Student Voices(Mr. Kawee Sinsomboon)

Mr. Kawee

Graduated from Demonstration School of Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University.
Studied in Oyodo Elementary School located in Osaka City for 3 years and 9 months from the middle of second grade in elementary school because of my parent’s job.
Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT):N 1(2013 1st time), N 2(2010 2nd time)
Public English Test: TOEIC 710pt, IELTS 6.0
GPA in high school:3.46(perfect score: 4.00)
Passed an entrance examination for privately financed international students in the Department of Mechanical Information Science and Technology of the School of Computer Science & System Engineering in Kyushu Institute of Technology and enrolled from April, 2014.
Using JASSO’s Reservation Program for Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students who achieve a superior score on EJU (based on EJU allotments for students with high scores, 1st session in 2013), acquired qualification for a scholarship amounting to 48,000 yen for four years (ordinary course term).

(We had interviews with Mr. Kawee, and his mother, Mrs. Bang-orn Sinsomboon. They are indicated as “K” and “B” respectively in the text.)

1. Selection of university, entrance examination and admission
(1) Why did you decide to study in Japan?
K: Because of my parent’s job (diplomat), I studied from the second semester of the second grade until the end of the fifth grade at Oyodo Elementary School located in Osaka City. At that time, my homeroom teacher was very kind and my classmates taught me anything that I could not understand. This experience made me fond of Japanese people. This was the first cue that I wanted to study in Japan.
B : The teacher was very kind and took care of my son very well. Thanks to her efforts, he made friends with his classmates within one week. In fact, he joined the class two weeks before the start of summer holidays, and his classmates helped him to understand many things within those two weeks.
(2) What attracted you to study in Japan?
K: Japan has highly advanced science and technology in comparison with Thailand, so Japan is an appropriate country for my field of study.
B: In addition, the human resource training of Japanese companies is also distinguished. American companies assign a job to employees who already have the capability to handle it, and expect them complete it, but they do not give employees much opportunity to learn. On the other hand, in Japanese companies, employees are given opportunity to challenge the job with enthusiasm and a spirit of commitment and learn the work even though they have not majored in or learned that particular field.
(3) How did you obtain the information with respect to the university that you entered?
K: I collected information from JASSO Representative Office in Thailand and websites of universities.
B: Also, we visited Japan Education fairs held by JASSO in Bangkok in 2012 and 2013.
(4) Did you think about going to other universities in Japan or Thailand? How did you gather information?
K: I had passed the entrance examination for the English course of the Faculty of Engineering in Thammasat University in Thailand before I got admission from Kyushu Institute of Technology.
B: We visited booths of Kyushu Institute of Technology and Osaka University in 2012. We found the reference score for EJU set down by Osaka University was quite high. We visited booths of Kyushu University, NIFEE Program of Shizuoka University, Fukui University of Technology and others in 2013.
(5) How did you contact the universities? Did you have any problems or difficulties in doing so?
K: I asked JASSO Thailand Office to make contact and clarify anything that was not clear.
B: We found the application system including the application and other documents written in Japanese and the mailing method has been prepared mainly for international students who are already living in Japan. We could not have applied without the support of JASSO Thailand Office.
(6) What was the content of the second examination in the university? How did you prepare for it?
K: It included an essay, an interview and oral tests (mathematics and science). I wrote in Japanese about what I wanted to study and what I wanted to do after graduation in the essay. In the interview, I explained in Japanese to the question about my motivation for studying in this university and specifically the faculty. In the oral test, I answered on the whiteboard the questions displayed on the projector screen.
(7) What was your reaction to receiving a letter of acceptance from the university?
K: It was terrific!
B: We were delighted. I really wanted my son to study in Japan. Though he would have had many friends at university in Thailand, I thought he would have excellent training and support even though the discipline and control may be strict in Japan.
(8) What made you happy about the admission?
K: It meant that I could study in Japan.
B: There seem to be various possibilities of going on to graduate school or working in Japan before returning to Thailand.
(9) At the start of the preparation for university admission, what was your experience of the coordination of the staff in JASSO Thailand Office ?
B: I was very grateful for their help. I did not know which university departments to contact in Japan and also I had the language problem. I was helped a lot by JASSO Office staff and felt relieved. Without their support, I would not be able to understand the document sent to me, by myself or to prepare for it. I was encouraged a lot by the support of JASSO staff to continue my efforts.
(10) Do you have any other requests regarding the entrance examination of Japanese universities for international students?
K: I would like to see an increase in the number of EJU that can be administered. (They may sometimes overlap with the schedule of mid-term examinations in high school.)
B: I would like to request Japanese universities that currently allow only Japanese for the basic academic skills for EJU to reconsider the present situation. It may be difficult at the beginning for international students who may not have memorized technical terminology in Japanese, however I believe they can understand the lectures once they have grasped the keywords since they basically understand them in English.
(What do you think about coming to Japan for an interview?)
K: No problem.
B: I think it is OK since he passed the exam, however, the travel fee for Japan would have been wasted if he had failed it. It would increase the number of Thai students who want to study in Japan if Japanese universities were to implement a remote interview system such as Skype.
(How about the problem of the authorization of resident eligibility?)
B: An acceptance letter of an entrance examination for privately financed international students is sent after two and half months. Therefore, it would be the last minute before leaving to Japan to be able to acquire the authorization of resident eligibility. It seems to me that the entrance examination system is targeted at international students who are already living in Japan to prepare for entrance exams. Since it takes a long time to complete the application procedure for authorization of resident eligibility, I request that Japanese universities send us the acceptance letters as earlier as possible. It would allow us to participate in the enrollment ceremony.

