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 articles from past exchange students who have completed their studies at AIU. They will share their most memorable experiences, what they learned and how the AIU experience has 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 Kamola Talipova. She was an exchange student who stayed at AIU in the Fall 2018 Semester.
If you ask any of the AIU alumni if they miss Akita, you’ll hear the emotional answer “Yes!”.
The decision to have a semester abroad was one of the best that I have ever made. Usually, people have that one dream which seems to be unachievable, and this was Japan for me. My major wasn’t Asian studies, but I attended Japanese language school after university classes.
Life at AIU was one of the happiest periods in my life. Every moment was precious and memorable, starting from walks around campus, spending time in the cafeteria with different new people, and ending with trips and Japanese classes. AIU gave me a lot of opportunities to travel around and opened the door to a beautiful new world. For example, memories from amazing trips to Oga and Kakunodate often help get me through hard times.
I enjoyed going to club activities like badminton and aikido (a martial art), where I had fun with my friends. Aikido club became special for me as it helped me to conquer my fears. The most memorable thing was how we would all go together to the dojo (training hall) in winter, where several hours of practicing there seemed to take up our entire day. Club activities helped me to discover new sides of other people also: I admire how AIU students do what they love while maintaining a balance between hobbies and study.
One more experience that AIU gave me was the Happo-cho(a town located in the north of Akita) Program. As my friend once said this program is “Happoness = Happo-cho + happiness”. We helped children with English, walked in the forest, and I had my very first visit to an onsen (hot spring) with a view of the sea. Could it be more perfect? Yes, there was also a homestay! Even though I was worried about being in someone’s house without the best level of the Japanese language, that evening was cozy, full of smiles, talks, and laughter.
Overall, AIU is a special place with special people and I am happy that I am part of it.