Student Voice

2019.05.27Student Voice

The Language Study, Cultural, and Campus Environments of AIU: Pavel Stan, Drexel University, USA

Akita International University, Drexel University, Pavel Stan

Pavel, center, with another Drexel student, Drexel's Vice Provost for Global Engagement, and AIU Center for International Affairs staff during.

I find myself writing this article pressed by dozens of new vocabulary words to learn, Kanji characters to study, and multiple essays to write for my Japanese courses. Still, contrary to what you might expect, this makes me feel relaxed and excited.

I decided to come to AIU to intensify my study of the Japanese language. I went through a thorough application process, being that I’m one of the first 2 students to be sent at AIU by my university and got accepted.

An Ideal Study Environment

My arrival here was delayed by a typhoon, which meant I went straight to bed my first night, but I don’t think I’ve needed time to relax ever since. While my courses are intense, and all my friends are just as busy as I am, the campus is populated with tall pine-trees that wave in the wind, and the lecture halls have a relaxing, pleasant aroma of resin. When it rains, you can hear the drops hit the roof of the building while studying in the library or attending a course. It is almost as if the nature of this place rewards you for your efforts.

Experiencing the Culture and Country

The sheer spectrum of what I’ve done since I arrived here is amazing. From food festivals rich with local traditions, soaking in an onsen overlooking the sea, partaking in rice-farming in a nearby village, or planning a trip to Osaka with friends I met here from 7 different countries, AIU delivers an experience that is certain to remain dear in your heart for the rest of your life.

Social Environment

Of all the places I’ve traveled around the world, this is by far one of the warmest. Away from the noise of the popular cities, Akita locals generously welcome students gathered from everywhere, introducing them to a culture of ancient tradition, respect, and connection. All the Japanese friends I’ve made here help me improve my Japanese, and I in turn help them with their English. They’re all kind to me, recognizing how disoriented I am by just how different from the rest of the world Japan is. They ask me questions about my country, and I try to help them find a place to do their study abroad. Senior students, in turn, amaze me with stories of their travels.

Every morning, I wake up ready to enjoy a bowl of rice for breakfast and discover what else AIU has in store for me. Every day, the university fills my heart with unique knowledge and experience. Every night, I fall asleep excited for the days to come and grateful for the ones passed.

To everyone looking for a next step in their academic journey, I simply say this: come to AIU. I promise you, by the time your study abroad is over, your life will never be the same.