Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 109)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 109 May 10th, 2018

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 109

1. Life in Japan by Photo

Learn about life in Japan with photos posted by our readers! We look forward to receiving memorable photos of your experiences in Japan, including your student life, exposure to Japanese culture and history, travel, and more.

1. Photo title (15 words or less)
2. Name (katakana and alphabet)
3. Nationality
4. Name of your school in Japan

Landscape of the Study Abroad Location

The theme of the May issue is Life in Japan by Photo introduces Memories of Japan. (Honorific titles are omitted.)

Romantic Cherry Blossoms

Wang Shagpeng (China)
Aichi University of the Arts
Title: Romantic Cherry Blossoms

The Beginning of My Dreams

Liu Ziyun (China)
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Title: The Beginning of My Dreams

2. Alumni News

Bringing you news and first-hand stories about international students!

News on International Students

Over 600,000 Chinese International Students in 2017

China's Ministry of Education, the equivalent of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, announced on March 30 their 2017 statistics for outbound and inbound international students. According to these statistics, there were 608,400 students from China who studied abroad (an 11.74% increase from the previous year), and it was their first time breaking 600,000 mark in their recorded history. Most of these international students are studying in developed countries, in the U.S. and Europe. With these numbers, China has maintained their number 1 status in the number of international students for the second consecutive year. China also welcomed 489,200 (almost half a million) foreign international students, and recorded double-digit increases in both outbound and inbound international students compared to 2016.

Introduction of Current International Students

Kim Sihan

Name: Kim Sihan
Nationality: South Korea
University: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Major: Cultural Anthropology
Year: 4th year
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2013 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

Even before coming to study in Japan, I've traveled to Japan from Korea many times. In elementary school, I also went to school in Hokkaido for a year, so I'd always wanted to come back to Japan. I kept studying and took the JLPT to make sure I didn't forget the language.

Right now, I study Cultural Anthropology at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. In my 3rd year, I studied the origin and history of tobacco as a luxury item. This year, I'm thinking of studying pop culture and pop music in modern and contemporary history, and writing my senior thesis on this topic as well.

From 2016, I had to take a two-year leave of absence from school to fulfill South Korea's mandatory military service. This ends this April, so I'm preparing right now to go back to school. I'm excited to be able to go to school again after this two-year break.

My favorite food in Japan is ramen. Before my leave of absence, I actually worked at a ramen shop for about two years as well. What I remember about that experience is how much thought and care is put into things that seem relatively simple, like the process of making the soup and the toppings, the process of putting the toppings on the noodles, and the clever little tricks to make all the ingredients come together.

My message to people who are thinking of studying abroad is this: you have to make friends with Japanese people. Many of the international students around me are clumped together with people from their own countries. And so even though they're studying abroad in Japan, they tend not to be able to make many Japanese friends. Studying is obviously important, but I personally think the greatest benefit of studying abroad is experiencing things you can only do in a different country. One way to do that is to make friends with local people.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

UTokyo Alumni

TFT (UTokyo Online Community) is an online community for international students who return to their home countries and regions after graduating from The University of Tokyo. Students must register for the community through the e-mail newsletter or the university website before they graduate. Currently, there are about 45,000 people registered in TFT, including alumni of the university. Registered members receive benefits like a permanent e-mail address they can use throughout their entire lives, and periodic delivery of the latest information from the university. TFT also allows you to search online for alumni and change your registered workplace, address, e-mail address, etc., letting you maintain your connection to The University of Tokyo throughout your life.

The University of Tokyo also encourages overseas alumni to contact their country or region's respective alumni associations, and participate in alumni events. Currently, The University of Tokyo boasts 53 overseas alumni associations in 33 countries and regions. Participating in alumni events allows you to connect with a diverse global network, not only other students who have returned home after their study in Japan, but also Japanese expats. These events also include forums, etc., staffed by instructors visiting the home country or region. Overseas alumni associations can also give back to the university by providing support for things like Hands-On Activities for undergraduate students.

In this way, overseas alumni associations provide the perfect opportunity for former international students who want to keep their connection to The University of Tokyo, and who want to do something to give back to the university.

Business Department: The University of Tokyo Alumni Office

3. Academic News

Introduction of scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

Introduction of Faculties/Graduate Schools

Here we introduce you to particular faculties and graduate schools at Japanese universities.