2. Aspects Relating to EJU
(1) How did you study the Japanese language? What aspects of the language did you find difficult?
K: I bought and answered past exam questions on all subjects of EJU and studied in an EJU preparatory school that provides EJU countermeasure lectures in Bangkok. I found the preparatory school by myself via a web search. While I had only one month to prepare for the 1st session, I was able to allocate sufficient time to prepare for the 2nd session.
Only a short time was allowed for the writing, which was difficult. The time for reading comprehension was also very short. We cannot answer well unless we are well prepared. I found JLPT 1 allowed more time to answer. I felt the listening and listening-reading comprehension was as difficult as N1.
(2) How did you study “Science (Physics)”? What areas did you find difficult? Are there any subjects that you do not learn in Thailand?
K: I studied the Japanese language in preparatory school. There are some differences in the type of questions between Thailand and Japan. In my country, we are usually asked to answer questions such as “What is the speed in case of ~~~?” But, EJU asks us to make a formula under given conditions.
(3) How did you study “Science (Chemistry)”? What areas did you find difficult? Are there any subjects that you do not learn in Thailand?
K: We do not learn, for example, about the reactions of organic compounds or metal-ion separation.
(4) How did you study “Mathematics (Course 2)”? What areas did you find difficult? Are there any subjects that you do not learn in Thailand?
K: I found that we study calculus deeper in Japan.

3. Others
(1) Do you have any requests or suggestions regarding JASSO’s organization or JASSO Thailand Office ?
B: I hope you can support other students. JASSO Overseas Representative Office and the EJU system are available in Thailand, therefore, we are allowed to have EJU here and arrange the enrollment for Japanese universities just because my son had sufficient command of Japanese (without going to a Japanese language school). In fact, we were able to save time. I believe other countries need the support of JASSO Overseas Representative Offices.
(2) What do you think about your future prospects?
K: I hope to get a global industry related job. I don’t want to waste what I have learned as an international student and I want to optimize the acquired knowledge and expertise. If possible, I would like to contribute to the development of my country.
(3) Please deliver a message to your juniors who want to enter university (faculty) in Japan.
K: If you want to study in Japan, you should start preparing from the first grade of high school.
B: If you want to study in Japan, you should start preparing for EJU. It would be better to advance your efforts for EJU and brush up later on what you learn in high school. I believe it is too late to start preparing from the second grade; however, I am sure his command of the Japanese language helped him. If you do not know Japanese, you may join an English course in a Japanese university.