AIU (Akita Is Unique) October 05, 2018

By (Cottey College) - abroad from 04/01/2018 to 08/07/2018 with

Akita International University: Akita - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile! I learned a new language and culture, and got to leave America for four months. Four wonderfully peaceful months.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was very similar to Cottey’s.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was cozy. They lend you bedsheets every week, otherwise you have to clean the room yourself. Also you have to buy your own toilet paper.

* Food:

A little too expensive for mediocre food, but I highly suggest getting a meal plan because the food off campus is also expensive. Avoid salad bar. Lunch is better than dinner.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

They focus on this.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I hurt my shoulder and the on-campus gave me patches to help it. The nurse struggles with English however. I never went off campus for anything. The program wanted a flu and MMR vaccine (I think. I got it as a child.)

* Safety:

Akita City is so safe. Campus, however, not so much. Keep your door locked. There are thieves! There’s also a sexual assault issue. Neither happened to me and I believe it’s mainly other international students who do this, but I could always be wrong. There’s a bar right next door, which is usually frequented by international students, and they often get drunk and sometimes violent.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I’d wanna go to the international tech school in Kochi instead. However, that doesn’t mean Akita was horrible. I quite liked it.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

1? I didn’t get a job, and had an extra $4000 that was gone in 2 months because of travel for Golden Week. By August I was stressed.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Too much. It’s hard to estimate.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Get a 10 meal plan. You have freedom on weekends.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

5. You thank people a lot in Japan, for one. Campus was mostly English but off campus wasn’t, of course.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use it constantly. Read signs, especially.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Mall bus
  • Kendo club
  • Cafe / Convenience Store
* What could be improved?
  • Cafeteria food price : quality ratio
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It costs a lot to not get a meal plan.