Student Spotlight: Aiko enjoys multicultural environment as a multilingual person

Student Life, Student Stories

Before moving to Ann Arbor, Aiko worked as an interpreter at a City Office in Tokyo. When she came to the US in the summer of 2021 for her husband’s work, Aiko and her husband decided to live in Ann Arbor while their two children who are college students remained in Japan. 

As a mother of two, living apart from her kids was not an easy choice. “I also considered the option of my husband going to the US alone, but I ended up coming with him. As my children grew up, I thought this would be a great opportunity for all of our family members to be more independent,” she said.

Her family experienced living abroad in Bangkok and Jakarta in the past, but this is her first time living in the US. “In Bangkok, it was not so difficult to have some friends because my kids were little around that time. There were always some opportunities to connect with other mothers,” she recalls. “This time, however, my kids are already grown up in Japan, and I need to figure out how to spend my time and make some connections on my own.”

This desire to make connections with others motivated her to enroll in classes at MLC. “This school has more diversity than I actually expected. There are many students from around the world, and I am always inspired by them everytime I come here!”

As a multilingual person who has learned Spanish, Indonesian and English, she is always willing to interact with many people. In that sense, MLC has been a perfect fit for her. “One of the amazing things at MLC is that you can learn more about other cultures as well as American culture.” Aiko enjoys a lot of activities offered by MLC, such as the Michigan Stadium Tour, picnics, and Conversation Hours.

Aiko, the front left, with her classmates and Instructor Alexandra (the front right).

Aiko is a very passionate learner who also takes the Online Professional English Class. She started this course because the online format allows her to join the class when she is back in Japan. “There is a time difference, but Professional English Class is held at night in Eastern Time and I can join the class in the morning in Japan,” she said.

Now she is completing the Professional English course and will continue to take some in-person classes at MLC. “I would like to use the language skills including English in order to interact with others and help people.”

We are very happy to know that MLC has offered her a meaningful international experience in Ann Arbor!