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MEXT Scholarship (Research/Graduate students) 2018

indojindesu

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Hello! I'm a recipient of the research student Scholarship, 2017. I'l be leaving for Japan in October this year and I am making this thread so that the applicants for 2018 can discuss everything here.
If you need any help, please read the old posts on the MEXT Scholarship (graduate student) 2017 thread. :)
Good luck!
 

madphysicist

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Good idea to start a new thread!

Since I've been through the process myself I've updated my blog with some new information and posted about my interview experience:
MEXT research scholarship information and advice | ジョジーナ
MEXT research scholarship interview experience | ジョジーナ

Here are some blogs from other recipients with useful information for applicants:
Going to Graduate School in Japan on a Monbushō Scholarship – Dave’s Logs
How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 1 of 4) – Lars Martinson: Cartoonist
How to get Monbukagakusho Scholarship | Urban User Experience and Interaction Design

Good luck to those applying this year :)
 

Centuries

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Thank you for making the thread!

I am applying for MEXT this year. I am finishing up my research proposal now and am shopping for a possible third program. I have two programs in mind that would fit my research well: I would be in the social sciences. As I mentioned in the other thread, I am having some trouble finding a third program that seems like a good fit, so I am still looking at possible mentors!

I've bookmarked the blogs - thank you for sharing!
 

preestine

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Hello everyone! I'm applying to this year's mext and I'm currently looking at MBAs... all the ones I'm interested in are from private universities so I don't actually know how much luck I will have :thumbsdown: I'm also putting together some ideas for my research proposal but I still have a lot of doubts on how to/how much I should write... wishing good look to this year's participants!
 

Centuries

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Hi preestine! Good luck to you! I think there were a few MBAs accepted posting in the previous application thread, you may want to check out their posts.

I worry that my research proposal is too specific... I am finding programs where I could do the research, but am having a hard time finding specific advisors who would fit my research. I know I don't want someone who is doing the exact thing I want to do, but I feel anxious about it. My embassy says to not contact professors before initial screening, but I feel like I should contact some because of this... Thoughts?
 

preestine

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Yes, I've read the entirety of the old thread just to try and soothe some of my anxieties about different aspects of the application, and it's encouraging to see that some people got their first choice even though it was a private university... let's see how I'll fare with 3/3 choices being private :thumbsdown:

Regarding the research proposal, I think that unless it's a mathematical/scientific topic it'll be difficult to find something that fits completely what you have in mind, so finding something that could help but it's not totally what you're looking for could be very useful anyway since it could broaden your approach to the topic you want to research. Also, once at the actual University, I think you could take advantage of other resources like the libraries, seminars, professors you'll meet while attending the regular courses and other students to get as much help/content as possible. It could also be possible that, while you state you want to research a certain topic once there that topic may shift a little in a new direction so what I'm personally doing at the moment is finding faculty members that have some sort of general knowledge of the topic I want to focus on (for example in my case it's fashion) and then I'm confident that once I have my research topic approved by the embassy they will most likely keen on supervising my research (why wouldn't they? it's inherent to their general subject of study and it could be beneficial/interesting for them as well), which will double as my thesis/research project I'll have to submit in order to graduate from the actual MBA. Maybe I'm being too optimistic about it, but when it comes to academic research I'm alway thinking that I wouldn't ever say no to learning/studying something new from a prospective research student so why would they? :)
 

Centuries

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That sounds like wonderful research! Thank you for this, I needed it.

My research is about the cross-cultural dialogue of material culture. I help run an international print exhibition in my home state with Japanese artists. Right now, my top choice is a national university because of fieldwork I could do with the area's museums (one major museum there has a partnership with a museum in my region) and they offer a G30 program in International Culture/Multicultural Studies. Not many professors seem to be doing this with art objects (mostly literature), but they are with media and some focus on cross-cultural in media/lit.. I think you are right, it doesn't have to be perfectly lined up.

Are you looking primarily in Tokyo?
 

preestine

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Woah, that sounds really cool and interesting, I think you will have no trouble convincing both the embassy and the universities to sponsor you! But yes, I think that as long as they have some experience in something relevantly similar then it should be okay! I think as professors they shouldn't have any problems expanding their horizons.

The first two unis I have selected are located in Tokyo and the other one in Kyoto. I have to confess I prefer the latter one's courses slightly better over the ones of one of other two but I think it's probably more important to be in Tokyo since I will be dealing with fashion and it's definitely more of a fashion capital than Kyoto. But then at times I second guess myself so I'm not entirely set on my preference order yet. What about you?
 

