Finding and applying for scholarship in Japan
The number of international students enrolled in universities in Japan is increasing every year. According to the Japan Student Services Organization, as of May 2016, there are 239,287 international students enrolled in the short-term educational programs. There is an increase by 30,908 persons or 14.8 percent compared with the record last 2015.
If you also want to take up short-term or even long term courses in your dream Japan universities but worried about the cost, consider getting a scholarship. The available scholarships programs changes every year, but you can start off with the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship, the Japan Student Services Organization Scholarship, as well as scholarships offered by local government and international associations, private foundations and scholarships specific to those applicants residing abroad.
Your scholarship options are varied and here are the things you must remember when finding and applying for one.
Tips when applying for a scholarship in Japan
1. Check your eligibility.
Look for a scholarship program you are most eligible for, as most are targeted at the undergraduate and graduate students at universities. Make sure you meet one of the following criteria, as well:
(1) recommended by a Japanese embassy or consulate general (Embassy Recommendation),
(2) recommended by the Japanese university which will accept you (University Recommendation),
(3) selected by the Japanese university in which you are currently enrolled if you are a privately-financed student already studying in Japan (Domestic Selection).
2. Inquire and dig deeper.
Once you find the scholarship you are eligible for, find out more details and contact the school, the government organization or the private institution. Make sure to clarify items in the requirement or applying procedure and verify the deadlines. You can’t miss the important dates.
3. Get ready with paperwork.
You need to be patient and take application forms very seriously. Make sure you have run through and fill it out diligently and completely. Never miss a single detail as this will affect your application and submit it before the deadline together with other necessary documents – your curriculum vitae, student registration certificate, transcript of records, a recommendation from your academic supervisor, and a health certificate, among others.
4. Prepare for the essay letter.
Most applications require an essay and this is your chance to share why you are interested in studying in Japan. You can focus on the reasons why you choose your course and university, how passionate you are about the Japanese culture, what your goals are and how significant is the scholarship program for the realization of your goals, among other things. Feel free to share a personal story and just be honest with your essay. Write it with your heart. However, please refrain from writing any hints that your reason for coming to Japan is to find work solely as this will discourage the immigration officials reviewing your application. Remember that your main reason for coming to Japan is for educational purposes.
5. Know the screening process.
Remember that most of the times, while the screening process is diverse for a particular scholarship program, most are on the basis of documents alone, so make sure you submitted the right documents. Be ready for the written exam and interviews to follow, as well. Take note that some scholarships require a language proficiency test, too.
6. Be ready for the result.
The screening results most of the time are notified to the applicants through email followed with an announcement on the school or foundation’s website. Waiting for the result is actually dreadful as you can’t help but wonder whether you did good enough to be shortlisted in the program or not. The struggle is definitely real. But just be confident and accept whatever the result is with confidence and a brave heart.
Getting a scholarship program suitable for you is a long process that requires not only your patience but your love and passion for learning the Japanese culture, as these will help you keep pushing through.