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Nico Ramos

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Hello everyone! I'm new to the forums and so far, I like what I've been seeing.. =) Pretty soon the applications for MEXT 2017 Scholarship will be opening up, so I thought it would be awesome to start a new thread by introducing myself; as well as asking for some advice from people who may be in a similar situation as me. I'm currently a graduate (MA) student in San Francisco, and will be graduating in May 2017. Since there is an option to leave for Japan in October, I think it's alright if I apply this year for the scholarship.

The question I wish to ask is, does anyone know of good MEXT Research Scholarship guides, besides the one by Lars? It doesn't have to be a website, youtube videos are fine with me too.

I tried applying for the scholarship before I got into my current MA program, but unfortunately, I did not receive it. I didn't even make it to the interview round, unlike most of my friends. Therefore, I want to see if I can do something differently this year before I apply. Please and thank you!
 

TranSenz

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Hi Nico,

Are you applying for the Embassy Recommendation or University Recommendation MEXT scholarship?
I've written up a few guides on both forms of the MEXT scholarship based on my experience processing the applications for a Japanese university. If you're interested, you can find them at:
Living in Japan: Government Obligations | TranSenz: Expat Living in Japan

Good luck with your application!
-Travis from TranSenz
 

Nico Ramos

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Wow thank you so much! I'll make sure to look at them ASAP. :)

Hi Nico,

Are you applying for the Embassy Recommendation or University Recommendation MEXT scholarship?
I've written up a few guides on both forms of the MEXT scholarship based on my experience processing the applications for a Japanese university. If you're interested, you can find them at:
Living in Japan: Government Obligations | TranSenz: Expat Living in Japan

Good luck with your application!
-Travis from TranSenz
 

bigT

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Hi there!
I would like to say hello to everyone! I'm sure we'll be talking quite a bit over the next couple of months.

I'm currently finishing up my undergraduate degree in Studio Art (in Canada), and I'll be applying through embassy recommendation route as a Fine Art Research Student.
So far I've been finding really great answers to all my questions, but since I'll be applying for Fine Arts I wonder how I might have to prepare differently.

The 2017 applications haven't opened up yet here either, but I'm excited to see how everything works out! :D

(Oh ps, should this thread perhaps be moved into the "Study in Japan" area of the forums?)
 

hsark

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Hi good luck to everyone hope to making my return to the land of the rising sun in 2017
 

madphysicist

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The question I wish to ask is, does anyone know of good MEXT Research Scholarship guides, besides the one by Lars? It doesn't have to be a website, youtube videos are fine with me too.

I tried applying for the scholarship before I got into my current MA program, but unfortunately, I did not receive it. I didn't even make it to the interview round, unlike most of my friends. Therefore, I want to see if I can do something differently this year before I apply. Please and thank you!
Hi, I am also going to apply at the embassy this year. I would suggest that this should be an embassy thread because there is already one for university recommendation.

Since I have done so much research on the scholarship, I wrote down all the information I have found so far about the embassy recommendation at my blog here (nearly all my sources are linked within the posts):
MEXT research scholarship information and advice | ジョジーナ

The most useful individual sources with regard to the embassy were:
Dave’s Logs » Going to Graduate School in Japan on a Monbushō Scholarship
How to get Monbukagakusho Scholarship | Urban User Experience and Interaction Design
How I got the Monbusho Research Scholarship (Part 1 of 4) | Lars Martinson: Cartoonist

For university recommendation @TranSenz 's guide that he linked above is very detailed and is the best source I've found so far.

Good luck :)
 

yeryoma

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Hi, I am also applying this year. Lets do it guys and gals! good luck to everybody👍
 

Jkwan1809

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Hello~ I feel like a big reason why I was awarded the monbusho scholarship, was because of the assistance freely given on online communities like this one. So, to pay that forward, I've uploaded a research proposal for people to look at to structure their own proposals.

