I was surprised stumbling on this forum because i thought it contains a great deal of information. But after a quick search, i couldn't find much information that can help me out any further.
My situation is as follows:
I am studying for a bachelor degree in psychology. Although i am now in my first year, i do wish to study in Japan somehow. That's why i checked out if there are any partner universities and went to the embassy. Turns out that there won't be any partner university, or at least, not one that is of any use of me (the partner universities are only meant to those who study Japanese thus that would be the only way to do an exchange). As i already started my bachelor outside Japan, i don't consider taking the eju or so.
At the embassy, i found out that, in the case of my country, the MEXT is only meant for those who wish to study their bachelor in Japan, or for those who wish to conduct research (they are supposed to have finished their master before applying). Knowing that i wouldn't get much help of my university or the embassy, i tried searching on the internet.
It seemed to me that there aren't a lot of universities that offer master programs(psychology) for foreign students?
It is hard for me to figure out which possibilities i have for studying abroad in Japan. I have been to Japan before so i have some contacts who are also asking around for me. They figured that it indeed is hard getting into a Japanese university, for a master program, while not studying at a partner university. Next to that, my first language is not English(although i'm not sure it is relevant to mention this...). I even started to wonder if another exchange can somehow be beneficial for possibly future "studying in Japan plans'. I do plan on going on an exchange to Germany but this won't be for a year. I did find out that Germany has some partner universities in Japan but then again, how could this be beneficial...
Therefore i would greatly appreciate any information i could get that would be relevant for my situation. I apologise if i have overlooked a topic that is roughly similar to this one...
I have the same problem, although I'm finishing high school this year. I wanna study bach in japan, but it seems that there is a brick wall ahead of me.
Studying a bach there seems easier to me (maybe due to the lack of information?) although i don't think your country has partner universities? Going to the embassy is always useful...
And for me, i don't feel like there is a brick wall, i feel like i am still searching for that brick wall If i find one, i'll be glad to take on the challenge, but it should stay realistic.
The exchange programs I know exist for sure are offered at 2 universities, to japanese language learners...And I'm not gonna go to study this at the university.
Then go to the embassy. The MEXT scholarship is international and if you want to study your bachelor in Japan, the MEXT would be great...
Lol, the only thing I got from the embassy was a sheet of paper which I already had at home with some kind of programmes ...I got that one 2 years ago, exactly the same sheet.
I asked for some more information and they told me to go to some other company and talk to them lol...LOL!
Last edited by jettyke (2011 January 02, 3:21 pm)
Haha, exact the same thing they did for me. I responded by bringing up the subject at a speech contest that was partly organised by the embassy. Their reaction: there are tons of possibilities. Just go to the site etc etc. Well lots of possibilities...Sure! if you study Japanese >.<
I'd say, check out if your university (country) takes part in international projects. Once in a while, there are projects with Asia (thus...Japan too). I think now Europe is focusing on Vietnam (tho not sure) and that Japan already passed the revue. But i would still check out the ongoing projects, it might be different for you country.
Those kind of programmes, isn't there any option for you in those? Like i said, the MEXT should be available... And if they tell you where to go to get more information, just do so i guess... Nothing to lose right?
Wow, I thought I looked for everything, I found that JASSO doesn't offer scholarships in my country, but it seems that I mistook MEXT for jasso, and thus thought that I am not suitable because of my nationality.
"Applicant must have the nationality of a country which has diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. "
That's the only requirement with nationalities it seems.
Now the problem is that I don't get chemistry at all, but I'll have to do it.
Last edited by jettyke (2011 January 02, 4:39 pm)
At the embassy, i found out that, in the case of my country, the MEXT is only meant for those who wish to study their bachelor in Japan, or for those who wish to conduct research (they are supposed to have finished their master before applying)
What do you think you do in a Master's? You do research. Most master's programs are 2 years, how long is the "research student" program for?....Sorry don't mean to be caustic.
My memory is a little foggy so I'm not sure if there was actually a different category there before or not, but either way. I seem to recall the process for the Monbukagakusho was you apply for it, you take the joke of a test (seriously, I'll post links after I find old copies), they then interview you if you are decent, and then you get your decision. If you are accepted they then open up the possibility for you to choose what school to go to and study at. Somewhere on a site, they mention you shouldn't contact schools prior to doing the paperwork and all because apparently under the MEXT you actually enter the school in a special way. It'll basically exempt you from entrance exams.
