WWU Exchange in Japan:
Akita International University
Akita International University is located near Akita City in Northeastern Honshu, an area known for its magnificent nature, abundant festivals, delicious rice, tasty apples, and relaxing hot springs.The Akita International University (AIU) exchange program gives students the opportunity to take basic to advanced courses in Japanese language as well as English language coursework in Japanese Studies, International Business, and Global Studies. The AIU Global Studies program also offers a Chinese Studies track, ideal for students seeking to build regional expertise on East Asia. All courses are taught in English.
- Experience Japan on a more personal level, away from the dense crowds of larger Japanese cities;
- Ideal for beginning Japanese language learners;
- Live and study alongside Japanese students;
- With AIU's small atmosphere and personalized attention, international students are quickly integrated into the campus community.
Akita Prefecture is located in the northwestern part of the main island of Honshu, facing the Sea of Japan. It is the sixth largest in area among the 47 prefectures in Japan with a total population of 1.2 million. Akita City, where AIU is located, is the capital of Akita prefecture with a population of 300,000. Students can enjoy the four seasons and the many natural wonders in Akita. Especially impressive is the Shirakami Mountain Range, one of the largest virgin forest areas of beech trees in the world. The area is registered as a UNESCO World Nature Heritage Site. Akita is the home of the Kanto Festival and is the pride of the Akita people and is even well known outside of Japan.
Akita International University (AIU) is ranked one of Japan's top five public universities and is the only Japanese university in which the entire curriculum is taught in English. AIU creates a unique academic environment with very small class sizes, faculty from around the world, state-of-the-art pedagogy, and a commitment to fostering global awareness. In addition to language studies, AIU has in-depth programs in global business, international studies, as well as Japanese and East Asian studies.
Academic Program and Courses
The undergraduate academic calendar starts in early April as is customary in Japan. However, AIU welcomes international students in either spring (April) or fall (September) semester. Please note that ends Fall semester ends in December, allowing WWU students to return to WWU for Winter quarter.
- Fall Semester: early September to late December
- Winter Program: (Fall students only): mid January to early March
- Spring Semester: early April to late July
The Japanese Studies Program, designed mainly for international students, focuses on Japanese culture, business, economics, politics, and history. The Global Business Program is modeled after those at top business schools with a focus on such areas as marketing, finance, international business, entrepreneurship, leadership and strategy. AIU business faculty have graduated from Harvard, Princeton, University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, University of Tokyo, Keio, Waseda and other prominent universities and have had careers at Citibank, AT&T, Ford Motor Company, Mitsui Venture Capital, Nomura Securities and other global companies.
The Global Studies Program examines forces in politics, law, society, culture, media and economics that are bringing about an increasingly interdependent world. This program focuses on the relationships of North America and Asia, with a special focus on China.
More specific information on courses, including course descriptions and syllabi can be found on the AIU Academics page
Please note that AIU requires students to have two full-time semesters of grades from Western on their transcript before the application deadline. Students who are int heir second semester when they apply do not meet this requirement.
Students are housed in a four-story, western-style residence hall in a single or double room with Internet access. Every two dorm rooms share a common bathroom. The residence hall has a lounge with newspapers, a study room, satellite television, laundry facilities and administrative offices to assist students. Campus food service provides breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the cafeteria. Exchanges students are guaranteed housing on campus and they must apply for room and board online
Effective with the Spring 2018 semester for all students, utility fees will now be included in the housing fees for all facilities at a flat rate (18,000 JPY/semester, 12,000 JPY/Winter Program) instead of invoiced on a month-to-month basis. This change increases the rent, but removes the post-arrival payment obligations by a corresponding amount. Details can be found in the attached chart.
*Utilities were already included in the rent for Komachi Hall, so overall costs for that facility will not change.
Housing Information can be found here: http://web.aiu.ac.jp/en/short-term/semester-year-programs/housing-information/
Exchange program participants will pay WWU in-state tuition and mandatory fees. All other costs associated with participation in the program (including transportation, room and board, personal expenses) are the responsibility of the individual student. Check the budget sheet for information on any additional estimated expenses.
The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sightsee or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-program activities.
Effective with new students in Spring 2018, AIU has combined the insurance and student activity fees to reduce the amount students pay up front. Previously, AIU invoiced students for a flat fee to cover one year's worth of legally-mandated insurance and refunded the difference on departure. Now, AIU will invoice students each semester and during the winter program for only the amount required for that period. For accounting purposes, and to give AIU the flexibility to pay students' insurance even if rates change, this fee will be absorbed into the student activity fee, which has increased accordingly.
Insurance Fee (First semester only): 0 JPY (previously 30,000 JPY)
Student Activity Fee (Fall/Spring): 20,000 JPY (previously 10,000 JPY)
Student Activity Fee (Winter)*: 9,000 JPY (previously 5,000 JPY)
*Because this fee covers insurance bills that continue even if students leave AIU/Japan temporarily, it will apply to students enrolled in the Winter program as well as students enrolled in the fall and following spring semesters, even if they do not reside on campus during the winter program.
AIU is a Smoke-Free Campus!
Effective April 2017, AIU is a smoke-free campus. All students are required to live on campus, where there are no smoking areas and there are no places to smoke anywhere near campus, either.
New students who smoke are expected to quit altogether before coming to AIU.
There are two applications for exchange students to complete. Students should start the Education Abroad application by clicking the Apply Now button on this brochure page. After completing the first part of the Education Abroad application and completing the interview, students will be notified of their nomination status. Students who are nominated will then complete the application process for the host institution.
WWU Accessibility Notice