Full disclaimer, the research proposal I have uploaded was part of a failed application for the Monbusho scholarship in 2015, but it's much the same (in terms of its structure, though no subject matter) as the proposal I submitted for 2016, and was accepted upon.
 

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glamette

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Hello~ I feel like a big reason why I was awarded the monbusho scholarship, was because of the assistance freely given on online communities like this one. So, to pay that forward, I've uploaded a research proposal for people to look at to structure their own proposals.

Full disclaimer, the research proposal I have uploaded was part of a failed application for the Monbusho scholarship in 2015, but it's much the same (in terms of its structure, though no subject matter) as the proposal I submitted for 2016, and was accepted upon.
Thank you so much! I'll be applying this year and this is indeed very helpful. You're awesome!
 

madphysicist

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So how's it going guys? Started on your research plans yet? I feel like there must be more people applying.

At my embassy you have to give the placement preferences with your initial application, but I'd advise everyone to start looking for supervisors soon. It can take a while to get a reply. I had wanted to put Todai on my list, but the prof there hasn't been very responsive so far (he said he'd take me if I get the scholarship but nothing detailed about a project yet). However I found a couple of kind profs in Kyoto and Kobe who are helping me with ideas for my research plan.
 

hello7878

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Is anybody else trying to apply for an MBA program, having looked on the university websites to try and find academic advisors, none of them list their email addresses. I did contact Waseda about trying to contact professors to be potential advisors and they replied saying they don't let people contact anyone until the official application process opens to give everyone a fair chance. However on their website it also says its not necessary to get a academic advisor.
Every forum i have read and people i have talked to who were successful applicants emphasise getting in contact with an advisor as soon as possible, but it seems impossible. Has anyone managed to contact a professor yet?
 

madphysicist

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@hello7878
I guess you have already tried googling their names to look for their email? Often email addresses can be found buried in a personal page or some presentation that has been uploaded from a conference. You could also try ringing them up if a phone number is given instead.

When you say the "official application process", do you mean the embassy selection or the application for a letter of acceptance? If it's the former you don't have to wait long, then you can ask Waseda again if you can get hold of the email addresses. Though their "fair chance" excuse sounds like nonsense to me...

Are you looking at other universities too?
 

hello7878

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@hello7878
I guess you have already tried googling their names to look for their email? Often email addresses can be found buried in a personal page or some presentation that has been uploaded from a conference. You could also try ringing them up if a phone number is given instead.

When you say the "official application process", do you mean the embassy selection or the application for a letter of acceptance? If it's the former you don't have to wait long, then you can ask Waseda again if you can get hold of the email addresses. Though their "fair chance" excuse sounds like nonsense to me...

Are you looking at other universities too?
By official application process, i mean when the documents become available on the embassy website, which is also confusing to me as i believe it is difference depending on which country you are from. i have tried googling for emails to no success, but i guess i could try looking for specific presentation ect.

Ive looked at quite a few, however since posting this email i have looked at some universities that i am not interested in and found emails listed, so i might try the direct approach you suggested and ring them up. The UK embassy website says that the application has been changed slightly this year though, so maybe that is why waseda has had a sudden change of heart.
 

MayJay

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Hey all!

I hope I’m not the only one who’s nervous to apply.

I graduated back in December with a BA in Communication Technology (user experience design and research/ web design), and I’m planning to make that the focus of my research (also had a minor in Japanese and I’m about at intermediate level, hoping to pass at least N2 on the JLPT sometime in the near future). I’m really set on applying to the Master’s program in Media Design at Keio University for September 2017. I’ve been at a related internship for almost a year and was a research assistant before I graduated, but I feel like my lack of experience will hurt me. I also graduated with a 3.54/4.0 GPA and it feels like mere peanuts for what I’m shooting for.

Has any found their experience or GPA to help or hurt them in the process? I can read all the guides/advice/example proposals twice over, but I don’t want to feel doomed from the very beginning. The most I feel I have going for me is the noted experience and a couple research papers I've written. Other than that, this feels like I'm going in blind like an adult-impersonating bat.
 