MEXT aside, look around and you might be able to find some unis with no entrance exams, though they are far and few between though. Waseda, which I'll be applying to myself, has a number of programs with full English curriculum (or JP/EN or full JP). Some of these programs have an option of being admitted on a special track that elimenates the need for you to do the entrance exam. I'm not sure if Waseda is the only uni doing this or not, but I have yet to find any other big name unis with a system like this.
Forgot the links.
http://www.atlanta.us.emb-japan.go.jp/MEXTresearch.htm This has a good run down on the scholarship. At the very bottom of the page is a link to "past exams." Look at them....I couldn't believe it when I saw them since I knew the exams for the Bachelors scholarship are pretty brutal, but the research student? Hahaha wow...words can't describe how retarded easy they are. Even the JP language version looks to be easy if you know around JLPT2 Japanese.
Something else I want to IMPLORE upon you if you are serious about grad school in Japan.
CHECK OUT THE FULLBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIP!
Since you are in your first year, you are well set up to plan for it. This is hands down one of the best freaking graduate scholarships out there (to my knowledge). This thing will pay for practically EVERYTHING and include even research money for you. It is by no means easy to get and requires you to write a grant request which is pretty intimidating. But I recently found stats on the number applications received for the fullbright.
For the BA program which has 10 spots, they received 54 applicants. Thats it! 54 Applicants. If you figure 10 of those applicants aren't up to snuff, you have a 22% chance to get it, which is pretty good odds.
Just remember that your senior year will come up on your faster than you think and make sure you plan well now for all the things you need to do to make your self the best applicant for whatever you plan to do. This is all shit I learned after it was too late for me.
EDIT EDIT: The part about the "not contacting your target schools before acceptance." I read that at the fullbright page, though I believe MEXT still lets you skip exams if I'm not mistaken. I know most unis I looked at had separate entrance schemes for MEXT recipients.
Last edited by vix86 (2011 January 04, 11:35 pm)
I am sorry for replying this late, forgot to check again. About the option to go as a research student, i mentioned in the first post that i can only apply for that one after i already have a master... Although i'll check that out again. Thanks for the links that you gave.
>> Checked it out and i was completely wrong. Don't get it how i got it wrong, but somehow i did! But then again, they already ask for a detailed explanation of what you would like to conduct research of... I don't know how this should be done but do most of the students (no exchange) already set up that sorta things when they are close to finishing their bachelor? Next to that, they also mention several times that the scores achieved at university must be above the standard (or something alike). Does that mean that you need at least a "cum laude"?
The exam for grad students (MEXT) indeed is easy. I'll have to work on the Japanese but by then it should be easy too...
That Fulbright scholarship sure is wonderful...for US students. Guess that's no option for me.
Thanks for the information!
In order to study for in a masters program under the MEXT scholarship you first have to be admitted as a research student and then later apply for specific masters programs.
To get the research scholarship you need to create a research proposal which is quite a bit more complicated than just stating you want a masters degree. I suggest that you talk to some of your professors about pursuing graduate studies. They will have experience crafting research proposals and can offer you the best advice on how to create your own.
Also, with psychology, you will probably need to show a good reason to study in Japan.
Thanks a lot! Do you have any idea when i should get started for that research? Even besides the idea of studying abroad in Japan, i was already interested in for example the influence of their language on the development, and to know more about cross cultural differences (again concerning the development ).
The question will be then, what sorta research has already been conducted and how to get it more specific, but guess there's time for that!
Do you know anything more about the required grades?
You need to have good grades and show a promising ability to do graduate work.
On an American scale, that means a minimum GPA of at least 3.2 or so. Remember, that is a minimum. Ideally, you should probably show at least a 3.5.
Still, for the research scholarship, the most important part will be explaining what you want to study and why the Japanese government should pay you to do that. The research proposal is going to be the most important aspect of your application. You should really be consulting your professors or other PHD students on how to get started.
Last edited by Womacks23 (2011 January 13, 6:47 am)
That GPA you talked about, from what i read it equals a distinction and high distinction? I don't think i'm able to get that...
Anyway, I'll try to consult a professor in the near future to ask about that research proposal etc.
You are applying for a fully paid scholarship. Do you think you have a strong enough record to obtain a similar scholarship in Europe?
If not then take some time to work on improving your grades. You might want to look into taking the GRE too. A high score on that test could really help your application by removing some doubts about your grades.
Last edited by Womacks23 (2011 January 13, 10:10 am)
First thing i found when googling for the GRE is that is a US test? I don't think i can take that one if i'm from Europe... I will work on my grades for sure, i'm only in my first year now so there's still time. I think i could get slightly above the average, but i don't dare to say i can get any above that...
