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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Japanese Government Scholarships (Monbukagakusho Scholarships)

There are many scholarships offered to students from all over the world under the Japanese Government’s policy to increase the number of foreign students in Japan. Up till last year (2005), there has been a total of 121,812 foreign students studying in Japan, Out of the total, 9,891 students are sponsored by Japanese government, 1,903 students are sponsored by own countries and the rest are private students(110,018). The top 5 countries represented in terms of the number of students are China (80,592), Korea (15,606), Taiwan (4,134), Malaysia (2,114), and Vietnam (1,745).

There are many kinds of Monbusho scholarships, but I will only talk about the undergraduate one here. Since I will talk about my experience, there may have been some changes recently regarding the application process.

I was a Form 6 (upper 6 on year 2003) student in Chung Ling High School in Penang. In March 2003, I sent in my application form for the year 2004 scholarship. I chose natural science A, and the courses that I selected were Physics, Mathematics, and mechanical engineering. A few weeks later, I received a letter informing me to sit for the UNDERGRADUATE WRITTEN EXAMINATION in May 2003.

On that day, there are 5 exam papers (For current info about the exams, please refer to the scholarship website): ENGLISH LANGUAGE, MATHEMATICS B, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS, JAPANESE LANGUAGE. There was a lunch break (lunch is not provided) in the middle and the Japanese Language test (3 hours) was given only for reference. You can leave the papers after filling our particulars on the answer sheets. Also, you are not allowed to bring in your calculator during the examinations.

After around a month, I received a letter informing me that I had been selected to attend an interview at the Japan Information Service, Embassy of Japan in mid-July 2003. During the interview, there were 3 people each from First secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Public Services Department and Ministry of Education. What I did was I tried to impress the interviewers by showing my interest in learning a new language, learning about cultures in Japan, etc. During the interview, they will ask why you chose Japan but not other countries like US, UK, etc. Also, they will also ask about the reasons you chose your particular major, what you want to do in the future, how you want to help develop Malaysia with the skills you will acquire in Japan, what you know about Japan, etc. If you are short listed after that interview, you will receive another letter in 1 or 2 weeks telling you that you have been nominated for the scholarship and asking you to submit a health certificate. The deadline for it is shortly after that, so please be prepared if you had been selected for the interview.

After submitting the Health Certificate, you have to wait until the next year.

In Feb 2004, I received a letter informing me that I was selected to pursue my studies in Japan. (Around 4 students will be selected for it) Then, I wrote a letter of acceptance, signed the PLEDGE and submitted them to the embassy.

Depending on your course, you will have Japanese language studies for the first year in either Osaka University of Foreign Studies or Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Don’t worry about feeling lost or lonely because there will be seniors welcoming you on your 1st day in Japan. (You will meet me if you were chosen to Osaka)

Terms of the scholarship
Believe it or not, there is no bond for this scholarship! Also you will get one return ticket to Japan for the duration of your course and also 135,000 yen per month as allowance.

Now, I would like to talk about the academics there.

In the language school, there are 2 semesters: spring and autumn. For the 1st semester, you will learn grammar, listening, writing, comprehension, Chinese character (kanji), and things about Japan. For the science stream, physics, mathematics, chemistry will be taught while for the arts stream, history, economics, and mathematics will be taught.

There will be a trial exam (1) in June, summer holiday in August, 1st semester exam (2) in September, 1st exam (3) in 2nd semester in November, winter holiday in December and a final exam (4) in Feb the next year. There are 10 papers (9 subjects stated above + speech in Japanese) in each exam. Among them, the most important one is in November. Based on your results for the (1), (2), (3) exams, you can select up to 6 universities for the next year’s spring admission. Of course students with excellent results can choose universities in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, but students with average results will not have a chance to go there. (There are more than 500 universities in Japan)

After making your 6 choices, you can return to Malaysia to tell your family and friends about your experience in Japan. One week after you return to Japan, you will find out which university accepted you and depending on the university, you might have to attend an interview or sit for an entrance examination. Usually, only Kyoto University will ask you to sit for the entrance examination. The purpose of the interview is to make sure of who you are, and to find out more about you. They won’t normally fail you. But for the entrance examination, it is really DANGEROUS! If you fail the exam, you will have to go to a 2nd class university in Japan.

I think that’s all that is required to know apply for the scholarship. You can contact me through siangnet at hotmail dot com if you are still unclear about what I have said.

