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Living Expenses, additional scholarships?

seiun

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Hi everyone,

I should be receiving a University Recommended Monbukagakusho Scholarship soon, and I was wondering if anyone had an idea of the living expenses in Japan. :?

The Scholarship will include fees, and have an award of 170 000 yen/month for the first year and 160 000 yen/month for the next two years. Before applying, I was sure this would be enough, but recently I have been wondering if I would struggle living on this. I would be living near Kashiwa city, 30 minutes (by train) outside Tokyo, if that information helps.

I was also wondering if there were additional scholarships you can apply for on top of a Monbukagakusho, if necessary. e.g. JASSO, or are they usually for self-funded students only? Or would I have to try to get small jobs, like tutoring or teaching English?

I usually live very economically anyway, but I am also very interested in Japan itself. So I would like to have enough money to see some cultural sites once in a while. I guess this is the main concern, with the scholarship will I only be able to lead a very basic lifestyle... 😌 or will I have room to explore? 👍

Thanks in advance, and any advice would be much appreciated! :)

By the way, I would be really happy and grateful to receive the Scholarship! But I'm just wondering how much room I will have. 😌 Maybe this is a silly concern, but I would like to ask anyway!
 

Kirirao

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Depends on how you live. Will you be living as a student?
I'm living as a student, which means I have to trim out the fun and entertaiment. With that my living expenses is around 60,000 yen per month.

At 160,000/month, you'll be living in luxury unless you're living in those expensive apartment (100k+/month), going clubbing alot etc. So if you live economically like you said you are, you have plenty of money to go travel and to have fun. (since I don't know how you live, I can't be sure)
Even the train pass wouldn't cost as much If you have your student pass.

Oh and JASSO scholarship is for self-financed student only.
 

seiun

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Thanks for your response! 👍

So, you're living on 60 000 yen/month including rent? Sounds really good if you are. But where in Japan are you living? And are you living in University susidised accommodation? I'm not sure if there's anything like that available near my campus.

I will be living as a student, but as a postgraduate student. So, I am willing to accept the student lifestyle... but I was hoping to have a *little* more freedom. My desire to explore will be much greater in Japan, than at home.

I was thinking my rent might be 100 000 yen/month, leaving 60 000 yen/month for everything else including bills, food, maintenance etc. If I can find a cheaper place - maybe 60 000 yen/month? - then I should be able to manage much better. I'm not looking for anything luxurious, but hopefully something not too cramped. Ideally, I'd like a place half-way between campus and the main train station for the area! 👍 I'm looking for convenience in a place more than anything else.

It's just that I was talking to one of my friends, and she thought that 160 000 yen/month may not be enough if I also have to pay rent with it. My supervisor mentioned I should be able to live ok, if I live near the campus (as opposed to in Tokyo), but I would feel a lot more comfortable with an extra 10 000 yen/month or so. I think that's where my concerns came from. Also, I would have to be 100% independent and a PhD will be demanding by itself, so I would be unable to work a lot.

To be honest, I'm not too fussy. I lived in a really small dormatory room at Osaka for 2 months last summer and I loved it! I guess I'm just trying to get a feel for the expenses.
 

Chidoriashi

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I think it is sufficient so long as you don't go hog-wild. When I studied on the monbukagakasho scholarship it was 140,000 a month and at the end of the year I came home with almost 600,000 left over in the bank. First and only time I ever got paid to be a student.
 

seiun

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Thanks Chidoriashi.

That makes me feel better. I don't intend to go hog-wild! I'll be too busy to do so anyway!

I guess 160 000 yen/month doesn't sound like so much to someone who's already working (the comments I mentioned), but it should be fine as a student.
 

Glenski

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Subsistence wages for regular working types is about 150,000-180,000 yen/month. That, of course, assumes they live in average housing (50,000-80,000 yen/month rent plus 15,000 yen/month utilities). Foreign students at my university live in the dorm for the first year, and then they must thereafter live off-campus, but the school has a deal with (very ) low-rent apartments somewhat nearby, if the students are interested. One that I know of offers rent at only 3000 yen/month. DIRT cheap!

Figure on cooking, and depending on your diet and appetite, you may spend 30,000-50,000 yen/month for groceries.

Phone? Cell phone runs 3500-8000 yen/month. Land line is about the same with Internet. This doesn't include setup fees (10,000 for cell, 30,000 for land line).

