Konban wa! My name is Diana Nguyen and I’m studying over at Akita International University (AIU) in Akita, Japan. Here is my little tidbit about my adventures thus far. Part of the benefits of studying at AIU is being able to participate in their Community Outreach Services program. The school establishes partnerships with the Akita community and plans small events and activities that range from being conversation partners with highschool students to harvesting persimmons to watching an Akita traditional dance performance. It takes no effort on your part other than signing and showing up. To get a taste of what they have been offering, here are some of the events that I have participated in:
It was such a rewarding experience to actually see where the rice I eat everyday comes from and the process in order to get it to our bowls. It was also extra special because Akita is known for their delicious rice. Plus, it was really motivating to see that the elementary students that we were harvesting with were just as eager to help do some manual labor. My favorite part was seeing the yellow fields of rice, and the end result of our couple hours of harvesting.
Teaching English at Elementary Schools
I hadn’t taught English in this type of setting before so I didn’t really know what to expect. However, the English teachers were really helpful and walked me through the whole process. The students were also great because they were so intrigued with the idea of having an international student assist in teaching their English lesson. I loved answering their questions just because they were so excited to take turns and ask questions from an international student.
Just from those descriptions I hope you can tell that if you come to AIU you’ll have plenty of chances to get in touch with the community and do a lot of meaningful events during your stay abroad.