Exchange Experience at AIUAs an exchange student, my experience in AIU was pure bliss, but it was also one of self-discovery. I was able to experience a culture that was completely different from the one that I am used to. However, it was a culture that I greatly appreciated.
Furthermore, I have met friends from all over the world who taught me how to see the world through their own perspectives, and this altered the way I saw and appreciated things. Moreover, these friends are people that I have come to love and cherish for the rest of my life.
Beauty of the Region and Akita
I have also traveled around the Tohoku region which made me really grateful for coming to AIU. I wouldn’t be able to see the beauty that Tohoku has to offer if I didn’t enter AIU.
At the same time, despite how small AIU is as a campus, it has given me so many opportunities to explore my potentials and my interests. From my classes to the RCOS (Research and Community Outreach Services) activities that the school offered, I was able to do things that I never thought that I would ever get to do in my life like making a short film or becoming an ALT. Because of these experiences, I have learned to take risks, to enjoy, and to fully maximize whatever life has to offer.
A Childhood Dream Reawakened
Soon after my exchange period in AIU ended, I decided to become a teacher.
This was a very difficult decision to make since I was majoring in a completely different course in college. However, what prompted my decision was my experience in AIU — specifically when I volunteered as an ALT for RCOS. Because of that experience, my childhood dream of becoming a teacher resurfaced.
Returning to AIU to Pursue the Dream
I decided to do my graduate studies in AIU because, since my time as an exchange student, I have considered AIU as my home away from home. Furthermore, AIU comforts and challenges me at the same time. As such, 3 months after my graduation in college, here I am going after a dream that I never thought was possible.
At the moment, I am a first-year graduate student in the English Language Teaching Practices program. It is by no means easy, but it is a challenge that excites me. I have only just started my new journey this September, but I have already taken many opportunities to expand my capabilities and experiences that, hopefully, will help me in my future endeavors.
Moreover, I am really thankful for the support that AIU, its faculty, its staff, and my fellow colleagues have extended to make my stay here worthwhile. I have yet a long way to go, but I am looking forward to where my experiences and decisions will lead me.