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Thread: MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship

  1. #1
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California

    MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    Hey there everyone,

    I was just wondering if any of you have received the MEXT Japanese Studies Scholarship in the past or if you could point me in the direction of statistics concerning how many people apply per year vs how many receive the award.

    I'm coming from the U.S. and I'm currently waiting to hear back (in August) about whether or not I'm officially accepted. Is anyone else currently doing the same?

    Just trying to figure out what my odds are^^;
  2. #2
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Mar 9, 2009
    Location Utrecht
    Posts 29
    Netherlands
    There's like this one big thread with MEXT in the title, you can't miss it... (you're not supposed to miss it actually)
  3. #3
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California
    I'm aware that such a thread or threads exist, but each that I've encountered deal primarily (if not solely) with the Research Student Scholarship or Undergraduate Studies Scholarship. Neither of those types of threads addressed my concerns, so I thought it justified to begin this thread.

    If you could direct me to a portion of any thread that does directly relate to the Japanese Studies variety of the MEXT scholarship, I would really appreciate it. I looked through them as best I could and found nothing that helped to answer the question I asked above.
  4. #4
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    I'm aware that such a thread or threads exist, but each that I've encountered deal primarily (if not solely) with the Research Student Scholarship or Undergraduate Studies Scholarship. Neither of those types of threads addressed my concerns, so I thought it justified to begin this thread.

    If you could direct me to a portion of any thread that does directly relate to the Japanese Studies variety of the MEXT scholarship, I would really appreciate it. I looked through them as best I could and found nothing that helped to answer the question I asked above.
    Hey Acryllous, I've applied and waiting for the final screening result in August as well.
    In Sweden, there's an average of 5 students getting the scholarship every year.
    2 years ago 7 students, last year 6 and this year we are 8 students who have recieved the recommendation and awaiting answer.
  5. #5
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California
    Hey Acryllous, I've applied and waiting for the final screening result in August as well.
    In Sweden, there's an average of 5 students getting the scholarship every year.
    2 years ago 7 students, last year 6 and this year we are 8 students who have recieved the recommendation and awaiting answer.
    Thank you for replying Wingu. Good luck with getting the scholarship this year! May I ask where you found those numbers? I'd be interested in seeing the same info for the U.S.
  6. #6
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Thank you for replying Wingu. Good luck with getting the scholarship this year! May I ask where you found those numbers? I'd be interested in seeing the same info for the U.S.
    Hi! Thank you, good luck to you as well! I was told by others who recieved this scholarship that if you have the recommendation, you will most certainly recieve the scholarship. Let's hope that's true! As far as I know, only one has been turned down after a recommendation and that was like 10 years ago. So I think we should be looking at it as positive as possible!

    The numbers I've gotten are from the Embassy itself. It says on their homepage that an average of 5 people gets it every year. I know a few people who recieved this scholarship and my teachers do to. One of my friends is at Kyoudai at the moment and he told me that last year they were 6 who were recommended, and all of them got the scholarship.

    It should be noted, however, that Sweden is very small compared to the US in both size and population. Only students at three of all the universities here are eligible for this scholarship. You can also only do the test in Stockholm, thus making it a pain in the *** for some of the people to travel such a long way to write it. This year, we were 30 people who took the exam. Last year it was even fewer.

    You could try to ask the Japanese embassy in the US. They will most likely be able to answer your questions.
  7. #7
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California
    Thanks for the info! I'll definitely give my embassy a call tomorrow.

    I think the situation is probably somewhat different in the U.S. since we have multiple consulates to which we can apply and likely a larger applicant pool. I'll try to stay positive about it all the same though :P

    By the way, have you taken any levels of the JLPT before? I'm curious where I stand in comparison to you and your fellow candidates in Sweden.
  8. #8
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Yeah, that's true. The pool would be a lot bigger.

    I've never taken the JLPT. From what I understand, the written test for this scholarship is something like a mix of level 2 and level 1 of the old system. So if you pass the screening, it means you're up there in the top at least.

    By the way, how was the interview part where you live?
    Here, it was mostly English. The "serious" questions about the application, motivation and such were in English, while the more relaxed ones were in Japanese.

