I’ve got some emails asking information on studying in Japan.
I found some of them have a long waiting and great ambition to continue study in Japan.
*feel embarrassed because basically i’d no such that great ambition*
Well, I’m not expert, so I will share what I’ve just experienced before.
Hope some info and tips here will help ones who need it.
To continue study in Japan as a master student, there’re several preliminary steps to be noticed :
1) Decide of whether you’re looking for scholarships or self-funding.
But in my personal opinion, I think most of the master students here would find scholarship instead of self-funding, otherwise, they’d better work and earn money in the country or continue study in western countries like United States,maybe?
The scholarship can be from Monbukagakusho-japanese govt scholarship or private scholarships offered by private companies( these can be many : Panasonic Scholarship, Yoshida Scholarship, etc).
Tips : joining the mailing list which has tons of not only scholarships which call for applications, but also a-z tips for the whole process. The other thing, have your eyes and ears widely open for scholarship info, the source can be from your local newspaper, internet, or even info from others
2) Find the professor who’s willing to be your supervisor
As finding professor might be taking quite long time, so at the very first time, you should find the information of the related subject of study in the web of Japan’s universities.
It’s quite hard if you can’t read the Japanese, mostly will be written in Japanese, but no worry there’ll be some departments, specifically some laboratories’ homepage are written in english version. (special note : this also indicates that this department/laboratory probably quite open and has the international students, so it can be your consideration if you want to plan to enroll the english lectures in your study).
Then find the objective of every single department. After finding the right one, you can explore deeper on the laboratory. In Japan, the graduate school department consists of some laboratories, eg. Takayashi laboratory, Kobayashi laboratory).
In the laboratory page, you can find the research topics, publications, etc.
Next step is sending the email to the professor regarding to your interest of his laboratory.
This is the hardest step, since you have to deliver your ideas in good manner. I wrote English version to my professor, because my Japanese’s not good. So you can write either English or Japanese if you’re proficient enough. It’s a bit like applying jobs, you can write a brief introduction of yourself by cv (history education, past research, accomplishment, etc) and telling about your research plan.
The response of the professor here can be long because of several reasons :
a) If you write in English, maybe the Professor will not reply because of their English is not good enough, or they’ll reply, but it takes time for them replying back to you. Or even the worst case, your email will never get any reply.
b) Because they’re busy and will take a bit long to reply to you.
I’ve heard that someone’s get the reply after 2-3 months, or even the worst case, never get any reply like I told before.
Tips : never give up, trying to find another department and try to contact the professor too. Last time, I also sent more than 10, I think. 😉
Point 1) and 2) can be conducted parallely, so you can save the time to make your dream happen soon. But, I think point no 2) is much more important because you’ll have an added value point of being considered to be selected in the next phase of the selection if you’ve already accepted in a laboratory in Japan
3) Informal consent
If the professor shows his interest to accept you in his laboratory, please request the informal consent, it’s like letter of acceptance – recommendation letter from the professor.
If you apply the scholarship, you can attach this or anyway as if you get the scholarship beforehand, later the sponsorship institution will ask you for submitting the informal consent from the professor.
4) Misc, mission to be accomplished (preparation to go to Japan)
Then there’ll be so many things to be done after step 3), like sending the application form to the university, asking for COE – the documents for foreigner who plan to stay for >=1 year, issued by jurisdiction of the Japan Ministry of Justice. COE is also the long waiting worrying part as well, so you’ve to take notice on this part. You can’t apply the student visa if you don’t have COE. And other words, if you have this “powerful letter”, you will have no barrier and be asked no questions in the embassy. Also you can save much time in obtaining the visa.
Tips : pls be careful of every detail in these sequence activities, because every single of them are very critical. Remember, Japan also known as strict-to-the rule and timing is very important!
Above is the just some parts of my experience while the email I received was the one who hasn’t got the scholarship but has already accepted by the professor. So he planned to come to Japan with his own money (self funding). And his next plan after the arrival is to finding the scholarship.
So, in such a case, I recommend you searching some scholarships program after arrival in Japan. Here’s the link :scholarship that you apply directly to the foundation
And another link is scholarship that you apply before coming to Japan