One Semester is Too Short: Isobella McShane, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

AIU rock band student hallIsobella (front row, center) with the Rock Band Club after a concert.

Isobella McShane

Isobella at Akita’s Omoriyama Zoo.

Isobella McShane is a first-semester exchange student from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

First Time Traveling Overseas

I came to AIU from Australia in April for study abroad through my home university. I didn’t know what to expect, since I had never been overseas previously. It was quite a big change, but everyone at AIU was so welcoming. It made it very easy to transition into the school life at AIU.

Diverse, International Campus

The best thing about AIU for me is meeting people from all over the world. It’s great to be able to interact with Japanese students, of course, but being able to meet all kinds of people from different cultures really helped to open my eyes.

There are also so many clubs at AIU that it was hard to decide which one I wanted to join. I ended up joining the Rock Band Club. The club has such great energy and the live shows are such a great experience to be apart of.

Favorite Class: Japanese

My favourite class at AIU would have to be the Japanese class. The sensei (teacher) is amazing, very helpful and the classes are fun! That makes learning a whole lot easier.

Living on Campus

Living on campus has been very convenient.

There is a corner store, a small shop in AIU, a bar, and heaps more on campus or right next-door. I live in the Themed Houses in University Village. The housing is very comfortable and the rooms are quite large.

There is a shopping center about 15 minutes from AIU, with buses coming regularly every hour. This is very convenient if you need to buy your own groceries, otherwise the meals offered at the cafeteria are very delicious too!

Activities Around Akita

There has been many field trips for students at AIU as well, including trips to the Aquarium, Namahage museum, the local zoo and many other places.

Overall Impression

The most surprising experience I’ve had studying at AIU was how accommodating everyone is. I wasn’t confident in my Japanese speaking abilities before coming. I was afraid no one would be able to talk to me, but almost everyone actually speaks a bit of English! I had nothing to worry about actually and everyone is always very understanding. This made it so easy to make lots of friends.

There is still so much I haven’t explored in Akita, let alone Japan. I’m only staying for one semester, but I highly recommend staying the whole year. Once you get to know the people here, you won’t want to leave.