This is a program that allows students to study abroad at approximately 70 overseas universities with which Akita University has entered into an international exchange agreement. Students can take classes according to their language ability and field of specialization, and take part in university life together with local students. The duration of the program is six months or one year, while the tuition fees of the host university are waived.
|Destination||See here for a list of partner universities|
|Eligibility||Students of all faculties and graduate schools|
|Application period||All year round|
(1) No tuition fees required at the partner institution.
(2) The credits earned at the study abroad destination may be recognized as Akita University credits after the required procedures have been completed.
(3) Compared to individual study abroad programs, the procedures are relatively easy to follow.
This is a month-long program aimed at developing language skills that is offered during the summer vacation as part of a class.
|Eligibility||All undergraduate students|
|Application period||Around May|
|Credit approval||2 credits|
|Participation fee||Approximately 500,000 JPY at the applicant’s own expense|
This is a two-week program aimed at developing language skills that takes place during the summer vacation.
|Application requirements||2nd year undergraduate students and above|
|Application period||Around January or February of the previous year|
|Participation fee||Approximately 150,000 to 200,000 JPY at the applicant’s own expense|
This is a week-long program aimed at developing language skills that is taught online during the summer vacation.
|Application requirements||1st year undergraduate students and above|
|Application period||Around May|
|Participation fee||To be paid by the university|
|Items/Types of study abroad||Long-term||Short-term||Short-term||Short-term||Private study abroad|
|Student exchange programs||Short-term overseas study program||English Marathon||Warm-up English Marathon|
|Features||Visit a partner institution as an exchange student||Study abroad as part of a class||Study abroad to improve your English skills||Online classes to improve your English skills||Make your own study abroad plan|
|Eligible persons||All faculties and graduate schools||All faculties||2nd year undergraduate students or above||1st year undergraduate students||All faculties and graduate schools|
|Period||6 months or 1 year||Approximately
|Up to the student|
|Time of year||From the beginning of the semester at the partner institution||August to September (during the summer vacation)||August to September (during the summer vacation)||August to September (during the summer vacation)||Up to the student|
|Destination||Overseas partner universities with an MOU on student exchange||University of Victoria, Canada||Singapore: SEAMEO Regional English Language Centre||Participate in an online study abroad program in Japan||Up to the student|
|School registration||Study abroad||Enrollment||Enrollment||Enrollment||Leave of absence|
|Credit transfer||Possible||2 credits||None||None||Negotiable|
|Expenses||The tuition of the host university is exempt (tuition paid to Akita University)||Approximately 500,000 JPY for the airfare and participation fee||150,000-200,000 JPY for the airfare, etc. (Akita University will subsidize 100,000 JPY)||All expenses paid by Akita University||All expenses paid by the applicant|
|Application period||All year||Around May||Recruitment and information sessions are held in January and February in the first year||Around May||Varies depending on the study abroad destination|
Click here to view the PDF file if you are using a smart phone.Comparison table of study abroad typesPDF
Based on my experience of taking part in four short-term study abroad programs, one long-term study abroad program and one online study abroad program, I have compiled a brief comparison of the characteristics of each. These are just my personal opinions, but I hope they help in giving you some information about which program will allow you to focus on what you want.
A short-term study abroad program is an opportunity to learn about the language, culture, and history of a country at a language school, university, or international exchange facility in another country for a period of one week to less than one month. It is also sometimes called short-term training. There is also a class at Akita University called short-term overseas study program, and you can earn credits by participating in that program. Short-term study abroad programs not only include classes and interactions with students at the host university, but there are also programs that allow students to visit local sightseeing spots and stay with a host family. The content and cost of short-term study abroad programs vary from program to program.
You can enjoy living abroad with relative peace of mind.
Short-term study abroad programs tend to be more generous in terms of management and protection of students, as they are structured by the university or organization program. Since you will be spending most of your time in a group with your friends, classmates and teachers, I think you will feel at ease even if this is your first experience of going abroad.
There is always a chance to learn.
I think the good thing about short-term study abroad programs is that it doesn’t end up being just for fun, because unlike traveling abroad for “fun” or “entertainment”, you will have time to learn about the culture and language of the country. Emphasizing the fact that it’s not just for fun might make it a little easier to convince your parents who may perhaps be reluctant to see you go abroad.
You can easily make friends from other countries.
Most of the short-term study abroad programs ensure that there is time to interact with local students. Most of the local students who participate in these programs are interested in international exchanges or are interested in Japan. They want to interact with you in a positive way. Therefore, you will be able to make friends quickly. I myself am still in contact with the local students I met during the short-term study abroad program.
There are a lot of short-term study abroad programs out there, and I’m sure you can find a lot of information about them on a-net or on the International Affairs Division bulletin board. There are also many short-term study abroad programs that can be found on the Internet, and you can conduct your own research. You can also try short-term study abroad online. I encourage everyone to collect information and consider taking part in a short-term study abroad program.
