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Akita International University

Program Terms:

Fall Semester, Spring Semester, & Academic Year


Akita International University (AIU) is a four-year liberal arts university located in Akita Prefecture in the Tohoku region of northern Japan established in April 2004. It is consistently recognized as one of the top universities in Japan for its unique and innovative approach to education. The undergraduate curriculum focuses on Global Business and Global Studies and offers all subject matter courses in English only, the first program in Japan to do so. Foreign language courses in 6 languages (including Japanese) are offered as well. AIU requires all short-term international students to live in on-campus housing and nearly 90% of all AIU students live on-campus. Living on campus gives students easy access to student clubs and circles, campus events, and over 200 community interaction opportunities per year.

Second only to the on-campus living environment, international students rated university-organized activities and clubs as their favorite part of their AIU experience. Akita City, where AIU is located, is the capital of Akita Prefecture and has a population of about 300,000. It is an ideally-sized city to provide the opportunity for international students to get immersed in the friendly, local culture while also offering convenient access to international goods and services. Akita Prefecture is known for its natural beauty and resources. The university is located close to ski areas, scenic hiking opportunities, and the Sea of Japan coastline. Akita is particularly famous in Japan for producing the country’s most delicious rice and sake. (Source: Akita International University website)

Academic Details:

AIU is a 4-year liberal arts university that offers undergraduate programs taught in English only for all subject matter courses, thereby being the first program in Japan to do so. Most courses are AIU are 3-credit courses. One credit reflects 45 study hours, including 15 lecture hours. Three credits mean 3 lecture hours per week for a total of lecture hours per 15-week semester. Each course has a course code, with 100-level courses designed for freshmen, 200-level courses for sophomores or juniors, 300-level courses for juniors, and 400-level courses for senior students.

As for grading, a student enrolled in a course is generally evaluated based on a comprehensive review of scores on examinations, performance in class, attendance, and other factors. The grade system at AIU is divided into 12 grades from “A+” to “D” and “F.” Grades from “A+” to “D” are passing grades, while “F” is not a passing grade. Students can earn the designated credits from courses they have passes.

AIU designates a certain period of days at the end of each semester to conduct final examination. Instructors may or may not use this period to give the final examinations. Instructors may also conduct other tests at any time. Tests and examinations may be conducted in written or oral form. Other means such as paper assignments, laboratory work, or physical demonstration may also be used as means of evaluation. (Source: Akita International University website)

Housing Details:

More international and Japanese students cited living in the on-campus community as their favorite part of studying at AIU over all other aspects of life and study. AIU requires all short-term international students to live in on-campus housing. Nearly 90% of all AIU students live on the residential campus, and living at AIU gives students easy access to student clubs and circles, campus events, and over 200 community interaction opportunities per year. Degree-seeking students at AIU are required to live in Komachi Residence Hall for their first year, where they will all have an international roommate or suitemate at some point during the year.

In addition to events and activities, all the housing facilities are within a few minutes’ walk from AIU’s 24-hour library and computer laboratories. For inclement weather, the primary buildings, including the Komachi Residence Hall, are all connected by interior walkways, as well. International students are guaranteed housing on campus for each semester they are enrolled, as long as they fill out the Housing Application form. (Source: Akita International University website)


  • Sophomore standing
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA

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