Student Voice

2018.06.04Student Voice

Finding an International Community – and Myself – Through Rock: McKinley Streett, Lyon College, USA

McKinley Street Akita International University Lyon College

McKinley Streett

When I first arrived at AIU, I was worried about finding a community that I could relate to. I’m very interested in art and music and tend to gravitate towards people that share these interests.

AIU Rock Band

Thanks to AIU’s Rock Band Club, I have access to a soundproof room full of instruments that I’m able to create and experiment with whenever I want. I have been improving my keyboarding skills and also plan to start learning the bass. This creative outlet helps me feel more comfortable 6,000+ miles away from home. Not only do I have access to all of these instruments, I also have a community of musicians to collaborate with and learn from.

An International Band

Within the first month of attending AIU, I was asked to join a band. Two of the five members are from Japan; one member is from Finland and the other is from Mexico. I’m from the United States. Without AIU, the five of us would never have met.

First Performance

Our first performance together was one of the best nights of my life. Everyone in AIU’s Rock Band Club is so talented and supportive; I’ve never experienced such an inclusive music scene before.

I was very nervous to perform but immediately felt comfortable to express myself after the audience comprised of the club and other students cheered us on. By the end of our show, I had a huge smile on my face because I was able to express myself in front of a room full of people my age from all around the world.

What the Rock Band Experience has Meant

This university and Rock Band Club has literally and figuratively given me a platform to express myself on that I’m very grateful for. Even though I’m very far away from home, I feel like I really am part of a community here in Japan. Despite our different backgrounds and cultures, our band came together to express ourselves and create “icecave”. This experience has meant and continues to mean a lot to me. I feel myself growing and learning everyday from these opportunities and the international students I get to experience them with.