Friday, 15 February 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

When you come, the Sakura should be blooming

Alright, as promised, here is a compilation of the questions all of you ask me. If your question isn't answered here, please ask it in the comments.

School-Related
1. What documents do I need?

Just to be clear, I have no idea what documents the Osaka gaidai requires. But, it would be a good idea to bring certified true copies of your  graduation certificates (and however many years of transcript you had to submit to the embassy when applying for the scholarship) in case they want it. This is very important if you applied before you graduated. If you're worried about luggage space, you could always wait until the school asks for it and then get your parents to mail you the transcripts. There's normally sufficient time to get the necessary documents by mail.

2. Under what conditions will I be sent home?

You will be sent home if you're caught cheating. And also, if your attendence is below 80%, you may be barred from the examinations. So basically, do not cheat, and do not frequently skip class.

And yes, you have to pass, but even if you do fail, you'll have make-up tests. It's no fun to have to do the exams twice though, so study hard and try to pass.

3. Are the subjects (MATH) very difficult?

Yes, math is difficult. I hear that in Osaka Gaidai, it's common to fail.

Don't worry so much about Japanese, when you have lessons in Japanese every single day, and you speak it every day, passing generally isn't that much of a problem.

Visa Matters
I'm sorry, but if you have any questions here, you have to ask your embassy. There are different requirements for different countries. Generally though, since you're a Monbukagakusho scholar, there's a lot of help given.

Money Matters
1. How much money will I need for the first month?

Well, you should bring about one month's worth of allowance with you. For us, our first allowance was continually delayed. If you really need money (or if you can't afford), talk to the school. They're there to help. In our case, the school advanced us the first month's allowance (we had to pay them back later).

2. Is the money enough?/How much money will I need a month?

Amount of money needed per month varies on where you live, how often you eat out, how often you go out (to amusement parks, to nomikai's, etc). Generally, the scholarship amount is sufficient for the first year, because our rents are ridiculously cheap. Do note though, that you have to pay for your own gas and electricity fees here in Tokyo Gaidai. And my friend would like to tell you that they only way you can run out of money is if you have zero ability of money management. I'm sure all of you can surivive(:

3. How much is the hostel rent?
At Tokyo, I believe it's about 17,700 a month. I'm not sure about Osaka. But don't worry, your respective schools will send you an information booklet. Remember, when in doubt, refer to the information booklet!

3.1. Is there a monthly cafeteria service (I suppose you mean like in US dormitories).

There is a cafeteria, but as far as I know, there's no cafeteria meal plan. But, we have a stove in our dorm room here in TUFS (please look at this post for details about TUFS dorm rooms), so cooking is quite easy. And what your dorm room cannot handle, the common kitchen can!

4. Are there any jobs near TUFS?

Honestly, I don't know. And that's because we're not allowed to have a baito (part time job) while at TUFS. But like I said before, the allowance is sufficient, so relax and focus on your studies. You can worry about making money once you go to university (especially if you stay in Tokyo, with its sky-high rents) (;

Others
1. What do I need to bring?

Here's what you don't need to bring:

- Electrical appliances (Except perhaps, your laptop). You can buy most of this in Japan, and besides, bring them from home means a heavier weight, and the need to find adaptors.

- Furniture. Our rooms are fully furnished, and we even have a futon, blanket and pillow (all this will be billed to you anyway).

Here's what you should bring:

- Your national costume (if you like it). It'll come in handy for the opening ceremony and other events where you want to introduce your country. If you don't, make sure you have a white shirt and dress pants/skirt (basically, something formal that resembles a suit) for the opening ceremony.

- Your favourite local snacks. If you're sure you can't find it in Japan (do a quite Google search, or ask your seniors!), you might want to bring along the snacks you can't live without. Plus, it's another very good introduction to your country. Make sure you check immigration rules before packing though!

- A LAN cable (for those in TUFS). You can get one here in Japan, but if you want internet on your very first night, bring the cable with you.

2. Can I join a club? What clubs should I join?

You should definitely join a club! It's the best way to make friends and practice your Japanese. And if you're coming to TUFS, please go and check out the kendo team! They're a fun and friendly group, and if the idea of being allowed to scream and hit people with a bamboo sword excites you, you're totally suited. Total beginners are welcome too.

If you're a bit more quiet, what about Kyudo? The Kyudo team is very friendly too (I've intruded, I mean, visited their dojo enough times to say so), and it's apparently a popular club for foreign students to join.

Apart from these two that I'm promoting, there are lots of other clubs like Quatro (dance), choir, etc. Just make sure to check the practice frequencies and times. Remember, school over clubs!

