Student Voices (Mr. Tang Pei He)

Mr. Tang Pei He ※Using “Pre-arrival-Admission”

The Learning Environment and a Positive Attitude are the Key Points

1. Motivation to Study Overseas and Contributing Factors

My desire to study in Japan dates back to a homestay program in Japan. In December of 2019, I had the opportunity to participate in a homestay in Miyakonojo City, Kyushu, where I experienced the typical Japanese family lifestyle. Prior to that, I had also traveled in Japan with my own family, during which I developed a keen interest in various aspects of Japanese culture.
I found Japan to be very charming and pleasant, prompting me to consider studying here. I realized that the Japanese are also quite advanced in various different high-tech fields, which seemed to offer a good opportunity for me to pursue my desired studies in aerospace engineering. These factors convinced me to travel to Japan for further studies.

2. Reasons for Selecting Region and School, Preparations before Traveling to Japan

I am presently studying at Tokai University in Kanagawa Prefecture. I began by searching for websites on prospective schools for my academic plans, and found that this university is ranked high for its Aeronautics and Astronautics Aviation program. What’s more, a considerable number of graduates from that program are active in their professional careers. I originally learned of Kanagawa Prefecture through popular anime productions, and found both the scenery and atmosphere of the area attractive.
Deciding to apply to Tokai University, I proceeded to use the school’s website to investigate the specific academic subjects, faculty and other available information. I also participated in an online open campus program, using these experiences to prepare for interviews. The greatest challenge in these preparations was the mailing of my application materials. Unlike the domestic postal service in Japan, mailing things to Japan from overseas requires considerable time. That meant I needed to be careful to avoid exceeding the application deadline.

3. How I Prepared for the EJU

About six months before the EJU, I began taking in classes taught at a Japanese language school every afternoon on basic subjects (science and mathematics). I took time to review the class notes and exercises for those studies to improve my grasp of the subject matter. With the curriculums of these basic subjects almost exactly the same as what I learned in high school, I was also able to use my high school notes to review and prepare.
From three months prior to the EJU, I downloaded the past questions from JASSO website on the Japanese as a Foreign Language test and the basic subjects from 2010 to 2019. I answered all of those questions, and consulted with my teachers on any areas about which I was unclear. I believe that this learning approach helps to understand in advance how questions are likely to appear on the tests, making it easier prepare a strategy and avoid panicking during the actual exam.

4. Classes, Student Lifestyle, Daily Life

My university classes here are very different from my studies back in high school. The college curriculums contain both required and elective subjects, making it generally possible to choose the classes that you really want to study. In addition, while high school curriculums involve basic and general learning, universities provide opportunities for more specialized studies. While this is naturally more challenging than high school, it also enables students to pursue effective learning in the subjects in which they will major.
Lifestyle-wise, I live alone in an apartment and generally cook my own meals. When I first arrived in Japan, I struggled with both the food and general lifestyle. As I became more accustomed to being here, however, these new experiences progressively became regular parts of my everyday life and routine.
I imagine that most students hoping to study here have concerns about making Japanese friends. At first, I was also anxious about my ability to communicate with Japanese, and found it difficult to make friends. After joining a club and participating in numerous training camps and other activities, however, now I got lot of good friends.

5. Advantages of Using the Pre-arrival Admission System

Use of Pre-arrival Admission approval enables examinees to take the EJU in their own nations when special circumstances (COVID-19 pandemic, financial issues, etc.) make it impossible to travel to Japan for that purpose. This is a convenient arrangement, because it enables students to directly apply for admission to Japanese universities from overseas, undergo interviews and learn the results without actually going to Japan.
I appreciate this system for extending opportunities to learn in Japan to students unable to visit here in advance for specific reasons. In the same way, I also assume that there are many students who find it difficult to decide whether or not to study in Japan. Utilizing the pre-arrival admission approval system ensures that such students can take the EJU in their own countries, then decide whether they really want to study in Japan after confirming their academic capabilities.

6. Advice for Students Planning to Use Pre-arrival Admission for Study in Japan

Remaining in your own country and not traveling overseas can make it difficult to envision studying abroad, as well as keeping constructive tension. Playing around too much and not preparing for the EJU can prevent you from adequately researching the universities that you hope to attend or the subjects that you want to take. Please take care to avoid missing the opportunities.
Besides, remaining in an environment in which you speak in your own native language can lead to situations in which you use Japanese only when taking online classes at Japanese language schools. I encourage students to improve their Japanese listening comprehension by watching dramas or anime from Japan, as well as speaking Japanese with their Japanese language instructors or going online to use Japanese to communicate with people in Japan. Actual conversation with Japanese in these and other situations will improve your Japanese language skill and you will be able to speak Japanese more naturally when you are in Japan.
Finally, I feel that the most important thing is to make every possible effort for the preparation, take the EJU and apply for the university admission.

At the university festival (posing with members of my activity club)

With students at a Japanese high school that I visited (I am the one wearing a black facemask in the second row from the front)

At a club training camp (I am wearing a black mask on the left side)