Japanese Cultural Immersion and Language Practice: Theodor Bjorkesfors, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Theodor at a Japanese Dance Club event


My favorite experience has been the different trips I’ve gone to as well as being in the traditional dance club. Through the club and the school, I’ve been able to experience something that’s only obtainable in Japan. Finding a traditional Japanese dance teacher in Sweden proves quite the task. My favorite class has been Japanese classes as learning Japanese has been my passion for the last four years. I’ve been self-studying at home on my computer all the time and to finally be able to learn from a real Japanese sensei was quite an experience. The speed I was improving my Japanese was crazy!

Something I wish I knew before coming here was that I should have applied for an international drivers license. Being able to drive a car in Akita opens you up to a lot of different options in terms of what to do on the weekends. If I come back, I would get a drivers license and do some research to places that are easy to drive!

My experience living on campus has been great (except for sometimes you can hear a lot of party people on the weekends because I lived in the university village, which has a sort of thin walls). But it was only a minor issue, and if you go to talk it out, they will be happy to quiet it down a bit. The campus has convenient stores as well as a cafeteria, so you should always be able to have something to eat. The comfortable living, coupled with the many fantastic events held by various clubs made my time on campus race past me like thunder.

A secret I only got to try towards the end of my stay was a fantastic sushi restaurant called Sunoya, which sells 100 Yen sushi plates. It is worth trying it out, especially if you love sushi! Also, another secret is that there is a restaurant inside the bicycle renting shop next to campus. So if you ever want to eat something besides the campus food, they serve a fantastic lunch.

My time here has been amazing. I’ve met many friends as well as learned a lot about Japanese society and of course the Japanese language. All thanks to the fantastic classes and programs that AIU offer. My exchange to Akita International University is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.  And I strongly recommend going to Akita International University if you like more the countryside and culture of Japan.  If you want to visit anime stores every day, this may not be the place for you.