Japan Does Not Only Offer Degrees In Liberal Arts and Theoretical Sciences

In what might seem to be slightly out of the ordinary, Japan’s international degree programs are not confined to theoretical sciences nor the liberal arts.  At Akita International University, prospective students can apply for a degree from the Faculty of International Resource Sciences.  They specifically target economic materials and petroleum extraction with an emphasis on the humanities, studying the cultures and politics of regions, particularly in Asia and Africa, for which future endeavors may occur.  In layman terms, this is a mining program focusing on creating respectful extraction sights abroad.  Students will also study sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to extract these resources as Japan is one of the countries at the forefront of sustainable technologies.  Healthy relationships based on international cooperation and mutual benefit being an emphasis, this program is therefore suitable for those who wish to pursue this field with the cultural values of Japanese business ethics.

Small village in Akita covered with snow

Akita itself has a rich history of resource extraction and is at one of the forefronts for Japan’s future mining endeavors.  Famous for the Akita breed of dog, Akita is also a very beautiful and somewhat isolated region of the country.  Winters are snowy and cold, summers are lovely; a region possibly suited to those who wish to live and work outdoors.

Breakdown Of The Program

This program is split up into three different focuses: resource policy and management, earth resource science, and earth resource engineering and environmental science.  Intensive English courses are also a requirement, with the aim of becoming academically fluent in this field at the international level.

Resource policy and management focuses on understanding the particulars of  the law, economic situations and culture of the areas of resource extraction that students hopefully will eventually become personally familiar with.  As this program is designed for international work, international studies are an emphasis.  Studies in earth resource science focuses on the history of the earth and how the valuable resources we use today came into being, as well how they’ve been distributed.  Earth resource engineering and environmental science tackles the practical means for which resource extraction occurs with an emphasis on environmentalism.  This will all further translate into practical measures done through later field work.

Curriculum and Expectations

For the first year and a half or so, students will focus on liberal arts and English studies.  However, even within the first year, students will have the opportunity to gain field experience at one of the old mining areas around Akita.  Once in their third year, students will begin to delve into the specifics of the science and will also undertake courses in rhetoric and debate seminars.  The third year may also be considered the most exciting as students are able to then study abroad and gain first hand experience at various sites around the world.  Graduate level research will then be conducted in a student’s fourth year and will translate well into further studies if they choose to do so at the graduate level.

Admissions, Housing, and Part-time Work Availability

There is a specific admission procedure for international students with private funding.  Though scheduling may be different according to year, typically applications are due in late January and admission tests are held in late February.  For those who wish to do early admissions, applications are due in August the year prior and admissions testing in mid-November.  Boarding is provided through a screening process, but if a student prefers to live alone or in a separate boarding house, Akita University is willing to assist.  Costs range from about ¥ 30,000 to ¥55,000 per month, however Akita University provides women only dorms as cheap as ¥15,300 a month.  Assistance with finding part-time jobs are available, particularly with a home tutor program in which local families ask the university for available and responsible students who are willing to tutor at their homes, and these jobs are posted at the Part-Time Work Center.