Student Voice “Online Summer Program 2022”: My unforgettable summer at Akita International University – Haoxuan Ge, University of Toronto, Canada

AIU held the Elementary Japanese Program: Online (E-JapON) 2022 from June 15 to July 26. This was the second consecutive year that the program was held online, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the participants.

Here is the message from Mr. Haoxuan Ge.

Mr. Haoxuan Ge


Akita is like a treasure box full of traditional Japanese culture. You will be amazed and immersed in its delicate and charming culture. This was my third year applying for AIU’s summer program since exchange programs were paused due to the influence of the global pandemic. Now, this dream has finally come true.

My Japanese language skills sky-rocketed throughout the program. I was worried I could not speak Japanese properly as I did not have many chances to practice Japanese before joining the program. However, it was a fun and cheerful experience to learn with Hiwatari-Sensei in my Japanese language course and to talk with AIU students through the “Happy Monday” gatherings – an opportunity for international students to connect with local students and make friends with each other. I was amazed by how much I improved in six weeks. It felt awesome as I could confidently communicate and express my thoughts, read and write short paragraphs and exchange my stories in Japanese. 

I believe the summer program did a great job introducing and conveying Japan’s traditional culture. I love how Chiba-Sensei presented the spirit of Japanese culture and encouraged us to practice together with her. Although we were only able to cover the basics of tea ceremony, kimono, flower arrangements, and Akita Maiko, who perform traditional Japanese music and dances, these hands-on experiences were valuable for me to engage with Japanese traditional cultures. I am making matcha (powdered green tea) at home every week thanks to the influence of the culture classes.

Overall, AIU’s summer E-JapON exchange program not only allowed me to enhance my language skills and create lasting relationships overseas by exchanging stories with native Japanese speakers, but also allowed me to learn and immerse myself in Japan’s delicate traditional cultures through clubs, workshops, and virtual field trips hosted by the university. 

I am looking forward to visiting Akita and AIU in person in the future.

From the Center for International Affairs

We are glad Haoxuan enjoyed the program very much! Studying the Japanese language and cultures on your own may not be easy. However, learning with peers, experienced lecturers, and local Japanese students and people will surely give international students a chance to grow significantly and gain unforgettable memories. Thank you to all three participants for showing us your continuous positive attitude, big improvement, and lots of smiles! One of the participants of this program will study at the AIU campus in person in the Fall 2022 Semester. We are very much looking forward to seeing all of you in Akita in the near future!