Student Voice

2017.10.09Student Voice

A Second Exchange Semester at AIU: Annaleigh Marshall, George Mason University, USA

kakunodate Akita international university George Mason University
Annaleigh (second from right) at the preserved samurai houses in Kakunodate.

I am happy to say that this semester at AIU is my second time here.

Language Improvement Beyond Expectations

I came in 2015 for a semester, and AIU had such a profound impact on my language development that I could not help but want to come back. I was only at AIU for a semester, but it had a major impact on my Japanese studies when I returned to the United States.

Impact of AIU's Study Environment
visiting tokyo from Akita

AIU is located in a peaceful setting in rural Akita, but with the airport 10 minutes away, it's easy to travel to Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan!

My Japanese sensei at AIU had so fully prepared me and helped me in my Japanese that I was beyond where my home university expected.

At AIU, the immersion experiences combined with the unique opportunity to interact with native Japanese speakers solidified my Japanese. Not only did I remember what I had learned at AIU, but anytime I was faced with new grammar or kanji, I was able to memorize it and master it much faster than many of my peers who had not studied abroad.

The End of the Road?

Since completing my exchange, I returned to my home university and continued my Japanese studies. The year following my return to the United States, I went to take the JLPT and passed at the N4 level. The semester after I passed the JLPT was the final Japanese class my university offered, and I was sad about having to stop my studies when I knew there was so much more I did not know.

I considered my remaining classes I needed to graduate and decided the best way to help myself become more employable in the American job market was to increase my Japanese proficiency. Since my university offered no more Japanese classes, I decided to study abroad for another semester.

Returning to AIU

I had the option of studying at numerous universities in Japan, but I chose to return to AIU. My experience had been so beneficial for my Japanese that I knew if I returned to AIU, I would have the same experience again.

Campus Resources and Environment

The academic environment created by AIU awakens so much potential in their students, and I knew if I returned, I would be given so many ways and opportunities to succeed at my goal. Plus, I had come to miss the campus once I had returned to my home university. The Nakajima Library and the LDIC are amazing resources for learning that I believe few other universities can match.

Now that I am back at AIU, I’m so excited to get back into my studies and meet new people. The demographics of domestic students and international students fosters an environment for so many eye-opening experiences. There is nowhere else I can study that gives me access to amazing academic resources, interactions with students from many different countries, and such qualified staff and teachers as AIU.