Centuries

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Thank you! I am going to reach out to two of the professors as soon as I get feedback on my proposal. (Hopefully this week) I worry because I do not have exemplary Japanese skills (N4 on a good day), and I know they are harder on Humanities when it comes to language. But I have to try.

I am looking at Nagoya as my first choice. Waseda is on my list, but it is a private school and a professor at Nagoya's research is more akin to mine than any at Waseda. I am looking for a strong third choice now. I am thinking of sticking with national schools with G30 due to my language skills.

I think you are right about Tokyo: it is the fashion capital! Kyoto may be good if you were interested in traditional fashion, but Tokyo seems more contemporary.
 

hsark

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The first two Unis I have selected are located in Tokyo and the other one in Kyoto.
There is a big difference I also went to the same route after asking a Japanese Professor, I'm in Architecture and technology bt I'm really interested in reaching out to Japanese companies for future collaboration/work opportunities
 

hsark

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Also very important to select at least one University from this list
Top Global University Initiative (plus Global 30 and Go Global Japan) | TeamUp US Japan
These 30 unis have specifically been selected/ paid by the Japanese Government to take in Foreign students and provide really good English based courses. They are 850 Universities in Japan so some great ones won`t be on in the top30 I found a highly decorated Prof. I wanted to work with who wasn`t at one of these so do look around as well
 

preestine

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Thank you! I am going to reach out to two of the professors as soon as I get feedback on my proposal. (Hopefully this week) I worry because I do not have exemplary Japanese skills (N4 on a good day), and I know they are harder on Humanities when it comes to language. But I have to try.
Are you going to apply for courses in Japanese and take the preparatory language course or just stick to English courses?
Also very important to select at least one University from this list
Top Global University Initiative (plus Global 30 and Go Global Japan) | TeamUp US Japan
None of my unis are on that list (just my luck :p), but I'm specifically aiming for a MBA (and one that lasts less than two years at that) so it's a given that not many unis will have something like that.
I'm looking through the application process to those unis and I'm a bit confused by one thing though: they often require a couple of recommendation letters from professors/mentors of some kind and I was wondering if they mean in addition to the ones you already have to submit to the embassy when applying for the scholarship or if you can just re-use the same ones?
 

Centuries

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The programs that fit my research are in English... but I wouldn't mind taking the Japanese language course anyway, to better my language skills. I worry about this.

I am not sure about your latter question. : x I think it could go either way, if the recommendation letter is relevant to the specific schools.
 

Frida

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Are you going to apply for courses in Japanese and take the preparatory language course or just stick to English courses?

None of my unis are on that list (just my luck :p), but I'm specifically aiming for a MBA (and one that lasts less than two years at that) so it's a given that not many unis will have something like that.
I'm looking through the application process to those unis and I'm a bit confused by one thing though: they often require a couple of recommendation letters from professors/mentors of some kind and I was wondering if they mean in addition to the ones you already have to submit to the embassy when applying for the scholarship or if you can just re-use the same ones?
The InternationUniversity of Japan has an intensive MBA program of 1 year.
Hitotsubashi also offers a 1 year MBA program as well as the McGill University in Japan.

I'm not sure if Hitotsubashi offers English courses, but you could find that out.
 

Houjou

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Hello!

I am considering applying for Embassy MEXT and taking the entrance exams in Japan as well, thus opening up two ways to get in the university. If I get the MEXT, I would ignore the exam results; if I fail to secure a MEXT scholarship and pass the exams, I would enroll on my own money and then apply for private scholarships.

Do you think there's any problem with this plan in terms of compatibility? I know MEXT's eligibility demands the student to be abroad, but I would only travel to Japan for the exams and then come back home while both results are published.


Cheers
 

Centuries

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Frida - thank you for posting those! I will definitely take a look.

Do any of you think that my pursuing an English-language program will hurt me? I am not sure : (

Also, I was hoping to have my research proposal done weeks ago but I am nowhere finished... I set April 1st as my new deadline and I am just having a rough go of it. Would any recipient mind if I private messaged them about the proposal, to get advice and feedback?
 

Zay Angel

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Hello everyone!
I arrived here at Osaka last year. I'm one of the many lucky MEXT scholar recipients.
As celebration of my half-a-year stay here in Osaka, Japan, I am sharing my blogspot link to somehow help or give you clues what is it like to live here including all preparations, expectations and my experiences. My blog is still an on-going process, and I just have few entries in it that I believe can really help you. Just message me or comment on my blog or here about the things you would want me to discuss soon, so I can help you better.

