JAPAN: Akita


Students are encouraged to participate in university clubs and events. There is much to choose from – judo, kendo, shorinji kempo, aikido, karate, dance, music, ikebana (flower arrangement), shodo (calligraphy), rakugo (storytelling), photography, brass band, choir, baseball, basketball, snowboarding, volleyball – to name a few. International students can also volunteer within community organizations – a great way to get involved in local events and experience Japanese culture. Students organize festivals, harvest rice, teach English to school children and make traditional rice cakes.

AIU offers a “Home Visit Program.” Students are introduced to host families and can visit their home during weekends and holidays. Students who wish to participate in this program should consider bringing a small gift for their host family. Detailed information on this program is provided during orientation upon your arrival.

Housing & meals

  • Students live in AIU residences on-campus.
  • Rooms are double occupancy and shared with a Japanese student to facilitate integration.
  • Each room has a bathroom and equipped with beds, dressers and desks.
  • AIU has a comprehensive dining hall that serves Japanese food.
  • The campus also has a cafe for snacks and drinks.
  • A starter meal plan (3 meals per day for the first 2 weeks at AIU) is included in the program fee.
  • Semester meal plan available at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500, depending on exchange rate.
  • A variety of restaurants and cafes are available in Akita.

Getting around town

A local bus company provides services between AIU, Akita City and AEON shopping center. The bus schedule depends on day of week and whether class is in session at AIU. Taxis are also available.For travel outside Akita, there is nothing like the Japanese rail system. There are different types of trains connecting Akita to Tokyo and other cities, including Shinkansen (Bullet Train), Limited Express, Express, and commuter train. “Seishun 18 Kippu” is a 5-day pass which allows unlimited travel on local trains throughout Japan. For further information, check the following links (opens in new window):

Phones & internet

KEI will provide a prepaid mobile phone handset shortly after arrival in Japan. The KEI Onsite Director will explain how to use the phone. The phone will have a small amount of credit to get you started. Additional minutes can be purchased at numerous convenient stores. Internet service is available on campus.


Yuka Hirata
Akita, Japan


I earned my BA in Music from Kunitachi University and I am now studying for an MA in Japanese Language Teaching at Akita International University. Prior to living in Akita, I taught Japanese in Tokyo and Nagasaki, and at the University of Nottingham in China. I also taught music in England.When not working or studying, I enjoy cooking and traveling the world to explore new recipes. I like sharing some of my recipes with students.I look forward to welcoming you to Japan.