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madphysicist

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@hello7878
and @ everyone else...

I have found one embassy that has put up the documents already, it's Pakistan:
Research scholarship

I assumed before that the UK embassy was just talking about their own internal procedures changing (I'm also applying there). But it seems like there's a new "Attachment" form for embassy application instead of the placement preference form.

Also looking at the guidelines posted there, I'm surprised to see that no health form and no reference are in the list of required documents (see Section 7). I guess the individual embassies can still ask for these as "extras" though.
 

hello7878

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@hello7878
and @ everyone else...

I have found one embassy that has put up the documents already, it's Pakistan:
Research scholarship

I assumed before that the UK embassy was just talking about their own internal procedures changing (I'm also applying there). But it seems like there's a new "Attachment" form for embassy application instead of the placement preference form.

Also looking at the guidelines posted there, I'm surprised to see that no health form and no reference are in the list of required documents (see Section 7). I guess the individual embassies can still ask for these as "extras" though.
I thought it was selecting the 3 universities during the first stage as oppose to the second stage that had changed but either way it doesn't make too much of a difference.
No health form is surprising, probably better to wait for the UK version to be released, but i guess can fill out all the general stuff like past schools ect.
Have you had any luck finding professors to talk to?
 

madphysicist

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I thought it was selecting the 3 universities during the first stage as oppose to the second stage that had changed but either way it doesn't make too much of a difference.
No health form is surprising, probably better to wait for the UK version to be released, but i guess can fill out all the general stuff like past schools ect.
Have you had any luck finding professors to talk to?
I think now all candidates, not just UK, will have to submit this "attachment" with the initial application. But I don't know this for sure.

As I said in my post above, I've had contact with 3 profs. My previous supervisor from a summer project in London suggested 2 of them to me. Didn't have any problem finding their emails. I had to contact them early because I needed a project to write about for the research plan. All 3 have at least said they would accept me if I got the scholarship.

Another thing in the guidelines I've just noticed is that is if I want to transfer from research student to a PhD course in science, there is a time limit of 1 year. I wonder why? All other transfers can be within 2 years.
 

hello7878

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I think now all candidates, not just UK, will have to submit this "attachment" with the initial application. But I don't know this for sure.

As I said in my post above, I've had contact with 3 profs. My previous supervisor from a summer project suggested 2 of them to me. Didn't have any problem finding their emails. I had to contact them early because I needed a project to write about for the research plan. All 3 have at least said they would accept me if I got the scholarship.

Another thing in the guidelines I've just noticed is that is if I want to transfer from research student to a PhD course in science, there is a time limit of 1 year. I wonder why? All other transfers can be within 2 years.
I just contacted another university I'm interested in and they said the same thing as Waseda, not until official application process. Must be a MBa thing, i guess.
The transfer system is confusing, having emailed different universities, it seems to differ case by case. Probably best to ask the universities you are interested in directly.
 

madphysicist

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I just contacted another university I'm interested in and they said the same thing as Waseda, not until official application process. Must be a MBa thing, i guess.
The transfer system is confusing, having emailed different universities, it seems to differ case by case. Probably best to ask the universities you are interested in directly.
I mean that in the guidelines (Section 3) it says:

Application for extension of stay will not be accepted in the following cases:
① Grantee desires to move on to a master’s course in a Natural Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 24th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
② Grantee desires to move on to a master’s course in a Social Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 25th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
③ Grantee desires to move on to a doctoral course in a Natural Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 13th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
④ Grantee desires to move on to a doctoral course in a Social Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 24th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan


I thought I should point this out for other applicants hoping to transfer to a PhD. Of course, when you are able to transfer also depends on whether the entrance exam is available once or twice a year, so it's worth checking this out for your preferred universities.
 

hello7878

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I mean that in the guidelines (Section 3) it says:

Application for extension of stay will not be accepted in the following cases:
① Grantee desires to move on to a master’s course in a Natural Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 24th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
② Grantee desires to move on to a master’s course in a Social Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 25th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
③ Grantee desires to move on to a doctoral course in a Natural Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 13th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan;
④ Grantee desires to move on to a doctoral course in a Social Science field, but is unable to proceed to a regular course by the last day of the 24th month counted from the month of arrival in Japan


I thought I should point this out for other applicants hoping to transfer to a PhD. Of course, when you are able to transfer also depends on whether the entrance exam is available once or twice a year, so it's worth checking this out for your preferred universities.
I see, ye that is a worth pointing out for people.
 