Is there another possibility, next to the MEXT scholarship? The only option left in that case is applying at a Japanese university thus not having a scholarship?
Just now getting back to this thread.
*facepalm* I completely didn't read your info and see you were in Belgium that really does knock the fullbright out .
As far as the GRE goes, I just looked (here) and there is a testing center in Brussels (assuming you are in Belgium as your profile says) that offers the paper based version. If you wanted to take the Computer based test you would have to hop over to France or Germany. If it seems like a good idea to you I would research the benefits of CBT vs paper-based and weigh the costs.
As far as scholarships go, the only other scholarship I can think of that you can get I think is the Rotary Scholarship. This one has a bit more attached to it in what you have to do. However, there is a sizable amount of money to be received from it (I would have to dig through the PDFs to find the exact amount but I think its at least over 7500 euros.) Since rotary clubs exist internationally (They are basically the freemasons w/o the religion pre-req for joining) I believe you could apply for it but you would have to research how it works for you in Europe.
(EDIT: Oh, I wanted to add a bit more on the Rotary that I probably should have added. All that is required for applying for the scholarships (in the US) is being sponsored by the rotary club. That does not mean you actually have to be a member, but it does mean you will have to meet with the club a few times, talk, and basically get their sponsorship. I really need to look back at it, but there was an awesome catch with the scholarship that applied because of how unique Japan/Japanese is. When applying you have to put down your main country to stay at and like 3-5 other ones. The advisor I had talked to at the time though had said that these have to be countries where the language of your choice is also spoken at. So if you were speaking French you might be put in France or potentially any other French speaking country. However, because Japanese is only spoken in one country in the world it could mean that you only can put Japan down. You have to do a bit of extra-community service for the Rotary though, but it is no small amount of money to sneeze at.)
It seems Womacks23 has a better take on the functioning of the MEXT than I as well. He may be correct about the research student->Masters thing. This is just 1 person anecdotal evidence, but it may be that this is common for intl' students in Japan(?). I have a friend that has a friend that's a grad student in Japan and he started out as a research student at first before being admitted into a program at his Uni in Hokkaido. I know now that he is a grad student he has the basic funding from the university/professor and pays nothing in living expenses or tuition. However, while he was a research student he had to pay everything, so I think that is the important catch.
As far as how to best prepare/improve your chances at getting funding for pretty much anything grad school based. You should be contacting professors within your department that have research interests similar to your own (especially what you want to do in Japan!) and see if they will let you assist as an undergraduate researcher or the like. While GPA and standardized tests (GRE, etc) are important, many universities will look at your research experience and a lot more weight on that. This may include seeing "Has he/she published or co-authored on any academic papers?", "Have they presented any posters/presentations at academic conferences?" and so on. If I recall what my friends from EU said, EU college isn't usually 4 years long like it is in the US, so you should be trying to get on this ASAP if you are taking grad school (anywhere) seriously.
Even if you can't find a professor with a similar interest, then you should simply find someone doing something interesting and jump on board that if they let you. Maybe EU system is slightly different from US grad school system, but I can't stress enough how important, especially for an over-saturated field like Psychology, Undergraduate research experience is. If you are absolutely clueless, just ask any of your professors for your classes for advice on grad school, finding research experience, etc. I'm sure many would be more than willing to help. At the very least, its good idea to have back up options if Japan doesn't/can't pan out, which is a very real possibility.
Last edited by vix86 (2011 January 14, 10:27 pm)
I'll look into that GRE test, tho i don't know if it can help me out that much. I already thought about contacting some professors and see what they say about it.
I checked the site of rotary, and it seems that you first must pass the JLPT1 to apply for the scholarship! Isn't JLPT1 close to native speaker T_T
The information the embassy in Belgium gives, concerning the MEXT scholarship, is that you indeed first have to get accepted as a research student. But normally, the "applying for a university for the master studies" happens when you still didn't go to Japan. And if by X months you didn't find a university and didn't receive any approval yet of a university, that you automatically lose the scholarship...
In my case, for psychology, i already have places to go to in case research etc doesn't work out; so it's not that i need the 'distinction' it's that i want the distinction so i don't really see it as a back up plan.
I want to study in Japan because i seriously am interested in research related to cultural differences etc. before, i was interested in the whole psychology stuff and had other ambitions (more into project stuff and such) but since i start travelling to Japan i got interested in the culture. So now i wouldn't be satisfied if i wouldn't be able to conduct that sorta research. It's probably a thought that will change over time but it doesn't hurt aiming for the ambitions i have now right? That's why i am really trying to figure out all the possible ways to get there :]