How close are you to school? Public transportation may have to fit in.

Those are the basic necessities other than insurance.
 

Kirirao

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Yes 60k for everything including rent (my rent is only 22k/month) I'm living in Saitama-ken, sharing a 2K ( 1kitchen 2room 1 unit bath and a separate toilet) with a friend. 45 mins away from my school in Shinjuku, and the train pass(student pass) only cost me 3,880 yen/month. And I still have a some left for a nomikai or a yakiniku a few times a month with my friends.

I'm not sure where Kashiwa city is, but you could probably find a 60k-ish place easily. (considering you said it is outside of Tokyo.) 100k/month is a bit over the top tho for a student IMHO. Better off finding a cheap place and have more money to travel on weekends ;)

It's just that I was talking to one of my friends, and she thought that 160 000 yen/month may not be enough if I also have to pay rent with it.
Like I said, It depends on your lifestyle. If you live like me, you'd have 100k extra every month even after paying for everything :p
Man I'm envious of you with your scholarship.

And are you living in University susidised accommodation? I'm not sure if there's anything like that available near my campus.
Ask them. For your first year its probably best if you stay in the University Dorm (if they are any and cheap). That should give you enough time to scout a new place.
 

akita

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Thanks Chidoriashi.
That makes me feel better. I don't intend to go hog-wild! I'll be too busy to do so anyway!
I guess 160 000 yen/month doesn't sound like so much to someone who's already working (the comments I mentioned), but it should be fine as a student.

I thing it will be anough to live well here. I met students from my country in Japan and they never had money problems. Anyway depend a lot of how you live. By the way you can find apartaments with 30000 40000 yens a month around Tokio. I live at 45 min from Tokio now but in the dorms sharing the kichen only, and I pay 16 000 k/month.
 

seiun

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Thank you for your responses! 👍

All your advice is very useful. Nice to have an idea of the kind of expenses I'll have to face. I'll need to take a short while to figure out a figure of expenses for each month given all this information.

But it seems I won't struggle at least! That's really reassuring to know. I just wanted to be sure, because I wouldn't be able to get any financial help.

Kashiwa-shi is NE of Tokyo, in the Chiba prefecture... but still 30 mins by train to the centre of Tokyo. I'd like to get a place close by, so there shouldn't be much travelling expenses except for the purchase of a bike. ^^ (assuming Kashiwa-shi is not as crowded as Tokyo)

I don't know where I'll be staying exactly though, because I'll probably have to find a place after I get there. Unless I get some help with it from some organisation. Is it difficult to find a place at short notice? I know that at my University here, you need to get your place a few months before term starts. ><

I'm a bit slow with responses, and progressing this because I'm studying for my final exams at the moment.

Thanks everyone!
 

akita

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Thank you for your responses! 👍
All your advice is very useful. Nice to have an idea of the kind of expenses I'll have to face. I'll need to take a short while to figure out a figure of expenses for each month given all this information.
But it seems I won't struggle at least! That's really reassuring to know. I just wanted to be sure, because I wouldn't be able to get any financial help.
Kashiwa-shi is NE of Tokyo, in the Chiba prefecture... but still 30 mins by train to the centre of Tokyo. I'd like to get a place close by, so there shouldn't be much travelling expenses except for the purchase of a bike. ^^ (assuming Kashiwa-shi is not as crowded as Tokyo)
I don't know where I'll be staying exactly though, because I'll probably have to find a place after I get there. Unless I get some help with it from some organisation. Is it difficult to find a place at short notice? I know that at my University here, you need to get your place a few months before term starts. ><
I'm a bit slow with responses, and progressing this because I'm studying for my final exams at the moment.
Thanks everyone!

It might be difficult if nobody helps you in the beginning. First of all you need to know some Japanese to talk to the land lord or someone need to come with you as a translator.
Secondly you need a Japanese guarantor. if you will be a student your university might guaranty for you so you need to ask them.
Then you need to pay in advance the rent for 4 months at list and to give some 30000k as key money.

So you should seek for a place with some time in advance if you can t live in the campus for a while.Ask the university where you apply if for Monbusho students are not special places in the campus. Usually they give priority to foreign students.

In my case I can live for a year in the campus. Then I need to look for an apartment or I can chose to apply for another room.

Don t worry that much most universities give you some orientation when you arrived and help you solve a lot of problems like alien registration card, bank accounts, place to stay, etc
 
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