University of Oregon

Akita International University Exchange

Program Overview

Akita International University (AIU) is a four-year liberal arts university located in Akita prefecture in the Tohoku region of northern Japan. Since its establishment in 2004, AIU has been consistently recognized as one of the top universities in Japan for its unique and innovative approach to education. One aspect of AIU’s undergraduate program which sets it apart from other universities in Japan is that all of their content courses are taught in English. AIU is also well-known for the strength of its Japanese language and Japanese studies programs.

Akita City, where AIU is based, is a relatively small city with a population of about 322,000, making it fairly comparable to Eugene, and a good fit for students that are looking for a more personal, immersive experience. Akita prefecture, like Oregon, is known for its natural beauty. The campus is located close to ski areas, scenic hiking opportunities, and the Sea of Japan coastline. 

Academic Details

Like most Japanese universities, AIU’s school year runs from April to March. However, AIU’s curriculum is designed to accommodate new students beginning in either the Spring or Fall Semester. Students must take at least 12 credits and may take up to 18 in each semester. AIU also offers a Winter Program from early January to early March. This 9 credit, intensive, 7.5-week extension program is only available to students enrolled in Fall Semester. In general, students residing on campus at AIU from Fall through Spring Semester are expected to enroll in classes during the Winter Program.

AIU is Japan’s only university to offer all of its content courses in English. This means that students can take courses in Global Business or Global Studies, the two main undergraduate tracks at AIU, without having any prior knowledge of Japanese. As an added benefit, class sizes at AIU tend to be small, averaging 17 students per class, allowing international and Japanese students to work closely together.

If you’re interested in studying Japanese, AIU’s Japanese language and Japanese studies programs are second to none. AIU offers 11 levels of core Japanese, with a placement test offered during orientation, as well as skill and practice courses at the upper levels. Japanese studies courses include everything from Akita studies and traditional arts, to advanced courses in Japanese Business Culture or Foreign Policy.

AIU uses the credit and GPA system commonly used in the USA and posts all syllabi online, making course matching and credit transfer easy. 

Housing Description

UO students that study at AIU are guaranteed on-campus housing. There are four different housing options: Komachi Hall, Global Village, Sakura Village, or the Theme Houses (brand new as of Spring 2015). The rooms on offer vary: most rooms are double-occupancy with en-suite bathrooms, however, there are also some single-occupancy rooms available. All AIU degree-seeking students are required to live in Komachi Hall for their first year, so if you are interested in having a Japanese roommate, this dormitory is your best option. Whichever option you choose, students studying at AIU all agree: the on-campus community is top-notch, as you’re never more than a 10-minute walk away from your friends, classes, and the wealth of activities on offer.

For more information on housing, click on the “Housing” link on the sidebar. 

Application Process

Selection for the program is based on a review of your written application, transcripts, recommendations and completion of the interview process. After the initial application is complete, you will later fill out an application for the exchange university. 

Student Life

This is a student exchange program in which you will directly enroll in courses at one of the University of Oregon’s partner universities.  Exchange programs differ from other study abroad options and do not necessarily include significant on-site student support services, such as academic advising, health & counselling services, planned excursions or social events.  Students most comfortable and successful in exchange programs typically have high levels of self-reliance, resourcefulness, and willingness to adapt to unfamiliar teaching styles and living arrangements.

Additional Requirements

Junior standing is required for the Fall and Academic Year programs. 

Sophomores may participate in Spring term of their sophomore year.

Note: If some of your credits are transfer or high school credits, please check with your GEO advisor regarding whether you are eligible.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall-Winter Semester2017-182/1/2017Late AugustEarly March
Fall Semester20172/1/2017Late AugustLate December
Academic Year2017-182/1/2017Late AugustLate July
Spring Quarter20182/1/2017Early AprilLate July

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.