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SILS and FLA applicant!

EllieK

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Hi, I'm a student in the US taking a gap semester after graduating this May.

I'm in the middle of filling out my applications for the SILS (Waseda) and FLA (Sophia) programs and stumbled upon this forum, so I decided to ask some of the questions I have because I don't know where else to get help from :cry: I saw a few of the previous threads by other applicants, but they looked like they haven't been active in a while so I'm starting a new one.
Basically, I'm worried about my chances because I have a terrible high school GPA. Part of it is because I was way too stressed and couldn't keep up with the curriculum (I moved to a new school after 10th grade), but another was due to my test anxiety. This led to me getting bad grades in math and science courses (chemistry, algebra, etc.) -- which is why my GPA sucks. I got decent marks in everything else (Spanish, history, philosophy, etc.) but unfortunately my couple of low scores really brought everything down.
tl;dr -- Do you guys think that SILS and FLA will kick me out of the applicant pool right off the bat because of my GPA alone? I'm feeling good about my essays, scores (SAT, SAT II, TOEFL), and EC's (internships, volunteer work, etc.) so I wanted to count on those to help me. I actually originally applied to some schools here (US) and got accepted into several of the reach schools my counselor said were too competitive for me (but then I decided to take a short break and declined my admissions offers)...is this a good sign? :unsure:

(Sorry for rambling, by the way. I'm beyond nervous because I was thinking positively until I talked to a consultant who straight-out told me "You don't stand a chance if your GPA is lower than the 3.5 - 3.6 range. Try some other schools and don't expect any acceptances from Waseda or Sophia.", and that honestly made me feel really crappy.)
 

EllieK

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Just to be clear, my grades are a mixture of A's and B's for Spanish, history, etc. and C's and occasional D's (gasp! I know it's bad, but I can't change it now.) in math and science classes. For example:

~ 9th grade
American Literature: A-, A
World History: B+, B-
Geometry: C, D

~ 10th grade
British Literature: B, B
Geography: B, B
Algebra II: C, D

~ 11th grade (moved to new school in different state)
AP Psychology: B, B
AP Language & Composition: B, B
Algebra II & Trigonometry: C, C

~12th grade
Journalism: A+ (semester course)
Cultural Studies: A (semester course)
Chemistry: C, C
AP Statistics: D, D

--

I'm sure everyone gets the picture now, so yeah -- will my grades affect me a lot?
 

hojoojoh

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If you have the time and money (for the application fees) then of course go for it!

If anything, getting a clear rejection on the basis of your whole application is better than taking yourself out of the running and forever wondering about all the questions listed in your post.

Give it a shot - seems like you've got plenty of other opportunities and time left so why not?

EDIT: I say this quick comment before getting into the real nitty-gritty of all the details because if you are gonna walk at this stage you will save not only yourself but some of us some time. If you want to apply, however, it sounds like you've got nothing to lose. About all those details, maybe someone who has been accepted to those programmes can give some specific guidance.

Good luck
 

EllieK

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If you have the time and money (for the application fees) then of course go for it!

If anything, getting a clear rejection on the basis of your whole application is better than taking yourself out of the running and forever wondering about all the questions listed in your post.

Give it a shot - seems like you've got plenty of other opportunities and time left so why not?

EDIT: I say this quick comment before getting into the real nitty-gritty of all the details because if you are gonna walk at this stage you will save not only yourself but some of us some time. If you want to apply, however, it sounds like you've got nothing to lose. About all those details, maybe someone who has been accepted to those programmes can give some specific guidance.

Good luck
Thanks! I'm editing my essays a bit more and am planning on sending the applications out sometime next week. I'm hoping I can get some good news soon (even a conditional offer would be great!) :joyful:
 

Lawrence1

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Thanks! I'm editing my essays a bit more and am planning on sending the applications out sometime next week. I'm hoping I can get some good news soon (even a conditional offer would be great!) :joyful:
Hey. Yeah, if your GPA is above a 3.0 you will okay but there is a serious concern on whether you will get a scholarship. If that is no problem for you, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. But I can't say for sure what will happen. As an alternative, I found a very interesting program at the University of Tokyo that I have never see before in any other Japanese university. It is a basically a opportunity for an undergraduate to transfer after two years at any accredited 4 year school overseas and complete their bachelor at the University of Tokyo. This is just an alternative and it is nice since they give all students accepted a scholarship but you will need to spend two years at an accredited 4 year school overseas and then apply. Of course in order to stand a chance for this program you need a very good university GPA but it is a new start. Here is some information about the "Global Science Course (GSC): Undergraduate Transfer Program" :
Undergraduate Programs in English (PEAK and GSC) | The University of Tokyo
 
