magic”.


Enjoying the day on campus.