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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 123)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 123 July 10, 2019

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 123

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.

  • How to submit
  • Please send your photos with the information listed below to the following address.
  • alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
    *Please convert "at mark" to "@" when you send an e-mail to us.

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

July in Japan

The theme of the July edition of “Life in Japan by Photo” is photos that show July in Japan.

Cherries
Cherries
Morning Glory
Morning Glory
Tanabata (Star Festival)
Tanabata (Star Festival)
Cucumber
Cucumber

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS 1: Keidanren and Japanese Universities Agree to Expand Japan’s New Graduate and Year-Round Hiring Processes

On April 22, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) announced the interim summary of their Discussion in the Industry-Academia Council on the Future of Recruitment and University Education, and a plan established in collaboration with Japanese universities. In the plan, they touched upon companies’ new graduate hiring processes, and proposed an “orderly transition to diverse, multi-track forms of recruitment,” including skills-based hiring (year-round hiring of personnel with specialized skills and/or the hiring of international students and personnel with study abroad experience), in addition to the current new graduate hiring process.

NEWS 2: Osaka Prefectural Housing Corporation and Osaka City University Collaborate to Provide Housing for International Students

On March 26, the Osaka Prefectural Housing Corporation and Osaka City University established an agreement regarding their collaboration to provide safe and secure housing for international students and contribute to the local community. In more concrete terms, the Osaka Prefectural Housing Corporation will establish move-in ready housing for international students in their self-owned OPH Sugimotomachi neighborhood, located in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka in Osaka Prefecture. They also intend to turn the “Minna Shokudo” (Everyone Cafeteria) and other locations in the neighborhood into sites for social exchange, for international students, the elderly and more in order to vitalize the local community.

Study Abroad Testimonial

Mohamed Hasan

Name: Mohamed Hasan
Nationality: United Arab Emirates
University: Hosei Universty
Major: Sustainability Studies
Year: 1st year undergraduate student
Period of Study: April 2018 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N5

For me, I was unconsciously being exposed to Japanese culture while growing up since primary school. From where I’m from, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), what we saw as kids on TV was mostly Japanese anime, but the shows would be dubbed in Arabic. These shows gave me memories and made up a huge part of my childhood, and helped build my and many people’s personalities, by teaching us great lessons and morals such as friendship, honesty, respect, and much more. When I knew that all these shows were produced by the same country, I felt a sense of admiration towards that country, and my logic told me that if this place is showing us such moral-filled stories and giving children things to dream of, this must be a special place. I always felt there was a very far world where all my heroes from the anime stories existed, and wished that I could go there. Later, I discovered that country was Japan. I found Mount Fuji and the sunrises were the same as I remembered them from TV. The houses, streets, and nature that I only thought existed on TV and in my imagination: this is when fantasy actually turned to reality.

My image of Japan keeps becoming more amazing every time I learn more about it. The understanding and respect between people, the hospitality, the cleanliness, the culture, it’s all admirable. What has made a big impression on me is the mix between modern and traditional, which I find similar to my country and culture, and which I like.

What I’d like to say to people who are interested in studying in Japan is that, before coming to study in Japan, with the Internet in your hands, it’s easy to start learning some of the language, or some of the culture. It will help when you arrive. Of course, you will come across new things and some people might face certain challenges, but that’s where you learn and grow stronger. So, my advice is to be ready and be brave, and set out goals for yourself. There are a lot of reasons why people might like Japan, so my advice to anyone who’s interested to study in Japan, is to keep whatever interests you as a motive to come and explore the country even more, and work hard on your studies.

I’m now studying my major, and also learning the Japanese language. I like playing football, so I joined a Japanese football club. I’m trying to meet new people, engage in different activities, and explore Japan culturally and geographically. Japan and UAE relations are close and I feel my job is to make the connection stronger between the two cultures and people.