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EllieK

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Hey. Yeah, if your GPA is above a 3.0 you will okay but there is a serious concern on whether you will get a scholarship. If that is no problem for you, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. But I can't say for sure what will happen. As an alternative, I found a very interesting program at the University of Tokyo that I have never see before in any other Japanese university. It is a basically a opportunity for an undergraduate to transfer after two years at any accredited 4 year school overseas and complete their bachelor at the University of Tokyo. This is just an alternative and it is nice since they give all students accepted a scholarship but you will need to spend two years at an accredited 4 year school overseas and then apply. Of course in order to stand a chance for this program you need a very good university GPA but it is a new start. Here is some information about the "Global Science Course (GSC): Undergraduate Transfer Program" :
Undergraduate Programs in English (PEAK and GSC) | The University of Tokyo
Wow, I didn't know about that program! I wasn't even thinking about the U of Tokyo because it just seemed really hard to get into (not that Waseda and Sophia are easy!) -- I'll look into that sometime. :thumbsup:

As for scholarships, I don't need one (and so will not be applying for them). Would this help/affect my admissions decision? I know that some American universities take your financial background into consideration before accepting/rejecting you, but I don't know if that's the case with Japanese ones.
 

Lawrence1

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Wow, I didn't know about that program! I wasn't even thinking about the U of Tokyo because it just seemed really hard to get into (not that Waseda and Sophia are easy!) -- I'll look into that sometime. :thumbsup:

As for scholarships, I don't need one (and so will not be applying for them). Would this help/affect my admissions decision? I know that some American universities take your financial background into consideration before accepting/rejecting you, but I don't know if that's the case with Japanese ones.
If you can cover the tuition costs on your own, then don't worry about it. Japanese universities may take your financial situation into consideration but not in a favorable manor. If you need a scholarship in order to enter and it is clear in the application, they may just outright reject you if they can't award you the scholarship. Since it would be clear that there would be no way for you to go anyway and they want to be selective.

Nice to see someone else from New York interested in going to Japan :)
 

EllieK

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If you can cover the tuition costs on your own, then don't worry about it. Japanese universities may take your financial situation into consideration but not in a favorable manor. If you need a scholarship in order to enter and it is clear in the application, they may just outright reject you if they can't award you the scholarship. Since it would be clear that there would be no way for you to go anyway and they want to be selective.

Nice to see someone else from New York interested in going to Japan :)
I guess that makes sense! It would be silly to pick someone who clearly won't be able to accept the admissions offer.

Random question, but do you know where the "Intended place to apply for visa" (I'm choosing to have Waseda do my COE stuff if I get accepted) should be? I'm back in my hometown (New York) right now, but I actually spent my high school years in an American boarding school overseas. My family live there because of my dad's job, so my permanent address is the one over there. Am I supposed to apply for my visa in New York, or can I go back to where my family is and get it done there?
 

Lawrence1

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I guess that makes sense! It would be silly to pick someone who clearly won't be able to accept the admissions offer.

Random question, but do you know where the "Intended place to apply for visa" (I'm choosing to have Waseda do my COE stuff if I get accepted) should be? I'm back in my hometown (New York) right now, but I actually spent my high school years in an American boarding school overseas. My family live there because of my dad's job, so my permanent address is the one over there. Am I supposed to apply for my visa in New York, or can I go back to where my family is and get it done there?
You do it based on your permanent address or residence (whichever is closer to you). When I got my COE, I went to the Japanese embassy in Manhattan.
 

EllieK

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You do it based on your permanent address or residence (whichever is closer to you). When I got my COE, I went to the Japanese embassy in Manhattan.
Alright! So if my permanent address is in England, I'd just stop by the Japanese embassy closest to my house and get it done there?
 

Lawrence1

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Alright! So if my permanent address is in England, I'd just stop by the Japanese embassy closest to my house and get it done there?
Sorry. I wasn't done. I wanted to show you this FAQ from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Q5: Can I apply for a visa at the nearest Japanese Embassy / Consulate General while traveling in a foreign country?
A5: You can apply for the visa at the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General in your own country (region) or country (region) of residence (if there is more than one, apply to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General nearest from where you live). In other words, you cannot apply for a visa at your travel destination; however, if there are unavoidable circumstances, consult with the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General where you would like to apply for the visa before making the application.
Frequently Asked Questions | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

So it does appear that as long as you have legal residence in England, you should be able to get a visa there.
 

