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MEXT Undergraduate Application

H.Matthews

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Hello, I am a student from Canada. I wanted to apply for MEXT undergraduate scholarship for 2017/2018 yet, I believe strongly that I should study some Japanese first before I apply. I don't really know so much about the application process. However, I have a friend that attends university with someone who received the MEXT scholarship as a Master's student. According to the student, you do not need to know Japanese at N1 level but, you should be studying it prior to going to Japan. My issue is that there are no universities or private associations where I live for which I can take Japanese classes. And at my university, I have quite a reasonable scholarship to help maintain my studies. But, again they do not offer the major I want to pursue and it isn't really about the money since the major I intend to do would be even more rewarding, if I studied it in Japan. Above all, by the time I am done my first degree, I can apply for MEXT undergraduate scholarship still or the MEXT graduate scholarship.

So, here are the questions I pose:
1. What online courses have people taken to learn Japanese? Or resources?
2. Will my credits transfer from my current university? Has this happen for anyone?
3. Should I wait until I graduate to apply for MEXT? Undergraduate or Graduate?
 

madphysicist

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Generally for the graduate MEXT scholarship it is possible to be selected without any knowledge of Japanese, as long as you can find a university that teaches the course you want in English. Indeed the majority of the students who are accepted have quite poor or non-existent Japanese skills. I would recommend you learn the basics for everyday life, but some people don't and still manage to get by.

For the undergraduate scholarship, you will need to take the classes in Japanese. I do not believe there are any Japanese universities offering undergraduate courses entirely in English. They will give you 1 year of Japanese language classes before you begin the degree but this will NOT be enough for you to attend university and get decent grades unless you are already at an intermediate level of Japanese to start with.

Therefore I would say the most realistic thing is for you to finish your current degree and apply for the graduate scholarship. Even if you can transfer credits (I suspect that you can't) you will not be able to take undergraduate classes without a very good knowledge of Japanese.
 

H.Matthews

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"So all degrees offered by MEXT are completely taught in Japanese?" I have learnt that this isn't entirely true. It says in the application you can be placed in a university which requires no Japanese for the degree program.
 

Mike Cash

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It says in the application you can be placed in a university which requires no Japanese for the degree program.
You can also insist on all your dentistry being done by a left-handed dentist with a harelip and six toes on his left foot, but it will severely limit your chances of getting an appointment.
 

madphysicist

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As Mike implies, it may state that you can be placed in a university that teaches the whole course in English, but this is certainly not the norm. Generally foreign undergraduates are from other Asian countries, and they are prepared to put the effort in to learn Japanese because of the level of economic disparity between their own countries and Japan and/or the comparatively high reputation of Japanese universities. Universities don't cater much to English-speaking students because there simply aren't enough. Even at graduate level there are not many students from outside Asia and you would probably end up doing a lot of paperwork in Japanese even if the course is taught in English.

If by your own research you manage to find a university that offers your subject in English, go ahead and apply. But I find it extremely doubtful that you will. Most countries don't offer undergraduate courses in anything other than the local language, even in places where the majority of people can speak decent English, so I really don't understand why you'd be surprised by this.
 

H.Matthews

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I fully understand what your saying. What I am trying to say is that I have self taught myself Japanese for a will and haven't taken a proficiency test. I could be at intermediate level but, I am concerned about getting into a program after completion of the preliminary year. If MEXT deems my language ability as upper intermediate after I am done the course, that still won't get me into university. So my question is, if this were to happen would MEXT be able to place me in a degree in English in Japan? I've been trying to say this, I guess I seemed to have worded it wrong,
 

madphysicist

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Okay, from your first post it really sounded like you had never studied Japanese before and had just decided to start now. If you're already at an intermediate level, it's a different matter.

I still think it's very unlikely you'll be able to transfer credits and therefore I would suggest you complete your current degree and continue studying Japanese, then apply for the graduate scholarship. Especially if you already have a good scholarship at the moment - do you really want to throw that away? I don't understand your reasons for wanting to apply for the undergraduate scholarship at all.

But if you really want to apply for it, my suggestions are:
- Search for universities that offer your degree subject in English just in case they exist
- Check out the degrees in Japanese also to see whether they're really what you want
- Have a look at the JLPT (or another Japanese test) sample papers to estimate your Japanese ability on a scale that others will recognise. Or at least try to quantify your ability by which textbooks you have finished.
- Contact the embassy to ask about what kind of Japanese level they expect from applicants and whether it might be possible to transfer credits.

I am not very familiar with the undergraduate scholarship. We have a specific thread for it on this forum, you could try asking people there (they rarely venture outside that thread). But I think it is really better to direct these questions to the embassy if you can't find the answer in the application guidelines.

EDIT: I realise I didn't exactly answer your question. But if an English degree course for your subject doesn't exist, then of course MEXT can't place you there. Therefore you should first research by yourself whether one actually exists.
 
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John Achanya

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I'll be taking the mext scholarship exam in 1 Monday and a half day from now and I don't have solid understanding of d kind of math questions they ask... So Please how can I study for the mext scholarship math B section if I want to score 90% plus in it???
 

JeSsIcAc

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I'm a high school student from Canada. There are still 2 more years until I can apply for the undergraduate scholarship but I thought it would be better if I know about some questions I have beforehand. I also plan to choose a major that is science related.

1. When do you have to graduate from high school in order to be eligible to sign up? I plan on graduating a semester early which is near the end of January for me. So say if I sign up for the 2018 scholarship, can I still sign up even though I graduate January 2018?
2. I can't really practice for the exams yet since I haven't learned everything in school but I heard the math exam is really hard? What are some good ways to prepare for the exams? (other than doing previous exams) or is that the only way?
3. I've studied Japanese for several years now and I believe I can get N2 or maybe N1 by the time I graduate high school. Will that increase the chances for me to be chosen?
 
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