I've been considering studying in japan for about a year now, and from what I've seen and read it seems like I would be better off sticking to studying in the US. However since it's still sort of my dream to study there I've decided to only go to japan if I'm able to get accepted into MEXT. I did some research but I still have a few questions.
I was looking at the MEXT guidelines and it says that "grantees of a scholarship from any organization other than MEXT" are not eligible. Does this mean that if I were to apply to a scholarship from a university in the states I would no longer be eligible? So I would have to bet it all on getting accepted to MEXT?
I was born in the US, but my entire family is Colombian, therefore I have a double nationality. However I'm currently living in Peru and going to an American school here. How would I go about going to the embassy for the embassy recommendation? Do I have to go to a Japanese embassy in Colombia or the US, or could I just go to the one here in Peru? And is there another way to get the scholarship other than an embassy recommendation?
Sorry for the wall of text, and thanks in advance! Feel free to ask any questions and/or drop any wisdom you might have regarding the entire topic of studying in japan.
You can apply to anything you want, and the concept of scholarship itself is ambiguous (while waiting for the final answer from Mext I had signed up for a different Uni, got exempted from tuition and was receiving financial aid, but none of that clashed with mext requirements). Apply to anything, and if you get in but don't know if you can accept or not while waiting for MEXT's answer, just call the embassy, give them the specific situation and ask them if it's alright. There are no set guidelines when it comes to this scholarship, really.
Regarding your nationality, agan, call the peru embassy and ask. They're the only ones who know for sure.
There is also the university recommendation, but that gets even more ambiguous. Basically it means contacting a particular university first and asking them what to do. Keep in mind that though you'll be under the same scholarship there might be differences (e.g. I recently found out that university-recommended students don't get full scholarships if they sign up for G30 programs in my uni since they fall under university exchange legislation, despite being government scholars, which means that they get 80k instead of 140k per month, though research students and non G30 university-recommended students don't have that problem).
Be prepared for bureaucratic hell. Turn to the internet for guidelines, but keep in mind that each situation is likely to be treated differently, and each country's selection process can focus on different things. You have to bug the embassy, who is often under an NDA or doesn't know so they won't be able to offer you certain details, or will just have to guess them.
Thanks for the quick answers! Glad to hear I can apply to other schools as well. I'll contact the embassy and see what they have to say about my situation. I'll update on what they tell me.
Yeah, as Z said it is very hazy as to what is or is not acceptable and this extends to general visa issues. Japanese bureaucracy might be better than found in many undeveloped countries, but it is still really hit and miss. What advice or treatment you receive might vary greatly depending on the particular person you are dealing with at that time. Heck, as one example I was told emphatically that job hunting visas "did not exist" by an employee at the Japanese consulate in Australia. Turned out that they did exist. Then on the phone I was told that it was very hard to get them, and in my case it probably wasn't worth bothering with because of x, y, z. Applied anyway, got it no problem.
It's like how rules are often possible to ignore so long as they are ignored discretely, like parking your bike somewhere with a big sign saying "no parking your bike". Or how a professor has power to pass you for a class because they feel like it, rather than having a set rubric organised and made public at the start of term. People want wiggle room here for various reasons, and that makes it extra "fun" for us when we want to get something done.
Edited: 2014-07-17, 7:29 am
You don't need to know Japanese for the undergrad scholarship. You'll be sent on a highly intensive 1-year Japanese course to get you pretty fluent. Keep in mind that this involves a good 6 hours of daily classes + homework and stuff. Quite a few people drop out and it can be a very stressful experience. Everyone I met who has survived it is fluent now, but they were also brilliant and incredibly hardworking to begin with.
Edited: 2016-07-04, 10:23 pm
Worse, because no wasting time allowed :p