______________

If you have any other questions that I haven't answered, please feel free to ask me in the comments below! I'll probably make a FAQ part 2 from them ^^

ETA: Please take a look at this page of "Do not ask me Questions" and the comments (if possible, I understand that the comment page is very long). If your question falls into the "Do Not Ask Me" section, I will not be replying, even if you use the email me widget and email me. 

44 comments :

  1. I've been following your blog for a while now and I must say thank you! It is a great help for all of us who are going through this process and, also, you're very good at writing so it's really entertaining to read everything you post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm really flattered (especially about the writing bit). And I'm really glad that this blog is helpful :D

      ^_^

      Delete
  2. Hello Eustacia!

    I'm a new follower of your blog, and I will most certainly be sticking around for all the useful information that you are providing! ^_^

    I will be applying for MEXT this year (for a Ph.D. in japan), but if I don't get it this year I will try again in 2013. Either way, I love your blog and I think that it is a must read for anyone who wants to go to Japan! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amicia!

      Thanks for following my blog! I'm glad that the information is useful for you(:

      All the best for your MEXT application, I hope that you get it!

      ^_^

      Delete
  3. Hello!

    I'm a student from Thailand and this April I'm going to TUFS! I have a few questions to ask you :)

    1. Which church do you go to? (I'm also a christian) Is it far from the dorm? (;P) Whom should I contact there? And do they have Japanese-English Bible?

    2. I heard from senpais (but they go to Osaka) that there's a Japanese test on the very first day. What kind of test is it at TUFS? Does it have furiganas? Any interview? My Kanji and speaking suck ):

    Thank you senpai! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      Woah, I'm in the same class as your senpai's! Would you like me to give them your email address?

      1. I go to Calvary Chapel Fuchu, it's about five minutes from school. The pastor is American, so they preach in English, with a Japanese translation. I used my own Bible (and another member gave me a Japanese-only Bible after that).

      2. If I remember correctly, the test was reading, writing and speaking (interview). There's a bunch of questions, from very easy to very difficult.

      I hope this helps!

      ^_^

      Delete
    2. It does! Thank you ^^

      And about my email... thanks in advance :)

      Delete
    3. Um, do you mind giving me your email then? If you don't want to post it here, you can just send me an email at eustacia_tan@yahoo.com.sg

      Delete
  4. Amicia Rai already said it...bt again thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. By-the-way, are u on facebook? Please send me a friend request at www.facebook.com/amaniham i will be more than glad!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for this, really nice of you :) I remembered something else. What kind of stuff can you buy in 100yen shops? Is it true that everything costs 105yen? :O We have 100forint/1euro shops around here, but they are just normal department stores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      You're welcome!

      Hmm.... you can buy lots of things! Snacks, notebooks, bento's, etc, and it's all 105 yen (at Can Do anyway). But, because it's so cheap, some stuff (like frying pans) are fairly poor quality, and other stuff comes in really tiny amounts.

      Hope this answered your question!

      ^_^

      Delete
  7. Hello,
    I just found your blog (wish I had found it earlier) and really liked it :)

    I have some questions about the MEXT scholarship. I am willing to apply for the undergraduate scholarship. I read the FAQ but I have some personal questions. I would like to get advice from somaone who actually got the scholarship. I would be pleased if you could answer my questions. My e-mail address is lemoncandy510@gmail.com Please please please send a message :D

    Sorry if I shouldn't have posted here :(
    Thank you very much for reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bridget,

      I've emailed you!

      (Just commenting to make sure the mail doesn't get lost)

      ^_^

      Delete
  8. Hey! :D
    I'm going to go for MEXT 2014 and there's a few questions I'd like to ask if you don't mind :D
    It's about the application process. Do you happen to remember what you wrote in the application under the question "what impression do you have of Japan"? I'm just wondering if I should be careful with all the amazement of how much of a wonderful country it is XDDD And maybe after studying in Japan for a while you know what they are acually happy to hear? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      I really don't remember! I'd suggest being truthful, and writing something related to your major :D

      ^_^
      Eustacia

      Delete
  9. Hello! So to get accepted for the undergraduate scholarship you have to pass all those exams? (japanese, english, math, physics, chemistry, biology?)

    i can't believe it, my high school didn't even offer japanese or physics! how did you even prepare for this? was it just fresh in your mind or are there study guides for this scholarship (sort of like study guides for the SAT).
    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      You just have to pass the exams needed for your major! (I believe that the sciences have more exams :p)

      I was still studying when I took the exams, so it was very much like a school test to me ^^

      ^_^

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Eustacia,I'm from the Philippines and i'm on the application process now..I just want to ask,what are the odds if you want to study in UNIVERSITY of TOKYO (TODAI?) ?because I heard the entrance exam there is REEEEAAAALLLLYY difficult (of course it should be,it's like ,rank 2 in asia and one of the world's top 25 uni?) I REALLYYY want to be there (my goal is to win the NOBEL PRIZE someday..)
    ...yeah I'm a big dreamer.=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arjay,

      That depends on what major you're in. If you're in science, I think you have a pretty good chance. Of course, Todai will only take one student per major, so you'll need to look at your competition and your marks.

