What do you want to experience at AIU? What do you want to become through study abroad?
In this series of articles, we would like to introduce the articles from past exchange students who have completed their studies at AIU. They will share the most memorable experience, what they learned and how the AIU experience helped them now, and what they would like to tell international students who are thinking of studying at AIU.
The purpose of studying abroad is different for everyone, but we hope that the stories of alumni will encourage you to consider studying abroad at AIU as a place of learning.
Here is a message from Kaitlin Viloria. She was an exchange student who stayed at AIU in Fall 2019 Semester.
If I were to condense all my memorable experiences at AIU into one word, it would be “dance”. I was a member of both the Yatose dance team and the AIU Dance Club in Fall 2019, and the time I spent with the people in both clubs was unforgettable. As we practiced and rehearsed as a team for our respective performances for AIU Festival and Dance Virus, the struggles we shared established respect and formed a bond between us.
While initially in AIU Dance Club it was difficult to assimilate in the practices due to the language barrier, students who acted as translators helped bridge the gap between international and Japanese students. As a result of our continued interactions, we were able to become part of this close-knit community. I remember one of the members saying how they never had this much interaction with international students in the dance club before and how it was the first time that international students performed the opening for Dance Virus.
As for the Yatose dance team, we were instructed in English, so there was no language barrier. Overall, I really enjoyed learning about a different style of dance, performing at festivals with them, and going out together for okonomiyaki, and cooking takoyaki and nabe together. As a smaller team, it really felt like we were a family.
Even after I left the stage as a dancer post-graduation, I still practice the isolation exercises from AIU Dance Club and the Yatose dances I learned to help keep me active and improve on my dance skills. Dance became a major part of my college life, and dance at AIU amplified my experience and love for this art while also immersing myself in the Japanese language and culture and making friends that share the same passion!