Student Voice “Online Summer Program 2021” : Traditionally Non-traditional, My Virtual Study Abroad – Amy Wallace, State University of New York at Oswego, U.S.A.

AIU is pleased to announce that we will be offering an Elementary Japanese Program: Online (E-JapON) 2022 from June 15 through July 26. It is a six-week, six-credit, intensive Japanese language and culture study program designed for highly motivated elementary to upper elementary levels of Japanese language learners around the world.

Here is a message from Ms. Amy Wallace, an international student who participated in the summer program online in 2021.

Ms. Amy Wallace in Oswego, New York

As a non-traditional student, a short-term program like the Akita International University Virtual Program was already on my radar, though this was not my initial plan. I had planned to travel to Japan through a quarter course offered by my home institution, but the pandemic changed my original plans. These changes of plans may not have led me in-country, but gave me a longer experience with people from around the world learning the Japanese language, cultures, and traditions in a non-traditional way. I could not have been happier with the experience I was given during a time when I could not travel, or having this as an option as a non-traditional student with limited travel time who works full-time, and has a family, but would like a global experience.

Through the program, I was able to expand on my Japanese language, learn day-to-day Japanese cultures, and some Japanese traditions through not only our lessons but through special guests and a virtual field trip! We were brought through the history of the traditions of the way of the tea (Sado) and the way of the flowers (Ikebana) by Ms. Chiba who taught passionately as we followed with regular household items for the sake of learning. There was a full team from Akita International University to make our field trip to Yokote Castle in the Akita prefecture one to remember. Everyone was so nice and the graduate students involved in the program helped us practice speaking and were amazing!

The best part of the program is though you were online, you were included in everything going on on-campus. You had the ability to join clubs (like the Japanese Sign Language club; no experience needed!), Theme-House events, and voting on the mascots for the summer festival. I would do this all over again!