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MEXT current students, what university did you choose and why?

luminocite

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I'm applying to the mext 2020 scholarship and I'm having a hard time choosing my top universities, I would like something in a big but quiet city like Kyoto, because I enjoy the big city attractions but seeing how everything is so crammed with people in tiny spaces in Tokyo honestly gives me anxiety, also I consider myself a good but average at best student and I'm afraid I won't pass the admission test in big sought after schools (ej. tokyo university, kyoto university), I know it's a big opportunity and I'm not saying I'm going to intentionally fall behind or slack off, I'm saying I'm scared my best try won't be enough so I would like "easy" admissions universities if possible.

Lastly, does the scholarship pay the full tuition fee or they give you your monthly allowance and the rest you have to figure out yourself?

thank you so much in advance!
 

Centuries

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Hey there, I hope I can help you. I have been a MEXT researcher since October. I chose Nagoya University for a few reasons. Now, I have been accepted into Nagoya University for graduate school starting this October, so my scholarship was extended. This may get long, sorry!

I chose Nagoya University purely for research/academic purposes. My fieldwork research was based in Nagoya, the school has a strong G30 Humanities program (my research is in art history), and it is high-ranked. My Japanese level is LOW, so I needed to do a G30 program in English.

Here are things to consider.

1. What is your Japanese language level? Will you be pursuing a program in Japanese or English?
2. Your concern about passing entrance exams is well-thought out. MEXT will guarantee your position as a researcher, but you are not guaranteed a spot in the graduate program. You must pass like everyone else. MEXT has a renewal system where, if you decide to move on to a graduate program, you can only apply for two schools. If you don't pass the tests for these schools, you may have another chance or you may have to finish your research and go home.

Therefore, I highly recommend researching the entrance requirements for schools you are interested in. Programs in Japanese will be more difficult to get into and will require N2-N1. G30 programs are easier to enter and many schools support your Japanese language learning while enrolled. If you have a very strong research topic that you can get an advisor interested in and you show interest in your studies while a researcher, you should be fine.

MEXT pays for your tuition, which will also give you bonus points during the admission process if you decide to pursue graduate or doctorate level programs. However, that doesn't mean you get an auto-pass. I know plenty of MEXT researchers who did not pass entrance exams into graduate school. Thankfully, MEXT allows you to try a backup school. If you want to message me, I can try to explain this more... it is a little complicated and caught me by surprise.

Side-note: I will tell you Kyoto is not a big "quiet" city. It is large and extremely crowded with tourists. Personally, I find it more overwhelming than Tokyo.
 

luminocite

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Hey there, I hope I can help you. I have been a MEXT researcher since October. I chose Nagoya University for a few reasons. Now, I have been accepted into Nagoya University for graduate school starting this October, so my scholarship was extended. This may get long, sorry!

I chose Nagoya University purely for research/academic purposes. My fieldwork research was based in Nagoya, the school has a strong G30 Humanities program (my research is in art history), and it is high-ranked. My Japanese level is LOW, so I needed to do a G30 program in English.

Here are things to consider.

1. What is your Japanese language level? Will you be pursuing a program in Japanese or English?
2. Your concern about passing entrance exams is well-thought out. MEXT will guarantee your position as a researcher, but you are not guaranteed a spot in the graduate program. You must pass like everyone else. MEXT has a renewal system where, if you decide to move on to a graduate program, you can only apply for two schools. If you don't pass the tests for these schools, you may have another chance or you may have to finish your research and go home.

Therefore, I highly recommend researching the entrance requirements for schools you are interested in. Programs in Japanese will be more difficult to get into and will require N2-N1. G30 programs are easier to enter and many schools support your Japanese language learning while enrolled. If you have a very strong research topic that you can get an advisor interested in and you show interest in your studies while a researcher, you should be fine.

MEXT pays for your tuition, which will also give you bonus points during the admission process if you decide to pursue graduate or doctorate level programs. However, that doesn't mean you get an auto-pass. I know plenty of MEXT researchers who did not pass entrance exams into graduate school. Thankfully, MEXT allows you to try a backup school. If you want to message me, I can try to explain this more... it is a little complicated and caught me by surprise.

Side-note: I will tell you Kyoto is not a big "quiet" city. It is large and extremely crowded with tourists. Personally, I find it more overwhelming than Tokyo.
Hi, thank you so much for answering, I'm going for the undergraduate scholarship but I think your information is very useful still, I don't have any Japanese knowledge and did think it could be a problem because I don't believe a year of Japanese classes is enough, most of the universities I've been looking into have courses in English and seem really foreign friendly but I'll definitely have that more in mind.

I'll look into your uni, what has been your experience so far? And since I have you, I'm really worried about the math part of the mext test, can you tell me your experience with that too?

I came up with the Kyoto thing after like 30 mins of Google searching where it said they had lots of quiet places haha, so I should probably research more.
 

Centuries

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Undergraduate and Graduate MEXT are two separate things, in my opinion. My exams and interview were different than what you will experience. For example, for research students, our exams do not have Math.

A year of intensive Japanese will not be enough.

If you haven't yet, you may want to search for past Undergraduate MEXT Scholarship threads on this forum to see what others who have gone through the Undergrad process have said/experiences.

Good luck to you!
 
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