The coursework for Global Communication Practices is designed to cultivate the knowledge and skills needed for advanced intercultural communication, which are vital to professional journalists, and international public relations officers in both private and public organizations. It offers practical training in 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 as global citizens 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 such as negotiation, survey, research, interpreting, and presentation, graduates can put their education to immediate use.
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. This is known as “media literacy.” Nowadays, 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 organaizational (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, 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. intership), 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: the highly international environment on campus was a perfect place for field testing. I took part in the school's many clubs and circles such as the AIU festival committee. Even there, it was all part of learning－I was part of the PR department for the festival. After graduation, I moved to Tokyo to start my career in public relations. I landed on a job with Inoue Public Relations where I work as an international account coordinator, communicating with overseas clients, and conducting PR activities in Japan on their behalf. Many of the skills I apply daily in my work come directly from the classes I took at AIU’s GCP program such as corporate communication, crisis communication and 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.
Communication studies is often said to be difficult to pin-point. However, the Global Communication Practices program takes a practical approach, and therefore is more applicable to real world situations. In many classes, this is carried out by removing barriers between the classroom and the outside world, allowing you to put your theoretical knowledge into practice. Through this method, you will graduate with more confidence in your abilities, and become more flexible in this rapidly changing global environment.
The GCP program offered me a broad vantage point from which to view and interpret world affairs, which often arose from interacting with other, international students. I believe that GCP is an amazing program that provides us with precious and exciting opportunities to train interpretation skills and practice them in the field with top-notch interpreters. The two years I spent at AIU gave me the skills and the confidence to become a professional interpreter. Life at AIU will enrich your life both from a professional and social/cultural standpoint.