During this time my goal is to make the most of my experience, and when I go back, I don't want to go back to my country with only what I learned from my major, but also with what I experienced and learned from the great country and people of Japan.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of Support for International Students Returning Home

Kochi University International Students Alumni Network

Kochi University has established International Students Alumni Networks in China, Thailand, and Northern Europe. In November 2017, they held a “China-Thailand-Northern Europe Joint Alumni Meeting,” wherein former international students, current international students, and Kochi University faculty gathered to expand their networks and deepen their ties to one another. In addition to driving networking and sharing of information amongst former international students, the alumni network also encourages academic exchange with Kochi University, the sharing of job hunting information amongst former international students, the recommendation of prospective international students, and the support of admission information sessions. Through these and other efforts, the alumni network is expected to strengthen Kochi University’s ties with other universities, and contribute to the mutual development of all universities in the network.

3. Academic News

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

Introducing Universities

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

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

TUFS monument

University Profile (As of May 1, 2019)
Name: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Fuchu Campus: 3-11-1, Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo
Number of Students: 4,788
International Students: 796

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

The Tokyo University of Foreign Studies was established as a research/education facility for the study of Western languages, by the Edo Shogunate, which was the government at the time, in 1857. It was originally established as the “Bansho Shirabesho” (Institute for Research of Foreign Documents), which handled, among other things, the translation of diplomatic documents. Over the course of its 150-year history, the university has maintained its commitment to cultivating global personnel, engaging in highly specialized education and research on the world’s various languages, cultures, histories, and societies. The university is also designed with an open campus without gates and faces, so as to remain open to the community at large. It has a very international feel, with a wealth of nature and locations throughout the campus designed for dialogue and social exchange.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

Research and Lecture Building

School of Japan Studies

Since the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies established the Faculty of Japanese Language Education in 1985, it has offered curriculums where Japanese and international students can learn alongside one another. The university also boasts a center with high-level knowledge on preparatory Japanese language education for international students. The university established the School of Japan Studies in April 2019 in order to capitalize on these aspects of its history, and as part of a reform of its academic structure. At the School of Japan Studies, Japanese students learn alongside international students from throughout the world and discuss the future of Japan, in the school’s common languages of Japanese and English. Students of all different backgrounds share the same academic space, and work alongside one another towards the future.

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

Scholarships
The Tokyo University of Foreign Studies offers the following university scholarships, through which it supports international students.
- Yukio Cho Asia Scholarship, International Education Support Fund, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
- Morio Neishi Southeast Asia Scholarship, Education and Research Promotion Fund, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
- Education Support Fund Scholarship for Undergraduate and Graduate School International Students, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Daily Life Support (Tuition Reduction, etc.)
International students who are struggling to pay their tuition and who fulfill certain requirements, may apply for tuition reduction.

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

Career Support
The Tokyo University of Foreign Studies established the Global Career Center in 2011 in order to provide high-level career support in this increasingly globalized era. The Global Career Center provides support so that each and every student can go on to live meaningful lives as independent employees/members of society. To do so, it helps students come up with a life map, and encourage proactive tracks and employment choices. The center offers on-campus guidance, hosts the Diplomat and Managerial-Track Civil Servant Program, offers one-on-one consultations via full-time career advisors, and more.

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

Inter-University Seminar House

Project Name
International Student Paper Contest 2019
1. Summary:
The Inter-University Seminar House has established a program in order to advance academics and research in higher education institutions, drive information exchange amongst higher education institutions, and contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society. To that end, the organization has established (1) a training program for the operation and maintenance of overnight training facilities, (2) a joint seminar program where universities work together to deepen mutual understanding, and (3) a program that provides support for the operation and maintenance of international student dorms and education for international students as a whole. The International Student Essay Contest is held every year as a part of the organization’s efforts to support international students in Japan.
2. Eligibility:
International students in an undergraduate or graduate school program at a Japanese university
3. Theme:
Thoughts on Global Issues
4. Application Deadline:
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
5. Paper Requirements:
(1) Must be an original, unpublished paper.
(2) Must not exceed 4,000 characters of Japanese (excluding references/bibliography), and must be presented in A4 format (40 characters x 30 lines).
(3) Must be in electronic format (either a Word document or other text format).
(4) The title of the paper must be “Thoughts on Global Issues,” with an original subtitle.
(5) The essay must be divided into chapters (background, argument, summary, etc.) with a clear four-part structure (introduction, development, turn, and conclusion). Must also clearly display annotations and bibliography.
(6) Reference documents only when absolutely necessary.
6. Awards:
Gold Prize (1 essay): Award certificate and 100,000 yen
Silver Prize (2 essays): Award certificate and 50,000 yen
Bronze Prize (3 essays): Award certificate and 30,000 yen
Participation Prize (50 essays): 1,000 yen book voucher
Papers that do not fulfill a certain level of quality will not be considered for the Participation Prize. The winners of the contest will have their name and university published on the Inter-University Seminar House official website, as well as the “International Student Newspaper.”
7. Contact:
“International Student Essay Contest 2019” Staff Members,
Inter-University Seminar House
1987-1 Shimoyugi, Hachioji City, 192-0372 Tokyo
TEL: 042-676-8512 (Direct)
FAX: 042-676-1220
E-mail: g-sun at mark seminarhouse.or.jp
*Please convert “at mark” to “@” when you send an e-mail.