This is a type of study abroad program where you can take classes at a university abroad or a language school in an online setting from the comfort of your home.
As with short-term study abroad programs, the content and format of online study abroad programs are completely different, therefore it is hard to make a generalization. The virtual study abroad program I participated in at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice in Italy involved group discussions with students studying Japanese there, and I had the impression that there was a lot of interaction with the students. There were no lectures, but I think this was a unique aspect of this virtual study abroad program.
At the University of Taiwan, where I studied for a long period of time, they used Zoom to directly show face-to-face classes to international students abroad. Also, for the Chinese classes, since there was a time difference between the countries of origin of the local students, the classes were held in the evening on the local time to accommodate the needs of the students. Some people say that it is important to go study there directly, however there are situations where you can interact with people from overseas even when studying online. Also, if your goal is to study, I think you can make good use of online study abroad program.
This program enables students to study at an overseas university or graduate school for six months to several years. The exchange program I went on allows students to study at overseas universities, graduate schools and undergraduate schools that have an agreement with Akita University, and in exchange for paying tuition to Akita University, students do not have to pay tuition to the host university. If you choose to study abroad on your own, you will have to pay tuition to the overseas university. With this program, if the tuition is higher than that at Akita University, you can study abroad at a discount. Plus, it saves you the time and effort required to send a large sum of money overseas. Compared to short-term study abroad programs, you will need to pay a lot more. However, by using scholarships or studying in a less expensive country, the costs can be reduced. Below are some of my thoughts about studying abroad.
I grew mentally through both enjoyable and painful experiences.
Many of the photos you see at study abroad information sessions are full of smiling faces, as if the students are constantly enjoying their study abroad experience or laughing shoulder to shoulder with their friends. Is the actual life of an international student really full of smiles like that? My answer is both yes and no. There are fun moments when you laugh with your friends, but there are also hard times that don’t show up in photos. For example, when you find yourself unable to keep up with the happy conversations of the local students, when you have difficulty communicating with the shopkeepers in Chinese, or when you can’t find anyone you get on with right away. However, I can now see that going through these hard times is not necessarily a bad thing, and that these times helped me grow as a person. Therefore, I believe that studying abroad is not only an opportunity to learn what you want, but also a good chance to develop yourself through the fun and difficulties of living in another country.
Building long-term relationships
As I already said earlier in this report, it is easy to meet students who are interested in Japan when you study abroad for a short period of time, but you can also meet a wide variety of students when you study abroad for a long period of time as well. The longer you study abroad, the more memories you will have with your friends and the more you will be exposed to the customs of the local people and the way of thinking of the students. I was also surprised at how much my relationships changed over the course of about a year. At first, I really didn’t have any friends, but by the end of my study abroad program, I was able to spend time with many friends, friends that I cherish. This is something that I was able to experience because I studied abroad for a long time, and it left a deep impression on me.
Thinking about myself and my hometown through lectures
At Akita University, I belong to the Faculty of International Resource Sciences, but at National Taiwan University, I was able to freely choose the lectures I wanted to take without being restricted by the faculty. In one of the classes, I had to debate with students and answer their questions. As a Japanese person, I was asked questions by the Taiwanese students about Japan and I asked them about Taiwan. Through these dialogues, I began to think about myself as a Japanese national and about what constitutes common sense in Japan. I was able to learn what kind of image Taiwanese students have of Japan and what they think about the current situation in Taiwan, and I think this was an extremely fulfilling learning experience for me.
Learning the language
As you spend a long period of time in a country and come into contact with the foreign language used there, you will be able to use that language in real life. Before I went to Taiwan, I had only learned Pinyin (Chinese hiragana), and I only learned Chinese grammar for the first time when I arrived there, but I was able to acquire language skills equivalent to HSK level 3 in about a year. If you are only studying the language, I think you can improve your language skills even more. You can study the language in Japan, but I think studying abroad is a good environment for learning the language because you can ask questions to native teachers, practice conversations in Chinese with other students who are at the same level as you, and use Chinese in your daily life.
I think that what you can gain from the three study abroad programs introduced here differs depending on the program. I also think that the results will vary depending on what kind of goals and objectives you have in mind when you participate. If you are not sure which study abroad program to choose, think about what you hope to achieve and look for a program that will help you achieve it. I am sure you will have a fantastic learning experience and wonderful encounters.
Born in Akita Prefecture, Japan, Satoko entered the Faculty of International Resource Sciences, Akita University in 2018. Satoko went on a short-term study abroad program in South Korea through the Akita University short-term overseas study program, studied abroad in South Korea through the Japanese university student delegation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s exchange program for promoting understanding, studied in China through the spring study program organized by Akita University’s international partner university, and studied in Singapore through the English Marathon. She also participated in a virtual study abroad program in Italy and a study abroad program in Taiwan.
Click here to read about the study abroad experiences of the exchange program.