EllieK

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Sorry. I wasn't done. I wanted to show you this FAQ from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Q5: Can I apply for a visa at the nearest Japanese Embassy / Consulate General while traveling in a foreign country?
A5: You can apply for the visa at the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General in your own country (region) or country (region) of residence (if there is more than one, apply to the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General nearest from where you live). In other words, you cannot apply for a visa at your travel destination; however, if there are unavoidable circumstances, consult with the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General where you would like to apply for the visa before making the application

So it does appear that as long as you have legal residence in England, you should be able to get a visa there.
Thanks for the information! One last question -- I'm seriously so sorry for pestering you like this, but none of my friends in Japan are answering my messages right now and I want to get this application sent out tomorrow! -- for the "Home town/country" bit in the COE application, would I write my permanent residence (London, England) or actual, I'm-originally-from-here-and-was-born-here-but-don't-live-here city (NYC)?
 

Lawrence1

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Thanks for the information! One last question -- I'm seriously so sorry for pestering you like this, but none of my friends in Japan are answering my messages right now and I want to get this application sent out tomorrow! -- for the "Home town/country" bit in the COE application, would I write my permanent residence (London, England) or actual, I'm-originally-from-here-and-was-born-here-but-don't-live-here city (NYC)?
Don't worry about asking questions. Most of us in this forum asked much much more during the application process (at least I did, haha). So from what I understand, when my university asked me information about COE, the main concern was for which consulate or embassy I would get my visa in (they should even ask you specifically that question), so if you need to put your permanent address I recommend doing it for the place that are living and will get your visa at.

From the sounds of it, it is a bit ambiguous. As a foreigner another main concern is your nationality so it sounds like it is asking for the country you are a national (citizen) of. If they already asked you that somewhere else, then I guess put your permanent address because it sounds like it can be either.
 

EllieK

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Don't worry about asking questions. Most of us in this forum asked much much more during the application process (at least I did, haha). So from what I understand, when my university asked me information about COE, the main concern was for which consulate or embassy I would get my visa in (they should even ask you specifically that question), so if you need to put your permanent address I recommend doing it for the place that are living and will get your visa at.

From the sounds of it, it is a bit ambiguous. As a foreigner another main concern is your nationality so it sounds like it is asking for the country you are a national (citizen) of. If they already asked you that somewhere else, then I guess put your permanent address because it sounds like it can be either.
Yeah, they asked me for my "Nationality/Region" and "Place of birth" (USA and NYC, respectively) so I was a bit confused as to what they wanted me to write. I mean, I was born in New York but never actually lived here for a long period of time because I was always moving around.

I think I'll just write London -- it's not really wrong, since hometown =/= nationality...right?
 

Lawrence1

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Yeah, they asked me for my "Nationality/Region" and "Place of birth" (USA and NYC, respectively) so I was a bit confused as to what they wanted me to write. I mean, I was born in New York but never actually lived here for a long period of time because I was always moving around.

I think I'll just write London -- it's not really wrong, since hometown =/= nationality...right?
Yeah I think they mean your address. In the COE application by the Ministry of Justice they don't ask for permanent address but "hometown/city".

Honestly, it would be safest to just contact your university to double check. I am not sure how postal order works in england but I doubt the documents will ship on this weekend. If you ship it though DHL is should take less than a week to arrive.
 

EllieK

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Honestly, it would be safest to just contact your university to double check. I am not sure how postal order works in england but I doubt the documents will ship on this weekend. If you ship it though DHL is should take less than a week to arrive.
I'm gonna be shipping from New York since I'm here right now, and the DHL service store near my house is open tomorrow. I mean, they'll be shipping it out on Monday, but I want to get it dropped off as soon as possible.

Also, I called Waseda but for some reason no-one picked up and the automatic message thing started playing. Their contact page says they're open on Saturdays for a limited amount of time, so I don't know why that happened (it's not even noon there!)
 

Lawrence1

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I'm gonna be shipping from New York since I'm here right now, and the DHL service store near my house is open tomorrow. I mean, they'll be shipping it out on Monday, but I want to get it dropped off as soon as possible.

Also, I called Waseda but for some reason no-one picked up and the automatic message thing started playing. Their contact page says they're open on Saturdays for a limited amount of time, so I don't know why that happened (it's not even noon there!)
Well currently it is summer break so maybe that is why. If you really want to ship it off right away, no worries. Whenever I shipped through DHL, it gets there in 2-3 days. You could still email them and wait to see if you get a response when you wake up on monday and then just ship it on monday before noon. I know the feeling of wanting to just get it over with but better to ship it without any mistakes if you are still ahead of the deadline.
 

