AIU started the Fall 2020 Semester entirely online, but we understand that for students who were looking forward to campus life – especially new students – it has been truly disappointing that they have not been able to interact with friends, faculty members, and staff on campus.
However, I ask you all to remember in your heart that the strong will to face this unprecedented difficulty and draw on your own strength to continue your studies is what we consider to be the AIU SPIRIT. Please continue to work closely with the faculty and staff members at AIU to move forward with your academic goals and graduation plan.
Recently, the COVID-19 infection situation has risen and fallen and the infection levels remain high throughout Japan, so we must not let down our guard. However, since Japan has made progress in strengthening its medical and insurance infrastructure, we can assert that the country is in a state of phased restoration of social and economic activity, while also maintaining solid infection prevention measures.
Additionally, Akita Prefecture had previously issued a strong warning to all residents to refrain from traveling across prefectural borders, particularly to major metropolitan areas around Tokyo and other locations where COVID-19 infections were spreading rapidly. However, in October, the prefecture ended this warning and declared its plan to support economic recovery simultaneously with its response to COVID-19.
Since AIU decided in August to conduct the Fall 2020 Semester entirely online, we have continued to keep a close watch on the COVID-19 infection rate situation as well as social conditions and to discuss how to return to a normal campus environment, while also preventing further spread of infection, as early as possible.
Since AIU is a residential campus that welcomes students from around the country, we must consider the health and safety of students as well as faculty and staff members, so any decision involves a high degree of risk. However, at this time AIU has decided to allow students to return to campus in phases, in order to meet students’ desire to the greatest degree possible while also minimizing the risks.
We will begin welcoming students to campus with the start of the Winter Program in January 2021, starting with first-year degree-seeking students, who would be required to live on campus under normal circumstances. In this case, from a structural perspective, we will avoid using the Komachi Hall Dormitory and students will instead be housed in Global Village, in principle, with one student per room. However, please be aware that there are still uncertain factors influencing the time period for returning to campus such as the possible simultaneous spread of influenza. Additionally, we ask your kind understanding that this means that we are unable to welcome second-year students and above or exchange students to reside on campus during the academic year ending in March 2020. We intend to make a decision about residing on campus during the Spring 2021 Semester at the end of January based on the developing situation at that time.
In principle, courses during the Winter Program will be held online. However, if the situation allows and there are courses in which all registered students are first-year students living on campus, we may consider holding a portion of those courses in person. We will make a decision on the format of Spring 2021 Semester courses later, based on the developing situation, but we are currently considering offering online and parallel courses.
Additionally, beginning in November, AIU has decided to reopen some facilities to students’ use, including the library and cafeteria, with the condition that students using the facilities have not left Akita Prefecture within the preceding two-week period, and will continue to open other facilities progressively. Specific details will be sent separately. While AIU will make every effort in our power to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as well as to fulfill our responsibility to our local community to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, we are also committed to providing our students with a fulfilling student life experience. We ask all students’ cooperation as well in maintaining awareness of your social responsibility and taking all appropriate measures to prevent the spread of infection while experiencing a meaningful campus life at AIU.
Akita International University
AIU’s Response to Coronavirus
For up-to-date information on AIU's response to COVID-19, please see our dedicated web page here.