Applying to Japanese University || MEXT Scholarship Q&A
[ Q & A ] [ The MEXT Scholarship ] Hey everyone, it’s me, Loretta/KemushiChan! One of the most popular videos I posted recently is “How I Moved to Japan” talking about the MEXT Scholarship and how I was granted it and allowed to move to Japan for grad school and live here basically all expenses paid. It has been a year! and I’m still getting comments on that video asking about questions about the process, tips, tricks & things you were confused about so I thought I’d go over that in a video today. To my viewers in Japan: this video is basically all in English so maybe this time it can be more like listening practice. If you’re into that type of thing feel free to use the subtitles to watch this video! YEAHH! To do this I’m going to BRIEFLY go through your comments and messages Also, just letting you know, I dont work for the Japanese government. If you have legitimate questions about your eligibility or if you want to check on a special case there’s a link to every consulate offering this scholarship But for more general questions, 319 of them… LET’S GO! “I only see scholarships for doctors and whatnot?” The scholarhips available to you are written on your consulate website. CLICK THE LINK! As far as I know, the standard Scholarship options are The 4-year college in Japan scholarship the one year study abroad while you’re a college student Research Student! Grad school, pHD or Doctors… that’s for higher education, post-graduate studies Specialized Training College That’s for any non-typical, non-academic school training, vocational school, etc. In terms of being a doctors… Check on your consulate website! Next question: “Do you have to pay the government back afterwards?” NO. It’s a scholarship, not a school loan. But that’s why the application process is so rigorous! “Do I need to be able to write Japanese?” At least for the Research Student graduate-level scholarship there is a part of the application process where if you get so far, they ask you to take Japanese assessment test. They do say it’s just an assessment. But they do use it to get an idea of how strong your Japanese is. It’s not a requirement that you be fluent in Japanese I think it more depends on which school you apply to, whether they’re competitive or not, It looks better if you can read/write Japanese but that’s not a required part of the application. If you’re worried, check with your local consulate. “Do you still take the language assessment if you passed JLPT N1” Yep! Congrats on N1! “Do you know anyone who took their families as a grad student?” No, I don’t think I’ve personally met anyone who brought their spouse or family over. But it’s not on heard of. On almost every school’s website they’ll say if you’re coming and you’re bring your family or your spouse the best advice is to get set up, yourself, first and then bring them over. I very highly agree with that it’s a lot of adjusting. You land and fall into a pile of paperwork so you kind of want to get settled before bringing everyone else. Asking about the research scholarship… “Should you start reaching out to schools before starting your application.” In the application process there is the initial screening then testing, then there’s the part where you reach out to schools show them your nominated and ask them to accept you. But in terms of when to reach out, I would start reaching out if you can. Certain schools have MEXT scholarship sections on their websites so try reaching out to teachers through there. Try to get as many schools and professors as you can so that you have an idea of who to reach out to if you get to that point because you will be short on time. Another question from Maya! What did I choose for my research plan? You can propose a study of whatever you want but I highly recommend you place it in the framework of things that Japan’s government understands. For me, I like start ups, but writing a proposal saying ‘ I want to research startups” It sounds a little like, “…yeah, but what?” Think of what excites them, so for me, I basically said there’s a lot of news that the 2020 Olympics will supposedly revamp Japan’s economy and my research is more about Tokyo startups and global startups bring foreign talent to Japan. Is that really a solution to Japan’s economy problem? How do you manage a business like that? How do you grow a business like that in this environment? That’s what my research is about. Take whatever your topic is and frame it in those buzz words or whatever else Japan is currently interested in make it obvious why they’d want to pay you to do research that they want to see done. “Does Illustration count under the Specialized Training Scholarships” which is the non-University version if you want to go to trade school or vocational school there is a .pdf that lists the types of schools I remember seeing culinary school, design, fashion… so you should check that list. “Did you have to take any other assessments (math, chemistry, etc.) besides Japanese?” For me, no! “For Research Student Scholarship: can medical students apply?” I remember seem a blurb about the medical/ pre-med track there was something…and it may not be possible but it is written on the website so check for that. “Do they have any majors/minors in Music over there?” It depends on the school. You’re applying for a scholarship AND a school. So while you’re looking at the scholarship start looking for schools that have your preferred program. If you’re doing the research scholarship what ever major you pick is supposed to be close to whatever you did in college. So your major, foreign language and business, supposedly, for the MEXT scholarship either stick to something close to that or convince the gov’t why it makes sense to change your major. “Do they check for high GPAs in the MEXT scholarship?” Yep! They ask for your transcripts. I don’t know how closely they look at them so just keep that in mind. “Do I have to be in college to apply to the Research Student Scholarship?” Nope, as long as you qualify for all their other qualifications I was six years into the workforce when I applied so I went back to school 6 years after graduating (college). Should be fine. “Would you really be able to live off the scholarship without a part-time job?” You can live off of it, but it’s pretty tight. If you intend to go out, socialize, etc. then you’ll probably want a part time job. The scholarship is basic living expenses so that you can