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How can I afford college in Japan?

arashippu

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Today I received the most amazing news that I was accepted into Sophia, and I cannot be more thrilled. However, the only reason why I haven't considered Sophia as my first choice is because I live in a low income household. Now that I have the opportunity to attend Sophia, I could really use some help: how can I cut down the costs for it? I will possibly be attending this fall, so my time is limited, especially with most big Japanese scholarships starting the year prior to entry. Would anyone have advice for me? Any is appreciated!
 

Mike Cash

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How are you going to qualify for the visa if you can't prove you have the necessary funds? I thought that was an Immigration requirement.
 

arashippu

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Thank you for your reply, Mike.
To be honest, I applied without regarding money. My counselor wanted me to apply just to try, and now that the time has come to deal with the costs, I am lost. I am still very interested in going to this university though; Sophia is currently my top goal.
I guess it does seem impossible to accumulate the costs for a Japanese university, I just wanted to take a shot and see if there was something I could do before giving up my acceptance letter.
 

Mike Cash

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Have you or your counselor read Sophia's site or checked the Immigration site to see exactly what the procedures and requirements are to make this happen? Don't give up on it until you know the facts.

If your counselor had you apply without first informing himself of the details, then I would say you have an irresponsible or incompetent counselor and I do hope you'll tell him I said so.
 
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Right on the immigration page.
Table.3 Supporting Documents
See #2.
Table 3. Supporting Documents (needed for student visa application)
  1. A copy of certificate of admission from the educational institution where the person concerned intends to study. In cases where he or she intends to study as a research student or an auditor, documents certifying the substance of the research or the subjects and the number of lessons from the educational institution concerned.
  2. Documents certifying that the person concerned can defray all the expenses incurred during the stay in Japan. In cases where the expenses incurred during the stay in Japan are defrayed by another person, who intends to defray all the expenses, and documents showing the process why he or she intends to defray all the expenses for the person concerned required.
And, here is the application.
http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000103470.pdf

Pretty straightforward. No money, no valid application. Sophia may want you, but you may not get the visa.
 
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Documents certifying that the person concerned can defray all the expenses incurred during the stay in Japan. In cases where the expenses incurred during the stay in Japan are defrayed by another person, who intends to defray all the expenses, and documents showing the process why he or she intends to defray all the expenses for the person concerned required.
Slightly different personal experience, and it shows something about going to Canada and not coming to Japan, but I transferred a bunch of money to one kid, who then got approved by Canada for a year abroad. She then transferred most all of it back to me before she left.

The money only really needed to be in her account long enough to get a "zandaka-shoumeisho" ((預金)残高証明書).

I'd guess that for Japan, too, once you have that paper, the money can then be moved out of the account--they don't ever follow up on those funds once that paper has been submitted.

The point is that you could borrow some funds for a short time, from a family member or someone, and then return that money without having to keep it on hand for a longer time.

This doesn't solve the problem of how you will eventually pay for a year at sophia, but it does alter the nature of one of the initial hurdles.
 
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At least for UK visas, if they see a large lump sum go in shortly before the visa application, it's more likely to get bounced, not less. (They presume you're trying to get around the income rules).

Sophia should be able advise you on scholarship options, and may also be willing to delay/defer your entry a year if it's not possible for you to organise funding by this fall. That might be your best option - delay a year, try to get scholarships sorted in the meantime.
 
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