P.S. I recommend TRANSEV blog also. He is very responsive and somehow was able to give me peace of mind during the "waiting game" of the scholarship results.
Living in Japan: Guides and Stories this is his blog spot link.

and this is mine: Dhezcycoolet Angel's World

Godbless!
 

Daylightful

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I have a couple of questions!

1) Do you need to have a large amount of Japanese fluency? For example I aim to have the N3 but I noticed some schools/people say you must have N2?

and 2) My undergrad major was Neurobiology; however, I have always been interested in Graphic Design and would like to do research in graphic design. I do graphic design as a hobby at the moment, but never studied it in school. Is it still feasible to apply for grad school for graphic design?

Thank you so much!!
 

Zay Angel

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I have a couple of questions!

1) Do you need to have a large amount of Japanese fluency? For example I aim to have the N3 but I noticed some schools/people say you must have N2?

and 2) My undergrad major was Neurobiology; however, I have always been interested in Graphic Design and would like to do research in graphic design. I do graphic design as a hobby at the moment, but never studied it in school. Is it still feasible to apply for grad school for graphic design?

Thank you so much!!
Hello Daylightful, Having knowledge about Japanese language (by buying books that can be bought in some bookstores, or can be downloaded) is a plus. I applied here and just told my sensei that I bought Japanese books with me in preparation. This somehow will give them an idea that you're really interested to study in their country, know their people, most especially their language. As for Japanese class, MEXT program offering english course-programs usually offers free Japanese language class. Last semester, I took JB100 class (twice a week), and for this semester I will take JB200. This will not only help you learn new language, but will also help you survive in Japan for real. :)

As for your application for graphic design, you may want to check the requirements posted for that program. I do believe that they will choose those who have extensive background on it, but if they see the passion in you, and if you have projects/profile to show to them, then they might. Hope this helps. :)
 

Zay Angel

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Frida - thank you for posting those! I will definitely take a look.

Do any of you think that my pursuing an English-language program will hurt me? I am not sure : (

Also, I was hoping to have my research proposal done weeks ago but I am nowhere finished... I set April 1st as my new deadline and I am just having a rough go of it. Would any recipient mind if I private messaged them about the proposal, to get advice and feedback?
Hello Centuries, as for your proposal, try first to search for your sensei's on going project (sensei/department/university). Then try to make your proposal in line with your sensei's current work. With that, even if it is not that concrete, they will think that you have huge interest with what they are working at as of the moment, thinking you can be a great part of the team. :) Hope this helps!
 

Zay Angel

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Hello!

I am considering applying for Embassy MEXT and taking the entrance exams in Japan as well, thus opening up two ways to get in the university. If I get the MEXT, I would ignore the exam results; if I fail to secure a MEXT scholarship and pass the exams, I would enroll on my own money and then apply for private scholarships.

Do you think there's any problem with this plan in terms of compatibility? I know MEXT's eligibility demands the student to be abroad, but I would only travel to Japan for the exams and then come back home while both results are published.


Cheers
Hello Houjou, you can actually do that, however it will cost you a lot. hmmm. However, I can assure you that there are lot of scholarships that can be offered to foreign students here in Japan, once you are enrolled here without scholarship. The University itself has a department that sends e-mail/inform foreign students who don't have scholarship.
 

madphysicist

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2) My undergrad major was Neurobiology; however, I have always been interested in Graphic Design and would like to do research in graphic design. I do graphic design as a hobby at the moment, but never studied it in school. Is it still feasible to apply for grad school for graphic design?
As for your application for graphic design, you may want to check the requirements posted for that program. I do believe that they will choose those who have extensive background on it, but if they see the passion in you, and if you have projects/profile to show to them, then they might. Hope this helps. :)
In my embassy guidelines they were very clear about this point:

(4) Major Field of Study:

The field of study must be in the area in which the applicant has studied (or is now studying) or is related. An applicant must choose maximum 3 universities where s/he can study and research the field of her/his choice.


I suggest you read the application guidelines thoroughly as they can vary slightly between embassies. In general it is not possible to apply for a subject you have no related degree in, however passionate you are about it.
 

indojindesu

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In general it is not possible to apply for a subject you have no related degree in, however passionate you are about it.

Holds true in case of Indian applicants as well.

I have passed N2 and I had applied for this scholarship last year for Biotechnology but they thought it was a mistake ( the application process was online last year) and were trying to tell me I could not apply for Biotechnology because they thought I was a Japanese major.

So , yes. I agree as well. From my experience, the subject you want to study needs to be related to your bachelor's/master's field of study.
 
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