Digital Hollywood University

Digital Hollywood University Campus

University Profile
Name: Digital Hollywood University
Surugadai Campus: 3F/4F Ochanomizu Sola City Test Center, 4-6 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hachioji Campus: 1 Matsugadani, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo
Number of students: Undergraduate: 1,090 / Graduate School: 193 (as of May 1, 2017)
International students: Undergraduate: 404 / Graduate School: 65 (as of May 1, 2017)

1. Overview of University (History, Mission, etc.)

Since its inception, Digital Hollywood University (DHU) has offered an education in the skills that will become necessary in the future, as humanity undergoes its 21st century transformation. The focus is on understanding digital communication, and using computers to create. Instructors are creators like game developers and anime producers who are active in their respective fields. Graduates work for companies, but also go on to start their own companies. In fact, the company is ranked second in the number of university-oriented venture businesses, as evaluated by the "2017 Survey on University-Oriented Venture Businesses" by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

Digital Hollywood University CG Production

DHU offers a single school in a single faculty, the School of Digital Communications, so as not to limit students' fields of study. The program integrates multiple professional areas like film, 3D computer graphics, anime, games, programming, and more. Students begin practicing creating in their first year, so they can experience the joys of creation early on, and learn professional skills and knowledge, methods of expression, and business theories from the bottom up. The base of the curriculum is creativity, ICT, and English. Research at the university includes both liberal arts and professional fields, so as to train individuals with decision-making, creativity, and communication skills, and who will be able to contribute to the workings of international society.

3. Support for International Students (Accommodations Support and Tuition Reduction)

Digital Hollywood University offers a tuition exemption system (15 to 50% of annual tuition), for which results are announced before entrance into the university. The rate of exemption is dependent on student performance on the entrance exam (or grades at the university, from the second year onward). There are also tuition exemption systems (25 to 100% of annual tuition) for applicants who have had individual or group experience being a creator, and who are able to submit their work or portfolios to the school for review, as well as scholarships for high-performing students after they enter the university.

4. Other Types of Support for International Students (Employment, International Exchange, etc.)

Japanese students and international students interact with each other on a regular basis, with group work beginning in the first year. International students can also work on their Japanese language skills in the Japanese language classes, which are divided into six levels. The university also offers a health support service for international students, as well as a consultation center specific to international students, through which staff members provide assistance in six languages. The university also offers support for job hunting, with individual career counselling and company information sessions that are held in the school, so that students can interact directly with managers and recruiters from various companies. Some of the classes will also give you the opportunity to coordinate with companies, as well as the government, local government, and public institutions.

Digital Hollywood University Class

Digital Hollywood University Campus 2

Information about Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Prizes, etc.

Japan-China Friendship Center

Project Name: 6th Sekiko Kishi Japan-China Friendship Award (Essay Competition)

1. Summary:
The Japan-China Friendship Center established the "Sekiko Kishi Japan-China Friendship Award," according to the dying wish of the late Sekiko Kishi, in order to nurture human resources that would be able to contribute to Japan-China academic relations. Sekiko Kishi lived through a period of upheaval as the wife of a Japanese government official in Manchukuo, the Manchurian prewar Japanese puppet state. She very deeply felt the necessity of communicating not only her own experiences, but a proper understanding of history and its importance, and worked to communicate these herself. After her passing in 2013, the award was established in line with her wish to pass down her passion to the younger generations.

2. Scholarship:
Maximum 200,000 yen/essay (1 to 3 essays to be chosen)

3. Eligibility:
International students from the three northeastern provinces of the People's Republic of China (Liaoning Province, Jilin, Heilongjiang).

4. Essay Eligibility:
Master's theses in the humanities and social sciences that have passed the Master's thesis review at a Japanese graduate school, between April 2016 and March 2018.

5. Documents for Submission:
These will not be returned.
・2 copies of your Master's thesis (must list the month and year the Master's degree was completed)
・An abstract, under 1,500 characters in length
・Letter of recommendation from your advisor
・Copy of your passport (page that shows you are from one of the three northeastern provinces)
・Copy of your Residence Card
・Contact information, including address, e-mail address, etc.
*No particular specifications of document size for abstract and letter of recommendation

6. Application Deadline:
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Can be postmarked on the date of the deadline

7. Application Documents:
Delivery Address/Contact Information:
1-5-3 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, 112-0004 Tokyo
Address to: 6th Sekiko Kishi Japan-China Friendship Award Review Committee Office
TEL: 03-3814-1261
E-mail: kourakuryo-k at mark jcfc.or.jp
*Please convert "at mark" to "@" when you send an e-mail to us.

