The coursework for Global Communication Practices is designed to cultivate the knowledge and skills needed for advanced intercultural communication, which are vital for professionals in global business and communications, including journalists, public relations practitioners, marketing and communications specialists in both private and public organizations.
It offers practical training in business communication and outreach, research, interviewing, correspondence, negotiation, debate, translation, and interpreting, as well as theoretical studies on global communication.
The program places an emphasis on the development of students’ perspectives on a variety of social and cultural issues to help understand the strong ties among the mass media, governments, non-governmental organizations, and business communities in the global society.
In today’s global society, graduates need to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as they complete their education. With a focus on practical skills used in effective business communication such as negotiation, research, interpreting, and presentation, graduates can put their education to immediate use in any corporation or organization.
In the age of mass communication and social media, citizens are expected to critically evaluate the contents of mass media, form rational opinions regarding public issues, and engage with the public with their viewpoints. Moreover, opinions expressed on the web in blogs, tweets, and web news sites are becoming as important as newspaper editorials or commentaries in TV news. In this program, students learn “web literacy” in addition to “media literacy,” in order to work as communication experts in contemporary society.
AIU’s Global Communication Practices (GCP) is designed to train communication professionals capable of working in, and communicating across, different languages and cultures － in the areas of public relations, journalism, and organizational (business) communication.
Embedded throughout our curriculum, therefore, are dynamic, cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspectives which go beyond the technical and theoretical exercises of learning. This is crucial, since certain types of professional communication that work in one culture may not resonate in different cultural contexts.
Our teaching faculty draw from extensive professional experiences in corporate communication, journalism and interpretation, (and advertising and PR) all within multi-cultural settings. And to this diverse expertise, students－who themselves come with multi-cultural backgrounds－richly contribute to the vibrant learning environment.
Through faculty-student and student-student interactions, we come to understand the technicality, breadth, and the nuance of international communication that characterize much of today’s challenges in international affairs and business.
Such real-world concerns are interwoven into our classes, lectures and activities (i.e. internships), which working in conjunction are intended to cultivate and inspire relevant knowledge and thinking, leading directly to a professional career in international communication. The combination of classes, internships and research projects, required for graduation typically last for two years but could be shortened to 18 months or less for the most qualified students with high performance evaluation.
During my time at Akita International University, I had the opportunity to learn about intercultural communication not only in the classroom but outside of the class as well, with many activities focused around being international. For example, I took part in the school's many clubs and circles such as the AIU festival committee, where I was part of the PR department.
After graduation, I moved to Tokyo to start my career at Inoue PR. Day to day, I work mainly with digital communications and social media for a variety of domestic and international clients. Many of the skills I apply in my work come directly from the classes I took at AIU's GCP program, especially intercultural communications. The professional skills and knowledge I acquired at the Graduate School have provided me with the confidence and ability to communicate and interact with my Japanese and foreign colleagues. The time I spent in Akita was one of the best and most fulfilling times in my life, and I am very grateful for the opportunities given to me by the university.
GCP gives me a wide range of experience, and it is training me to think like a journalist or PR specialist and prepare for a professional career.
Journalism project is one example; you need to find news values in what you are going to write about while arranging interviews and planning the writing with some communication techniques. The mandatory internship was also a great way to get real-world experience where I could get to create web content and plan digital PR strategies, and that will definitely help me throughout my career.
Being in GCP means you instantly make friends from around the world. Different cultural backgrounds provide a superb intercultural atmosphere in and out of class, which itself is highly educational. Professors with rich expertise enabled me to obtain first-hand occupational experiences. In the GCP643 Introduction to International Journalism class, for instance, I had a chance to work with the Japan Times ? the leading national English daily in Japan ? and publish an article fully credited to me as an author. I am convinced that what I have learned here will directly benefit me in my career going forward both in thinking and practical application.