      All the best!

      ^_^

      Delete
  12. HEY!
    are the exams conducted in japanese or in english? I mean can we write our exam paper in english language?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey(:

      The English and Maths papers are in English, but the Japanese paper is in Japanese. I have no idea about the sciences though.

      ^_^
      Eustacia

      Delete
  13. tq :) and one more question ..if i am to sit for the natural science A examination then which math paper should i answer.. Course A(basic) or course B (advanced)?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Replies
    1. Hi Sajan,

      I'm sorry, but I don't know. I'm not in the Science stream, so my exams were different.

      And nope, we don't have to do TOFEL (Although your university might require it after you enter)

      ^_^

      Delete
  15. Hi

    could you please guide me for the preparation for the Interview for the Research Scholar, I am Nepalese citizen.

    Best regards
    Sanju.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sanju,

      I'm sorry, but I'm not a research student, so I'm not sure how much I can help. My Nepalese friend is willing to email you and try to help, so if you're interested, please drop me a mail via the mail widget on the right(:

      ^_^

      Delete
  16. Heyo!
    I'm here to ask for help again xD
    Maybe you can remember some questions you were asked during your interview? :D I want to get the general idea what I have to know how to answer ^^
    Thank you! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      I think I've updated the "I'm Going to Japan (With the MEXT Scholarship)" post with whatever I remember, so I hope that helps! I seriously can't think of anything else :p

      (And sorry for replying so late! I didn't see your comment for some reason!

      ^_^

      Delete
  17. Hello! My question will be kind of weird, but what kind of student were you? Your average was high?

    Thank you in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      Um, I think if anything, I was slightly below average. But I must add that I went to a school where the average is very very high.

      ^_^
      Eustacia

      Delete
  18. WoW your site is amazing! Thanks!
    Do you know how many people actually get in to this overall? Im from Australia but I hadn't even heard of this scholarship a month before i applied

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      There was about 60 scholars in TUFS and another 60 in Osaka University (They split us equally between the two language schools), so I would say about 120 worldwide. But the number varies from country to country - some countries only have one scholar, while others have close to 10 (like South Korea or Mongolia).

      ^_^

      Delete
  19. Hi Eustacia!

    I'm from Singapore too! I'm interested in applying for the MEXT undergraduate scholarship, so I'd just like to check what's the probability of me being shortlisted with my GCE A Level results?
    H1 Project work (A), Higher chinese (A), H1 GP (C), H2 Biology (A), H2 Chemistry (A), H2 Mathematics (A), H2 Economics (B), H3 pharmaceutical chemistry (merit/B equivalent).

    Thank you! Hope to hear from you soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea..... I'm afraid I don't know how they choose the scholars (and I didn't take A Levels).

      All the best!

      ^_^

      Delete
  20. Hello Eustacia!

    I'm having a really bad time after the interview and after all the process was over... I'm applying for the 2014 scholarship and i already passed the exams (yeey :D) But now I'm at the waiting stage.. I really like your blog, it really gives me hope!! :) Can you tell me when did they give you the final results?

    Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!

      Congrats on passing the exams! I can't remember when, but I got the official confirmation by the end of the year (I think?). I know the official letter came in February of the next year though.

      Best,

      ^_^

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much! :)

      May I bother you again? I'm applying for science but I don't know anybody that have won the scholarship in this area... In my country, only two people and they applied for humanities. Do you know people there? they knew japanese when taking the exams?

      thanks for the quick answer, it's really nice that you help people this way :)


      Delete
    3. Sorry for the late reply! (I think I replied but forgot to press the 'publish' button or something (._.) )

      I'm not sure what country you're from, so I can't help :/ Have you tried asking the embassy? They told me how many people got in the previous years and such.

      Best

      ^_^

      Delete
  21. Hi. I just wanna thank you for all of the useful information you got here on your site. i have been following you since June and I have been using your tips in my application. Now, I am waiting for the confirmation that I will be studying in japan like you. ireally hope I get in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      Thanks for following my blog (and adding me on Google+)! I hope that you get in :D

      ^_^

      Delete

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love to hear your opinions and stories! (And if you want to guest post, do let me know too!)

If you have a question about the MEXT scholarship, please check the FAQs and anti-FAQs to see if it's been covered.