Information about International Symposium

The 25th FCDIC Fuel Cell Symposium

The 25th FCDIC Fuel Cell Symposium will be made of 46 lectures on fuel cells and hydrogen, across two venues, and is designed to teach you everything you need to know about fuel cells in just two days. Lectures will go over things like the technological roadmap for NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization), measures by the Tokyo government, as well as the future outlook for these topics, including the electric cars and fuel cell cars that have been gathering attention in recent years.

Date/Time: Thursday, May 17 to Friday, May 18, 2018
Location: Tower Hall Funabori

Academic Societies

<Literature, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology, History>

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commerce, Business>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy>

Japanese Language Tests

4.Business News

JASSO provides information about job-search for both current and graduate international students!

Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources was launched in 2015, as a collaborative effort of related government ministries and agencies, and other relevant organizations. The Program seeks to increase employment of international students in Japan, and hence increase the number of highly skilled international professionals in the future, following the recent trend in policy that includes the 2014 revision of "Japan Revitalization Strategy - Japan is Back" (approved by the Cabinet on June 24, 2014). The ultimate aim is to vitalize the Japanese economy further and enhance Japan's presence in the global economy.
Through seminars, events and other activities, the Program will strengthen the system of connecting international students and other foreign nationals looking for employment in Japan, with companies in Japan looking to recruit international employees.

Events for International Students

Useful Websites for International Students

Job Hunting Report

Gary Auger

Name: Gary Auger
Nationality: Canada
University: Reitaku University
Major: Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Studies
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2007 to March 2012
Current Workplace: Tokyo Keizai University
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

I was studying IT at a Canadian University. I'd always admired Japan, as it's home to many IT companies, and I decided to study in Japan to work on my Japanese. While studying in Japan, I found myself drawn to the language itself, and chose to study the language and culture to learn more about it.

One reason why I decided to work in Japan was because I thought that the knowledge and skills I'd acquired in my five years of study abroad would be of the best use in Japan. Japan's population is declining steadily, while the number of foreign immigrants is increasing: this will cause all kinds of issues. As an international student from Canada, a multi-cultural country, I feel that all of my experiences will be of use in Japan. I decided to work in Japan because I realized that I wanted to be a sort of bridge between Japanese people and foreigners.

Right now I work for the International Exchange Office at Tokyo Keizai University, handling international relations in the university as a whole, specifically study abroad programs, and communication with foreign universities. Students come to me for consultation every day, and I give them each the appropriate advice. It's very meaningful to see how students have grown when they return from their study abroad programs.

The most important thing when job hunting is to be able to engage in self-analysis. There are career support centers at any university, but you don't need them to analyze yourself. You can do that anytime, anywhere, on your own. I myself put the greatest effort into my self-analysis. While working at my part-time job or even just through the course of my daily life, I asked myself questions. What do I like? What feels fun to me? What do I not like? What feels boring to me? Knowing yourself is absolutely vital when you have to be able to communicate your strengths and weaknesses in the limited time span of an interview.

Interviews are very important in job hunting. There are all kinds of interviews. I recommend that you ask people to help you practice for each interview so you don't show up unprepared. University instructors, staff members at the career center, there are all kinds of people who will support you. Do a lot of interviews, and you'll find your thoughts will naturally become more organized, and you'll start getting a feel for what kinds of things you should say to the interviewer.

My message to students who are about to go through job hunting is not to rush it, to take it slow. Life is long. Try to take failure as a learning experience, and grow from there.

Job Hunting Information Article

Written Exam

The written exam is one of the more difficult things international students will have to go through in their job hunting process. Many companies conduct written tests for their initial screening of applicants. Performing poorly on the written test can prevent you from moving forward to an interview, so it is important to understand what kind of exam it is, and go through practice exercises to get used to the problems in advance.

- Types of Written Exams
Types of written exams include aptitude tests, general knowledge tests, essays/short answers, and more. The aptitude test, which evaluates your basic academic ability as well as your individual characteristics and your aptitude for certain work, is the most common type of written exam. The aptitude exam most commonly used by companies is known as the SPI3. SPI3 tests you on basic abilities like language competency (Japanese language skills) as well as non-language competency (mathematical skills), and evaluates your personality. Other tests that have become more common in recent years are the Tamatebako, GAB, and CAB.

- Methods for Taking the Aptitude Test
In the past, aptitude tests for job hunting were conducted on paper. Recently, however, many companies require that you take these aptitude tests on the computer. There are two ways in which these tests are administered: going to a venue known as a test center and taking the test on a computer there, or taking the test at home on your own computer. Paper tests are generally administered at each respective company.