EllieK

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Well currently it is summer break so maybe that is why. If you really want to ship it off right away, no worries. Whenever I shipped through DHL, it gets there in 2-3 days. You could still email them and wait to see if you get a response when you wake up on monday and then just ship it on monday before noon.
I believe their summer break ended a few days ago! I emailed the office a week ago for something else and got a response a bit later, and they were like "Sorry we didn't reply fast, we were on summer break." :)
 

Lawrence1

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I believe their summer break ended a few days ago! I emailed the office a week ago for something else and got a response a bit later, and they were like "Sorry we didn't reply fast, we were on summer break." :)
Ok. No idea then haha :). If you have any other questions, don't be shy to ask.
 

EllieK

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Ok. No idea then haha :)
I think I'll just go with your advice about calling them up and get the package in on Monday! I just remembered that there's a time difference, so calling them on Sunday here would give me some time to fix my stuff before going to DHL the next day :D
 

EllieK

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Ok. No idea then haha :). If you have any other questions, don't be shy to ask.
Hi! I'm back again with yet another question :embarrased:

I was printing out all my application materials and getting things organised when I noticed that all the printers at the copy shop were using letter-sized paper. This wouldn't have been such a problem for me if I hadn't printed some things out beforehand...but I did, so now I'm stuck with some A4 documents and some letter-sized.

(What I mean is that I printed some forms back in London on A4 paper, came back to New York + continued working on my application, and printed the remaining things on letter-sized paper.)

Will this be a problem in any way? I know that some schools can be really picky with minor details, and I don't want Waseda to take points off for something so small. I know the COE thing has to be done on A4 paper ("The form must be printed on A4 size white paper. The Immigration Bureau of Japan will not accept forms printed on letter-size paper." is what it says in the admissions instructions), but there weren't any specifications for the rest of the application...so I'm really confused. And unnecessarily stressed. And low-key panicking. :cry::confused:
 

Lawrence1

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Hi! I'm back again with yet another question :embarrased:

I was printing out all my application materials and getting things organised when I noticed that all the printers at the copy shop were using letter-sized paper. This wouldn't have been such a problem for me if I hadn't printed some things out beforehand...but I did, so now I'm stuck with some A4 documents and some letter-sized.

(What I mean is that I printed some forms back in London on A4 paper, came back to New York + continued working on my application, and printed the remaining things on letter-sized paper.)

Will this be a problem in any way? I know that some schools can be really picky with minor details, and I don't want Waseda to take points off for something so small. I know the COE thing has to be done on A4 paper ("The form must be printed on A4 size white paper. The Immigration Bureau of Japan will not accept forms printed on letter-size paper." is what it says in the admissions instructions), but there weren't any specifications for the rest of the application...so I'm really confused. And unnecessarily stressed. And low-key panicking. :cry::confused:
Oh. I see. Yeah I was wondering how you managed to get A4 sized paper in the states. I wouldn't worry about it. The safest thing to do would be just reprint everything in A4.

When I applied to todai, my application printed incorrectly nearly 3 times because I kept printing using an A4 setting on my letter sized school printer haha. In end I just printed everything in letter sized.

Since A4 seems difficult to come by in the states (at least I could never find A4 paper anywhere), I think it should be fine to print your entire application in letter size and keep your COE application in A4. The COE application is more for the immigration bureau and not them (in fact todai did the COE application entirely for me. I didn't have to do any application for it at all). I personally wouldn't send an application where, for example, form 1,2,3 are A4 and form 4,5,etc are letter size. For me that wouldn't look so nice. Oh and it would be nice to not staple anything and instead use a paperclip!
 

EllieK

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Oh. I see. Yeah I was wondering how you managed to get A4 sized paper in the states. I wouldn't worry about it. The safest thing to do would be just reprint everything in A4.

When I applied to todai, my application printed incorrectly nearly 3 times because I kept printing using an A4 setting on my letter sized school printer haha. In end I just printed everything in letter sized.

Since A4 seems difficult to come by in the states (at least I could never find A4 paper anywhere), I think it should be fine to print your entire application in letter size and keep your COE application in A4. The COE application is more for the immigration bureau and not them (in fact todai did the COE application entirely for me. I didn't have to do any application for it at all). I personally wouldn't send an application where, for example, form 1,2,3 are A4 and form 4,5,etc are letter size. For me that wouldn't look so nice. Oh and it would be nice to not staple anything and instead use a paperclip!
Yeah, I just called my friend in another state to ask her to print out my stuff and FedEx it to me. :D She has a stock of A4 paper she brought over from home so hopefully that'll solve my problem! Thanks again for always helping me out!
 
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