Student Voice

2019.05.20Student Voice

Favorite Parts of my Exchange Experience: Maika van der Hulst, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

Maika van der Hulst Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences Akita International University

Maika van der Hulst

I have had a lot of great experiences since I came to AIU in August this year. First of all, I was very glad I got the opportunity to study here as it was my first-choice university!

The reason I chose AIU and Akita, is because I wanted to see and experience the rural life in Japan and live in the middle of nature. Another trigger were the exchange students who came over to my home university in the Netherlands. Every student from AIU I met were super nice and interesting and they motivated me to choose Akita.

Unique Opportunities in Akita

Since I came here, I have visited some farms already and participated with my friends in workshops for harvesting rice and learning about their businesses, which was quite interesting and very different from my home country. I felt that Japanese people were much more passionate for what they were doing and producing. I loved visiting sake breweries, I have always wanted to taste sake from Akita and learn more about it.

AIU Festival

Amongst all the great experiences, my favorite one was the AIU festival. On the first day I got to sell canvas bags designed by AIU students and I got to wear a very traditional kimono provided by the Kimono club. The following day was the Miss Contest in which I participated and received second place! It was a lot of hard work and preparation, but in the end we all had fun and it became a very memorable experience.

Living at AIU

What I love the most about AIU are the people. Everyone I talk with is so creative and I love the fact that they all have different perspectives on how they view the world. I met many people with different interests and backgrounds and it is truly fascinating to listen to their goals and what interests them. They are a great inspiration to me.

What I have been enjoying as well, is cooking. I love to cook and since Japan is rich in having many different ingredients this was also a reason I chose Akita. Since I started living here, I have had people over at my home all the time, and it’s a great way to meet new people. Sometimes, I even have people over I met minutes before! I really love the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere AIU and Akita provides us; it really is a great place for studying and socializing. I believe that the experiences at AIU will become a very precious treasure to me.