No. 43: Mr. MIKAMI Keisuke (Tohoku University, completed AELC in March, 2021)

My experience of AELC

It is my pleasure to share my experience as an AELC alumnus. I started my AELC study in 2019 and completed it in 2021. I joined the 2019 summer course at Tohoku University, the 2020 winter course at Nanjing Normal University, and the 2021 winter course at National Chengchi University. Although completing AELC is strenuous, I strongly recommend you participate if you are interested in this program. I am sure that AELC participants are able to enjoy a wide variety of great experiences.
Many benefits exist for AELC participants, and I introduce some of them from my perspective. First, of course, you can enhance your English skills. Not just all courses are carried out in English, but also you will be required to show your oral and writing performance in activities such as group discussion, presentation, and submitting course reports. You do not have to feel intimidated, and you should rather take them as great opportunities to improve your English. Indeed, I myself have much better English now and feel confident in my English thanks to my AELC experience.
Second, AELC gives you a chance to establish a new and international network. AELC invites students from 5 universities in East Asia. You can make many new friends and expand your network over countries. It is fantastic to meet new people with different nationalities, and it is even possible for you to utilize your new network in professional ways (e.g., research collaboration, perhaps).
Third, you will learn various topics pertaining to educational issues. Some subjects might be related to your own research field, and others are bland new fields for you. Thus, you can acquire the breadth and depth of knowledge regarding educational problems in the East Asia context. For example, I still remember how impressive it was for me to learn about Sustainable Development Goals in my first AELC class. This new learning gave me a new perspective, and I believe this kind of experience is highly valuable for graduate students.
Finally, you can visit different countries. This is one of the most exciting aspects of AELC. While not taking classes (after the class or weekend), you can go anywhere you want and have fun. Activities like visiting historical places of the city and eating local cuisine enable you to understand different cultures. In other words, you can have social learning opportunities.
Taken together, I bet you would have enjoyable moments in AELC, and all experiences you have at this program would bring you a brighter future no matter which career you want to pursue. At last, I will begin my Ph.D. study in the Experimental Psychology doctoral program (specialization in Industrial and Organizational Psychology) at Ohio University in fall 2021. Though my research area is not in education, I believe my AELC experience was advantageous for my future, and I hope to be a global researcher by using the international mind that I nurtured in AELC!