- How to Handle the Aptitude Test
Use things like the Shushoku Shikiho magazine and aptitude test preparation books to research in advance what kind of written exams are given by the companies you are applying to. You should also train yourself to be able to answer questions accurately and quickly, since these tests tend to ask you a large number of questions in a relatively short time frame. You can find books with practice exercises at any book store. Work your way through at least one of these books for each test to get a feel for each type.

5. Visit Japan

Have you been travelling around Japan? In this section, we bring you information about sights, events, and foods from all over the country! The May edition looks at Toyama prefecture.

Toyama Prefecture

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a 37.2 kilometer alpine tourist route that connects Tateyama Station in Tateyama Town, Toyama Prefecture to Ogizawa Station in Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture, and offers great views of the Japanese Alps. There is a great, 1,975 meter difference in elevation between the lowest and highest points of this route. At 2,450-meter elevation, the highest point on the route, is the Murodo, a facility known as the origin point for hiking in Tateyama, which itself stands 3,015 meters tall. There are various transportation options on the route-ropeway, cable car, and trolley bus, for visitors who want to experience different kinds of vehicles, or just walk, if that is their preference. Along the way, visitors will encounter all kinds of incredible sights, like the Kurobe Dam, the tallest dam in Japan, the Shomyo Falls, with its 350-meter drop, Murodo Station, the highest-elevation station in Japan, and Hotel Tateyama, the highest-elevation resort hotel in Japan. It's no wonder this alpine route is popular amongst both Japanese and foreign tourists.

Firefly Squid

Firefly Squid

Firefly squid are a type of small squid, 4 to 7 centimeters in length, often found in the waters near Namerikawa City in Toyama Prefecture, which faces the Toyama Bay. They are caught for food purposes, through fixed-net fishing. Every year, for only one month from early April to early May, special boats set out to give tourists the opportunity to observe the firefly squid fishing process, a very popular attraction. Firefly squid have light-producing organs at the ends of their tentacles and bottom half of their bodies. Seeing millions of these bioluminescent squids coming up to the surface to spawn, at night, is a wondrous sight that feels mysterious and sacred. The light produced by the firefly squid is known in Japanese as "reiko" (cool light), a light that does not produce heat, and its workings are still shrouded in mystery.

6. NIPPON Information

This section features enjoyable stories about pop culture, traditions, dining, cutting-edge technology, and more!

Lifestyle Information

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

In Japan and the U.S., the second Sunday of May is known as Mother's Day. Although it is celebrated worldwide, the dates differ by country. This tradition is thought to have begun in the U.S., when a woman went to church and passed out carnations, her mother's favorite flower, to everyone in attendance, to honor her late mother. Though this tradition began with children wearing flowers on their own chests, it has evolved nowadays to children sending flowers to their mothers. Mother's Day became widely known and celebrated in Japan after the end of World War II.

Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

Providing public relations materials regarding Japan, including culture and sport.

7. JASSO News

Information about JASSO Scholarship programs, invitation programs, Study in Japan Fairs, and the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU).

2018-2019 Study in Japan Fairs

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas for high school and university students who wish to study in Japan. JASSO also participates in and assists with events and company briefing sessions held by other organizations.

Information about the “Student Guide to Japan”

For all those considering studying in Japan, we recommend you to read the "Student Guide to Japan" first.
In addition to information on the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, the guidebook also includes stories about international students' experiences in Japan.
You can read the guidebook on the JASSO website, so we encourage not only those who are considering studying in Japan, but also students already studying in Japan to take a look.

You can read it in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language, Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

Official Facebook Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

We also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

JASSO Scholarship Programs

Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The May 2018 issue will be published on May 10. Please make sure to read it!

Follow-up Research Fellowship (Invitation Program)

This program provides former international students who play active roles in education, research and government in their home countries with an opportunity to conduct short term research at universities in Japan.

Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching Research Advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

8. From the Editor

What did you think about the May edition of the Japan Alumni eNews?
In Japan, May is associated in most people's minds with Golden Week, a week of four consecutive national holidays, which many people use to go on vacation. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route we introduced in the Visit Japan section just so happens to open in the middle of April. If you are interested, we encourage you to go experience the Snow Wall, a road sandwiched by two enormous walls of snow, which retains its height even up until Golden Week. But, in all the fun of Golden Week, make sure to remember Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May, and express your appreciation to your mother.

Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for someone who can share their job hunting experience. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an exchange student and your comments for our e-mail magazine. Our next issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be distributed on June 8. Don't miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their web sites for latest information.

- Copyright for this online magazine belongs to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
- Any copying, redistribution, reprinting, etc., of this material is forbidden.

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • Address 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
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