Miguel PINTO SANZ from University of Burgos, Spain, is participating in our exchange program starting in the Fall 2022 semester. We would like to introduce his experience at AIU.
Being far away from the Akita City center is not all downsides. The AIU campus is surrounded by nature, and the parks (Chuo Park), Sugi trees (Japanese cedar), vegetable patches and rice fields, in addition to the trees on the campus itself, have a lot to offer. And, by paying a little attention, you will notice many things.
Since I came to Akita, I have learned a lot of things. Not only about the beauty of our everyday surroundings, but also about the cycles (although altered by climate change) that nature follows. These can be perceived by simply observing the flowers, birds, trees or insects that are on campus. This has encouraged me to learn more about them by buying Japanese Nature guides and taking walks.
AIU's surrounding environments are full of life. This winter semester, when things have been quieter (and the bears hibernate), I went for walks almost every day. Thus, I have been able to see —indirectly— a large number of animals (such as foxes, tanuki, etc.) that roam the campus through their tracks. Also, I have watched incredible birds such as pheasants and swans. Furthermore, I was able to perceive the little changes that occur in nature throughout the seasons. Hence, I was able to notice that little by little spring is arriving. From seeing animals becomng more active, such as squirrels, to the trees getting ready to bloom.
Thus, being at AIU has allowed me to discover many things such as the importance of paying attention to the little details and learning about nature. All of this is definitely another way to approach life in Akita, and hence Japan.