    Edit: I found out on the homepage of the Japanese embassy in the UK that they only have a maximum of four scholarships each year. This is quite weird though, since:

    1. We were told that there's no minimum or maximum number of scholarships for each country.
    For an example: Country A has 10 students and country B has 6 students recommended. Since each student is competing with everyone else in the world for a scholarship (including amongst themselves), it might be that all the students in country A will get a scholarship, but none in country B because they weren't good enough (even though they passed the first screening). OR, all the 6 students from country B gets the scholarship, while only 4 students from country A recieves it.

    2. Sweden's population isn't as big as the UK:s, thus it would seem weird for the embassy in the UK to set a maximum amount which is less than Sweden's average... Or maybe we're just that good ;)

    I also read on studyjapan, that for the fiscal year 2010, a number of 340 new students will recieve the scholarship and I think there are like 80:ish countries on the list, which makes the average 4 per country. But this can of course vary depending on each students results. I'm guessing though that there are much less students applying for this scholarship than for the research scholarship and so on. The research scholarship is planned to be granted to like 4500 new students this year.
    Last edited by Wingu; Jul 9, 2010 at 06:19.
  9. #9
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    I made another post on this forum, but I'll paste it here instead and delete the other one so there doesn't have to be two of the same threads:

    Hello from Sweden!

    This is my first post in these forums and I see that there seem to be a lot of helpful people here.
    Let's rewind to February this year. I applied for the MEXT Japan Studies program scholarship and spent 10-12 hours a day, aside from going to my university everyday, studying Japanese. I wrote the test and it felt like ****. We were about 30 people who took the exam and everyone else felt like how I felt.
    Fortunaly, I got a positive call from the Japanese embassy and was called for an interview.
    And yet again I passed, thus making it through the first screening process.

    I've talked to several other people at my university who says that once you're through the first screening, you're practically guaranteed a scholarship. Now, I know this sounds too good to be true. However, as I understand it, it seems to be "easier" to recieve a Japan Studies scholarship than any of the other scholarships they have. Since this scholarship requires you to study full-time Japanese at a university, while the other scholarships can be granted to students at all other programs.
    Now, I've talked to a person at the embassy and she told me that there are no guaranteed spots for each country, but it's an individual race where each and everyone competes with their written tests, interview results and application they wrote. I'm curious, how many people each year recieve this scholarship in your country?
    The average here in Sweden is 5 people per year. Two years ago there were 7, last year 6... This year, there are 8 (including myself) whom were recommended.

    I'm currently waiting anxiously for the final results from the embassy, which they told me would come at earliest in the end of July, or as it normally would by the middle of August.
    I'm curious why it takes half a year before the final answer comes.
    I'm thinking that maybe it's because the universities don't know how many spots will be open yet.

    Oh and yes, since Japan is now having a hard time economical wise, have anyone heard anything about fewer scholarship spots? Or was it just the amount of the scholarship money they reduced?
  10. #10
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Acryllous,

    Did you call the embassy? What did they say?

    Also, do you know anything about insurances? Does the scholarship include something like health insurance or something?
  11. #11
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California
    Acryllous,

    Did you call the embassy? What did they say?

    Also, do you know anything about insurances? Does the scholarship include something like health insurance or something?
    Hey!

    Yeah I did call them yesterday, but the woman in charge of the scholarships didn't offer me any statistics except that each consulate in the U.S. recommends 1-3 candidates on average. I asked her if a recommendation ensured a high likelihood of making it into the program and she said 'yes and no,' whatever that means...^^; She did say though that everyone in the world who applied is basically in competition with one another, so I guess no country has a actual quota. Maybe.

    As for insurance, I'm fairly certain that I read somewhere that we will be under some insurance plan while we are studying abroad. I think it doesn't include insurance for pre-existing conditions though :P Either that, or my imagination is working awfully well today.

    Oh and back to your previous question about the interview, mine was conducted ENTIRELY in English. They didn't ask me a single question in Japanese, which is odd because the interviewee before me told me they asked him a lot of questions in Japanese. I did talk a lot though, so maybe we ran out of time?

