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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Life in Japan

1000 yen = RM32.03 as of 1 Mar 2006

What I have written about is the system in Osaka. Now, I am going to share with you how I spent my scholarship there.

For my 1st year in Japan, I stayed in the dormitory of OUFS. The rental is 25,900yen per month. In addition, we have to pay insurance costing around 2,000yen per month. For international calls, there is a card called Brastel International calling card. You can reload (each time 2,000yen) it if your credit has finished. If I am not mistaken, the rate of calling back to Malaysia is 15yen per min for fixed phone and 30yen for Mobile phone. But this only applies if you are calling from a fixed-line phone in Japan.

For food, if you cook by your own, it will cost around 300-400yen per meal depending on what you like to eat. Eating outside will cost you about 500-1000yen depending again on the kind of food. There are many types of food in Japan: Western, Japanese, etc. So, please do not worry if you cannot get used to Japanese food. The books here are quite expensive, ranging from 1500-3000yen for a normal textbook in University. However, the electrical appliances here are quite cheap. If you plan to buy a flat screen TV, it costs only around 30,000yen. Also, like Malaysia, there are Bazaars in Japan. You can get many cheap things there. For example, I bought my Play Station (used) there for only 1000yen. And it is still functioning now even though I played it non-stop for 24 hours before.

Transportation here is very expensive (ranked 2nd in the world after Germany), but the buses and trains arrive and depart quite punctually. For a normal bus ride, it will cost you at least 210yen. For the train ride from Osaka to Kyoto, it costs about 450yen. So, I normally use my bicycle and seldom ride on the bus or train. If you want to try the bullet train, from Osaka to Tokyo, it will set you back about 12,000yen (RM384). But it will only take you 2hrs and 40mins.

For girls, I think Japan would be one of the best places for you. There are many shopping malls here and also many SALES waiting for you. If you have good timing, you may get new clothes, pants at around 1000yen (ONLY!!), especially when the season changes.

The air ticket is only provided for your 1st trip to Japan and when you have finished your studies and decide to go back. Hence, you still have to pay on your own when you return to Malaysia during vacation. A return ticket costs about 60000yen (for 21 days) depending on the season and period you want to stay in Malaysia. For those who like to travel, it costs about 50,000yen to the US, 25,000yen to Korea, 80,000-100,000yen to Europe, etc. You may get a cheaper price during promotion periods.

After your undergraduate studies:

Since we are Malaysians, I will talk about what our seniors did after they finished their undergraduate studies. Usually, Malaysians who came here under this scholarship choose engineering as their major. From what I have seen, they tend to continue their studies until masters since they will get a higher pay in a Japanese company (I am not sure but it should be more than 3,000,000yen = RM100,000 per year) and the scholarship for masters is 175,000yen per month. But as I have said, we are free to go anywhere we like. Hence, there have also been seniors who went back to Malaysia after their studies. It is all up to you. But rest assured, I never heard of a mombusho scholar being unemployed.

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; UM, USM, UKM, UTM in Malaysia, NUS, NTU in Singapore, Osaka Uni, Kyoto Uni, Tokyo Uni, OUFS, TUFS in Japan, and SUNG KYUN KWAN University, YONSEI University, EWHA WOMANS University, DONGGUK University in 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).

11 Comments:

Blogger kryptos said...

Hey, Kim Siang. This post is very informative. Thanks!
P/s: Hope that you will write up more articles to share with us about your life as a Japan ryugakusei!

2:26 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I was an STPM student . Do u think it's good to do the non-physics sciences in Japan?
Can i apply for engineering courses if i have biology instead of physics in my STPM?
Thnks..

1:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unfortunately, physics is a must for all engineering courses, even for courses like bioengineering.

10:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi.
Thank you for all the informations in this post.

I do not hope to offense anyone. Will it be an advantage or disadvantage to study in Japanese if a person wish/have to work in a non-Japanese speaking country? Are all the text books written in Japanese?

I've sent the application for the Monbukagakusho scholarship just recently. Hope that I'm not asking silly questions.

Thanks again.

3:04 PM

 
Anonymous kim siang said...

All the textbooks are in japanese.But then,you still can study english books and them answer the reports,exams in japanese.Studies in University level is not like those in secondary school.Since there are many books written for 1 topic/subject,you can search for the 1 which suits you the most.
Since the interview for this scholarship is in english,i think they will choose people with good command in english too.So,if you still learn and improve english during your studies in Japan,it wont be a problem if you want to work in an english speaking environment.Knowing more languages will be an advantage but it depends on how you apply it.

3:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

7:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

7:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

7:52 PM

 
Anonymous Philip Lee said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

7:59 PM

 
Anonymous Philip Lee said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

8:00 PM

 
Anonymous Philip Lee said...

Hi! I am currently working in Japan after receiving a scholarship to do my MBA in Hawaii with a year intensive japanese language training there and a 3 months internship in Tokyo. Would be posting an article on the Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship. But I wanted to add that knowing as many languages as possible while you are young is an edge you will never regret. Being able to speak dialect Cantonese, Hokkien and of course English, Mandarin and with other languages like Japanese will make us an all-rounded specialist to communicate with various countries in the region. In this global world, that has a lot of value.

I am currently working in Tokyo since December 2005. Kim Siang, email me at philchlee@gmail.com if you are heading to Tokyo and I have a network of Malaysians here. I can also guide you in getting a job. When are you graduating? Feel free to visit my blog at http://philchlee.multiply.com

Cheers,
Philip Lee

8:28 PM

 

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