AIU Changed My Life





Hello all.

This will be my last post before my return video. Yes, it’s that time. The semester is officially over with the last few classes taking place later today. Rooms are being packed up, items are being sold, and people are going back home. I decided to take this time to reflect on my experience here at AIU. Before coming to Akita International University, I wasn’t sure what to expect. At the most, I thought I’d learn some Japanese and make a few friends along the way. I knew I would change from this experience, but I wasn’t expecting anything life changing to happen. I was wrong in the best ways possible!

I made more than friends

I made connections and fruitful friendships that are sure to last a long while. I have people I would like to come back to visit, and friends I would like to come visit me. It sounds silly, but it is really more than I was expecting. From roommates, to classmates, to fellow club members – I have made many friends and even more priceless memories. I can’t wait to come back and visit my friends here in Japan.


おこのみやき (Okonomiyaki) with my roommate and her こうはい (kouhai)

a member of the international community

AIU is the perfect environment for people just beginning to learn Japanese. It also a great international community, making it possible to meet other students from all over the globe. I have met French, Dutch, Australian, and even Peruvian students here that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Being able to communicate and share experiences with these individuals has enriched both my academic career and my personal development.


Halloween Party thrown by the Event Committee

A New Vision For the Future

I am currently considering attending graduate school here at AIU. Yes, my experience here has been enough for me to reconsider my future. While my ultimate goal of working for a non-profit organization has not changed, the position I hold, may vary from my original plan. I am now considering a career in global communications. I also now know, that I could not live in Japan permanently. While my love for the Land of the Rising Sun has not waned in the least, having experienced what it is like to live here – I simply cannot picture myself living here long term; which I’m glad I figured out now, rather than later.

a better version of myself

Between the amazing extracurricular activities, the intense classes, and the varied student body, I truly feel that my experience AIU has made me a better version of myself. In addition to learning more about Japan, I learned a lot about myself – and have changed things I found dissatisfying. I am now more active in discussions, more willing to reach out. I am much more honest with myself and with others. I have become more of an independent learner, both in and out of the classroom.


The end of orientation week

I know for a fact, none of these changes would have been possible without AIU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you AIU for all that you do! I can’t wait to share my experiences and stories with those back home.


– Valencia