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Some questions pertaining to 2021 MEXT scholarships

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14 May 2021
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Hello, everyone!
I wanted to ask a few questions about the MEXT scholarships that are coming this year.
Right now I live in Venezuela, and I want to apply to an undergraduate scholarship. It seems that any applicant has to pass a chemistry, biology, mathematics, and English test. Well, this depends on the career you choose.
I was thinking about studying either biology or cognitive science. The thing is that, since cognitive science does not appear as a possible career I'll probably have to stick with biology.
Do I have to be fluent in Japanese the time of the application? According to the embassy recommendations, one must be willing to learn Japanese, so it seems that I don't have to be fluent the time I apply. This is a concern because I am barely N5.
Moreover, what are the chances of being accepted for an undergraduate scholarship, given the fact that I am from Venezuela, I'm not fluent in Japanese and I am applying for a natural sciences major?
I would appreciate any help, really. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read these questions!


27 Dec 2003
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Hi Fred and welcome to the forum.

There are two kinds of college programs in Japan; programs that are meant for native speakers of Japanese and programs that are meant for native (or high-level) speakers of English.

Regarding programs that are meant for native speakers of Japanese, these are programs for people born in Japan, speak Japanese fluently, and enter college through the difficult Japanese-language college entrance examination process. The classes are taught in Japanese. Quite frankly, I do not think you have any chance of being admitted to one of these types of programs.

There are a number of universities in Japan with programs for native (or high-level) speakers of English. This is the type of program you would be able to get into and would be successful at. This forum has several westerner-members who have studied at these kinds of programs. As a matter of fact, there are several threads on this forum about these kinds of programs and universities that have these programs.

If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Here is a video of an English-speaking student in such a program at Sophia University in Tokyo.

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