For more detailed information about my life in Japan, read my next article, Life in Japan.


by Khaw Kim Siang
--------------------------

Khaw Kim Siang is currently studying science in Kyoto University. His main interests are in physics, mathematics, history, languages, music, traveling, movies, and games. He also enjoys visiting universities and has visited numerous universities in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Korea. In Kyoto Uni, he is actively involved in the Committee of Science Faculty, and Committee of Kyoto International Student House. He is also a member of MSAJ (Malaysian Student Association of Japan).

Relevant Links

http://www.my.emb-japan.go.jp/EN/Press_Release/2006/scholarship02_2006.htm

Go East Young Man at http://educationmalaysia.blogspot.com

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dun really understand about the undergraduate written exam.. What kind of questions did they ask for Maths,English and Japanese Language tests? and can a non-bumi apply for this scholarship? :-\ Sorry for the trouble..

1:42 AM

 
Anonymous kim siang said...

The level of the written is in between spm and stpm.For chemistry,they will put the emphasis on organic chemistry.
For undergraduate course,none of the bumiputera is under this scholarship.Only chinese if i am not mistaken.(year2002-3students,2003-3,2004-4,2005-4,2006-7)Because this is result(not spm,stpm,but the examination they give) and interview based.

11:39 AM

 
Blogger Roy Koo said...

can a SPM graduate like me to apply for this scholarship?

10:51 PM

 
Blogger enghan said...

Roy Koo: Try the first link listed under relevant links.

12:27 AM

 
Blogger Holmes said...

Hello, i am now facing some problem in my application of this scholarship, can u pls help me?
I am a biology student(upper 6 in 2006).
Do i need to mention that i am taking form 6 now (i still not yet take my STPM)?

8:43 PM

 
Anonymous kim siang said...

yes,you have to mention that you will sit for the STPM this year.I did the same thing last time.

4:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!

I need to ask u a favour.

Can u post the Q's that have been asked during your written examination or the syllabus of the Q's.

Thanx.

8:01 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

135,000 yen per month as allowance , is it enough? thanks in advance

11:19 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

135,000 yen per month as allowance , is it enough? thanks in advance

11:20 AM

 
Anonymous kim siang said...

oh,sorry.I dun remember the questions now.The scholarship has changed to 134,000 per month now.yes,it is enough.

10:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kim,

When do they actually informed us about the shortlisted applicants(what abt u?)

do they call us or send a mail?

need help coz it's almost half a month since the deadline.

thnx

3:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another thing, Im actually an SPM leaver
so do I stand a chance to secure the schol's?
again,
thnx

3:18 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

I received the letter for notification of written examination on 1st May 2003(during my uppper 6).The exam was held on 11 May 2003.
You can get the scholarship provided that u can do better than those STPM,A level,or University students(some 1st year students r actually applying for it every year).

11:12 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

I received the letter for notification of written examination on 1st May 2003(during my uppper 6).The exam was held on 11 May 2003.
You can get the scholarship provided that u can do better than those STPM,A level,or University students(some 1st year students r actually applying for it every year).

11:13 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

I received the letter for notification of written examination on 1st May 2003(during my uppper 6).The exam was held on 11 May 2003.
You can get the scholarship provided that u can do better than those STPM,A level,or University students(some 1st year students r actually applying for it every year).

11:13 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

visit http://www.studyjapan.go.jp/en/toj/toj0302e.html
for the past year paper.

2:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a SPM leaver and I applied this scholarship. I got the letter to attend the written test which will be held on 29th of April. I wonder why we are not allow to take in calculators... I wonder how difficult was the maths test? And does the test require us to write essays?

9:21 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

About the math paper,calculator is not needed.In japan,they emphasis on the power of calculation.Although they are very advanced in science,i dont see them using calculator in class.Maybe you can say they don't know how to use.or not get used to it.Hence,they do every calculation using brain + pencil.That's why their math level is great.
No essay writting is required.

9:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Kim Siang,

I applied the Monbusho Scholarship for postgraduate and have been summoned to sit for English language test next Sunday.

Do you know what kind of test is this? And how will people usually prepare themselves?

8:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Kim Siang,

I applied the Monbusho scholarship for postgraduate and have been summmoned to sit for English language test next Sunday.

Do you know what kind of test is this? And how people will usually prepare for it?

8:59 PM

 
Anonymous kimsiang said...

It should be 50 objective questions if the format is still the same.(I heard it from my seniors)Normally they didnt prepare for it because there's no way to prepare.Just do it using your english power.

12:57 AM

 

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