exist and eat. What is this? Satisfaction bar?? Some kind of protein bar thing. YOU CAN AFFORD MORE THAN THIS. “Is it required that you can speak Japanese?” No, like I said before I’ve met MEXT students who do and don’t speak Japanese in general I think it’s better that you at least try to learn or show that you are trying to learn. There’s that language assessment test so WATCH OUT FOR THATTTT “What about the interview process & your research project creation?” So this is for the Research Student Scholarship. The interview was pretty rough! They basically grilled you on your research project there’s a panel of judges. I had 3 in my case. Two were Japanese, one was an American who had gone through the MEXT scholarship in the past. They want to ask about your Research at that point It’s a lot of money that they’re offering you so they want to ensure that you’re worth their time, effort and money to send you to Japan. I used advice from a past professor that I used for other scholarships I’ve done. In each field there’s always a hot topic that people want to know more about if you can bring your research proposal closer to that it makes you look more relevant, on top of the field and cutting edge that’s kind of the stuff they’re looking for so mine was business in Japan so I brought it into the realm of Tokyo business in terms of the olympics, etc. “Is accomodation provided?” It depends on the school but usually you’re set up with some kind of dorm application process and if you want to, you can move out from there. This is not a dorm, as you can probably tell because I moved out! “Does the Research Student Scholarship also apply to you if you become a regular graduate student?” If you test into a regular graduate program you can apply to have your scholarship extended. It’s technically not automatically granted, you have to apply for it. Someone ask about their case, If they took a year off in High School in but graduated later, can they still apply for the Undergraduate option. Not sure, this sounds like a special case option I would ask the consulate about your situation. “Do you recommend applying to a school that will accept me easily?” YES. You definitely need a safe/fall-back school. You’re not just competing at your consulate you’re competing with everyone in your country people around the world and those already in Japan who all want scholarships for the same schools. So if you”re trying to get into one of the most elite schools in Japan you’re fighting the entire world to do so. GET A BACK-UP SCHOOL. Do we really need to learn hiragana, katakana, & kanji for the exam? I would say DEFINITELY learn hiragana, katakana, and a little kanji You’re going to be assessed on your language skills and if you haven’t taken to the effort to learn at least that much why would they take the effort to pay for you?? “Why am I trying to extend my scholarhip into an actual grad degree program” ? Honestly, all the work I did before in New York I would sit down with people and they’d ask what’s my actual experience in Japan. I’d be like: “Well, I went to school a little bit and learned a lot of Japanese?” So for me, this is my FREE chance to go to Japan and kind of lay down some roots so that I can build a more sound career for myself. “If you get a degree in Japan, does it count in the U.S.?” The schools that offer the MEXT scholarship are all public, accredited schools in Japan. But if you are in a high demand field for example, studying to be a lawyer or doctor, etc. those fields are already very picky about what school you go to so outside of medicine, law & other high-demand fields I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s getting dark guys! There’s a lot of questions! “Is your apartment provided by MEXT?” Nope, I found this one through a friend of a friend usually with MEXT you have option to move into a dorm first and get settled so you don’t need to worry about aparments unless you want to. “After the scholarship can you extend your visa into a permanent residency?” Nahh, dude! The way visas work in Japan, a student visa doesn’t count towards permanent residency. So if you want to live in Japan as a permanent resident a Work Visa is the best route to get that done quickly. Can you apply to MEXT if you went to an online high school? That, again, sounds like a special case. I would ask the Consulate directly. But I’m assuming if you had a regular diploma, then that’s fine? But don’t take my word for it. Definitely ask. So thomson90tan saw my apartment and said this looks too expensive for the MEXT scholarship. “Are you working parttime?” I got a student discount through a friend so I could pay for this via MEXT but I do have a job as well. To anyone on the MEXT scholarship I think it’s good to have a part time job, even if just on breaks but it’s nice to have a little bit of flex cash so that you can enjoy the country as well. “Did you or he government select the school you went to?” You get to choose three preferences so my advice is to pick the school you really want and two back-up schools as well. “I’m already an exchange student in Japan. Can I apply?” I’m not sure about the timing but I THINK you have to finish your program and go back to apply because you can’t have another scholarship along with MEXT. “What is the deadline to apply?” The deadline depends on every consulate and the location where you are. I think the deadlines usually around May or June? Basically you have two months. It’s a good idea to start looking things over now. Start getting your Japanese up start looking at schools in Japan there’s a link below this video with more information about how to find your local consulate so you can apply. If you guys do have any questions about this scholarship leave a comment or tweet them: I prefer if you tweet with the hashtag #AskKemushi Tweeting is the quickest way to reach me recently and that helps me keep track as well. But yeah, it’s been almost a year since moving here it’s been completely life changing as you can see, I’ve been enjoying my life here but I haven’t really been sharing my life as a student. So if you want me to do that, give this video a thumbs up let me know in the comments if you want to know about student life here in Japan. There’s a new semester coming up in April so we can go ahead and start doing that! OK, so thank you for watching today! If you like this video, please LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE for more! I’ll see you guys next time!