Geminz

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Is anybody else trying to apply for an MBA program, having looked on the university websites to try and find academic advisors, none of them list their email addresses. I did contact Waseda about trying to contact professors to be potential advisors and they replied saying they don't let people contact anyone until the official application process opens to give everyone a fair chance. However on their website it also says its not necessary to get a academic advisor.
Every forum i have read and people i have talked to who were successful applicants emphasise getting in contact with an advisor as soon as possible, but it seems impossible. Has anyone managed to contact a professor yet?
Waseda MBA was my 2nd choice last year (I got my 1st choice, Hitotsubashi). Based on my experience, yup most of the MBA profs are not revealing their email online. I managed to get a couple and emailed them, but the mails were forwarded by the profs to the admission office instead.

Admission office replied that I need NOT to contact prof (as stated on waseda's website) beforehand, and to submit the necessary application documents to Waseda only AFTER I passed the primary screening to request for Letter of Acceptance (LOA). There's no need to seek prof's consent personally.

PS: I got Waseda's LOA in the end, but I wasn't place under my desired prof, and the prof I was assigned to, is in a different field from my research area.
 

madphysicist

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@MayJay
I don't want your question to be ignored, but the thing is usually the embassy will not give reasons for why they did or didn't select a candidate, so most people won't know what their weak points were.

Whether your particular grades and experience are enough depends not only on which embassy you apply to, but also who else happens to apply that year. The field of candidates might be particularly strong or weak this year at your embassy.

If you really want to study in Japan, I think you should try regardless. If you already have experience and a couple of research papers, and on top of that speak a decent amount of Japanese, it seems like you have as good a chance as anyone.
 

madphysicist

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Admission office replied that I need NOT to contact prof (as stated on waseda's website) beforehand, and to submit the necessary application documents to Waseda only AFTER I passed the primary screening to request for Letter of Acceptance (LOA). There's no need to seek prof's consent personally.

PS: I got Waseda's LOA in the end, but I wasn't place under my desired prof, and the prof I was assigned to, is in a different field from my research area.
In general I don't think it's essential to obtain the prof's consent beforehand. The reasons I wanted to contact the profs in advance are
a) in science your research is determined by your supervisor/group and it's near-impossible to come up with a research proposal by yourself
b) I don't want to spend 3-4 years working for someone I don't get along with or who isn't available to help if I have a problem... how they interact with me now is a good indicator
c) I can be assured they won't reject my application if I pass the primary screening

If you're planning on doing a taught course where you'll have relatively little contact with the prof, a) and b) are probably not relevant. I still think it's worth trying, but if it ends up you can't talk to them in advance, it's not the end of the world.
 

hello7878

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Waseda MBA was my 2nd choice last year (I got my 1st choice, Hitotsubashi). Based on my experience, yup most of the MBA profs are not revealing their email online. I managed to get a couple and emailed them, but the mails were forwarded by the profs to the admission office instead.

Admission office replied that I need NOT to contact prof (as stated on waseda's website) beforehand, and to submit the necessary application documents to Waseda only AFTER I passed the primary screening to request for Letter of Acceptance (LOA). There's no need to seek prof's consent personally.

PS: I got Waseda's LOA in the end, but I wasn't place under my desired prof, and the prof I was assigned to, is in a different field from my research area.
I see, thats interesting. I've read a lot of forum posts from 2006-2012 where people emphasised so much about contacting professors, but i guess its changing with how the scholarship is becoming more popular.
 
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