    I've been doing more research online about what people have actually been on this scholarship, and many of them seem to be at a level of proficiency somewhat above my own. I'm sure I could do well if given the opportunity, but it makes me a little worried since I didn't exactly 'destroy' the consulate administered exam. Did they tell you what you scored on yours?
  12. #12
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Hey!
    Yeah I did call them yesterday, but the woman in charge of the scholarships didn't offer me any statistics except that each consulate in the U.S. recommends 1-3 candidates on average. I asked her if a recommendation ensured a high likelihood of making it into the program and she said 'yes and no,' whatever that means...^^; She did say though that everyone in the world who applied is basically in competition with one another, so I guess no country has a actual quota. Maybe.
    As for insurance, I'm fairly certain that I read somewhere that we will be under some insurance plan while we are studying abroad. I think it doesn't include insurance for pre-existing conditions though :P Either that, or my imagination is working awfully well today.
    Oh and back to your previous question about the interview, mine was conducted ENTIRELY in English. They didn't ask me a single question in Japanese, which is odd because the interviewee before me told me they asked him a lot of questions in Japanese. I did talk a lot though, so maybe we ran out of time?
    I've been doing more research online about what people have actually been on this scholarship, and many of them seem to be at a level of proficiency somewhat above my own. I'm sure I could do well if given the opportunity, but it makes me a little worried since I didn't exactly 'destroy' the consulate administered exam. Did they tell you what you scored on yours?

    Yeah, as the coordinator in my country said as well, there's no fixed quota.
    She also told me that there's no guarantee whatsoever of recieving the scholarship. Just that you're in the game and competing against other people.

    Hm, I see. I have to check out that insurance issue. Maybe give the embassy a call. It would be nice to have some stuff sorted out if I were to recieve the scholarship. I heard that in 2008, 4 people here recieved the scholarship and they had one week to prepare before they had to leave for Japan.

    The interview usually last 15-20 minutes. Mine was around 15 I think.
    Apparently, they changed routines thsi year. I don't know about last year, but before they let the interviewee do all the talking. This year, they asked the questions and we answered them.

    As for the level of Japanese, I think it's pretty high. The test was fairly hard in my opinion. I know one guy who got a good score on the test, while the rest of us didn't get that much praise. I don't know what score I got though, they wouldn't tell us. But I'm guessing you'll have to have a certain amount of points in order to pass the exam and advance to the interview.
  13. #13
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    God, I'm not liking this waiting time...
    Time moves too slow right now, I think. Usually I don't want it to move at all, but now... >_>
  14. #14
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Jul 24, 2010
    Posts 3
    USA - Washington
    Hi, this is my first comment so I'm not entirely sure if I'm doing this correctly, but I was wondering about the Japanese exam. Is the exam similar to the 2010 exam where there is no hiragana written above the kanji or is it like the previous years where there is hiragana written above the kanji?
  15. #15
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Are you going for the Japanese studies Scholarship?
    For the Japanese studies scholarship, it is required of you to have good knowledge of the language.
    I remember though, that there were some words with furigana above the kanji, while others had not.
  16. #16
    世にも奇妙な物語 Female
    Join Date Jul 21, 2009
    Posts 145
    Japan-Kanagawa
    I wouldn't worry about the insurance. Every time I've come here for an extended stay, I've enrolled in the national health insurance which covers just about everything. My premium is only 14 USD per month. ^_^

    And yeah, if you get the embassy recommendation, you're more or less a confirmed recipient. I only know of a few people (as in, two or three out of dozens) who got turned down at the last second, but it's extremely rare. And don't worry about stipend cuts too much. Everyone was freaking out about that up until April this year, when the announced stipend turned out to be pretty much exactly the same as the previous year. The biggest cut I know of was two years ago, when it dropped by 200 USD.
  17. #17
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    I wouldn't worry about the insurance. Every time I've come here for an extended stay, I've enrolled in the national health insurance which covers just about everything. My premium is only 14 USD per month. ^_^

    And yeah, if you get the embassy recommendation, you're more or less a confirmed recipient. I only know of a few people (as in, two or three out of dozens) who got turned down at the last second, but it's extremely rare. And don't worry about stipend cuts too much. Everyone was freaking out about that up until April this year, when the announced stipend turned out to be pretty much exactly the same as the previous year. The biggest cut I know of was two years ago, when it dropped by 200 USD.
    Hey akaitsume, thanks for the reply!

    Ah I see. The national health insurance you speak of, is it something you get once you arrive in Japan? 14 USD per month is cheap... Sounds almost too good to be true if it covers everything O_O

    Ah cool beans! Even though people keep telling me that "once you've gotten the recommendation you're good to go", I'm still nervous as hell, lol. We should get an answer next week or the week after that.

    As for the stipend, I don't care if they cut it even more. I think 125 000 yen per month is a lot of money. As long as I can go to Japan, I'm happy.

    Which scholarship did you recieve?

    Regards /W
  18. #18
    世にも奇妙な物語 Female
    Join Date Jul 21, 2009
    Posts 145
    Japan-Kanagawa
    Hey akaitsume, thanks for the reply!
    Ah I see. The national health insurance you speak of, is it something you get once you arrive in Japan? 14 USD per month is cheap... Sounds almost too good to be true if it covers everything O_O
    Ah cool beans! Even though people keep telling me that "once you've gotten the recommendation you're good to go", I'm still nervous as hell, lol. We should get an answer next week or the week after that.
    As for the stipend, I don't care if they cut it even more. I think 125 000 yen per month is a lot of money. As long as I can go to Japan, I'm happy.
    Which scholarship did you recieve?
    Regards /W
    I got the research student scholarship. ^_^ But yeah, only 14 bucks a month, and it's pretty comprehensive. You sign up right after you get here. As an undergrad, I think my premium was only 11 bucks, and yeah, it covers a lot. About 70% of costs, if I remember correctly, and you can get a supplement that'll bring the total covered to between 80 and 90% of health costs. Add to that the fact that doctor's visits and medicine are typically very cheap here... Well, let's just say that I was determined not to get sick until after I crossed the pond. XD
  19. #19
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    But what about other things such as burglary?
  20. #20
    後輩 Female
    Join Date Jul 24, 2010
    Posts 3
    USA - Washington
    I applied for the undergraduate scholarship, I understand that its obviously important to have some kind of knowledge and background of Japanese before you start the program but theres a one year intensive training course where you would learn to read and speak fluently. I can read hiragana and katakana and some kanji, and I can speak Japanese fairly well but when I looked at the test from last year most of it was in kanji and it was extremely difficult compared to the years prior which had hiragana written over the kanji so I was just wondering if the test this year was similar to last year's test.
  21. #21
    世にも奇妙な物語 Female
    Join Date Jul 21, 2009
    Posts 145
    Japan-Kanagawa
    But what about other things such as burglary?
    Burglary? Here? The crime rate is so low here it's not even funny. I've forgotten my purse in a restaurant in plain sight only to go back a half hour later and have it handed to me with everything still inside.
  22. #22
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Yes, I do know that the crime are is low, however there's also a possibility. Things can get pretty expensive if there's a worst case scenario.

    Do I have to mention Murphy's Law?
    Last edited by Wingu; Jul 25, 2010 at 18:43.
  23. #23
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    Hm, apparently a guy in the same class as me who were recommended as well recieved an e-mail last week from Nanzan University. They asked which type of apartment he wanted. I've yet to recieve such e-mail so I'm starting to get worried >_>
  24. #24
    後輩 Male
    Join Date May 10, 2010
    Posts 13
    USA - California
    try not to let it worry you too much ^^; i'm sure not all universities are operating at the same speed as every other. perhaps nanzan is ahead of the others in terms of coming to a final decision/contacting its recipients. either that, or we may both be in the cold this time :P is your classmate especially skilled in japanese? i really wonder how the final stage applicants compare with one another.

    hopefully his news means that we'll be hearing ours before long. i'd really appreciate not waiting til the end of august^^; anyways, good luck my friend. let me know what develops.
  25. #25
    先輩 Male
    Join Date Jul 7, 2010
    Posts 36
    Sweden
    I talked to different Swedes who recieved this kind of mail from the University. A guy who went to Osaka got his one early as well, also a friend who's studying att Kyoto University right now got one early as well.
    However, another friend of mine who went to Sophia University in Tokyo recieved his letter about the apartment 2 days before he left for Japan, so it would seem that it varies :P

    Yeah, he's very skilled in Japanese. He doesn't talk much unless spoken to, but he got a really high score on the screening test apparently!

    Yeap, I'm hoping we don't have to wait for too long either. Good luck to you too!
    Maybe we'll even see each other in Japan. Speaking of which, which universities did you apply to?

    Cheers.
    /W
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