Information about International Symposium

28th Air Symposium: The Potential of BIM as Seen From Architectural Environmental Engineering

The rapid development of ICT in modern society has brought building information modeling (BIM), an information-based solution, to the forefront of the architecture field, where it helps manage all aspects of the architecture lifecycle, from planning to demolition. This symposium aims to deepen people’s understanding of BIM as a whole, discussing fluid simulations in construction environments, BIM interfaces, and BIM-related case studies and efforts.

Date/Time: Monday, September 2, 2019 / 2:00 P.M. to 5:10 P.M.
Location: Hotel Kanazawa (1-1 Horikawashin-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa)

Academic Societies

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

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commerce, Business>

<Science>

<Engineering>

<Agriculture>

<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy>

Japanese Language Tests

  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
  • Second Test
    Test Date: Sunday, December 1, 2019
    Application Start Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
    Application Deadline: Friday, September 20, 2019
  • BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test
  • The BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test is offered in two forms: individual and group. If you are taking the exam as an individual, create an account at the BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test official website, then register for and take the test. You will be asked to select your test center and test date during the registration process. If taking the exam as a group, contact the organization in charge.
  • J.TEST (Test of Practical Japanese)
  • (Japanese version only)
    145th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, July 14, 2019
    The application deadline has passed.
  • 146th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, September 8, 2019
    Application Deadline: Friday, August 16, 2019

4. Business News

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

Job Hunting Event Information

  • Fukuoka Gakusei Shokugyo Center
  • (Japanese version only)
  • Offers job information, guidance for job hunting, research industry and self-analysis, preparing seminar for job hunting, and a private consultation, etc.

Events for International Students

  • Asia Link Job-Hunting Seminar: Interviews
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Asia Link Inc.)
    Date/Time: Saturday, July 20, 2019 / 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
    Venue: ASIA Link Tokyo Office
    (305 3F Egg Building, 2-1971 Ogawa-machi, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students who wish to work in Japan (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N3 or above)
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)

Useful Websites for International Students

  • These websites have search engines for companies recruiting international students.
  • Asagaku Navi
  • (Gakujo Co., Ltd.)
    (Japanese version only)
  • Diamond Shukatsu Navi
  • (DIAMOND HUMAN RESOURCE, INC.)
    (Japanese version only)
  • MYNAVI
  • (Mynavi Corporation)
    (Japanese version only)
  • Rikunavi
  • (Recruit Career Co., Ltd.)
    (Japanese version only)

Job Hunting Report

Qiu Jinglan

Name: Qiu Jinglan
Nationality: China
University: Keio University Graduate School
Major: Graduate School of Human Relations
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2014 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

There are two main reasons why I decided to study abroad in Japan. First was that I’d been interested in government policy since middle school, and I thought it’d be best for me to study that in Japan, considering the social context in Japan is similar to China’s, and the fact that Japan has more advanced government policies compared to the rest of East Asia. The second was that my older brother had studied abroad in Japan when I was little, and brought me back souvenirs, and I felt a natural connection to Japan.

The first reason why I decided to work in Japan was that I wanted to maximize the value of my career. In other words, I wanted to make use of my language skills, and establish a career that would build upon my Japanese language skills. The second reason came from my experience working part-time as a cram school instructor when I was at university. During this time, I was able to work with Japanese people, and get to know their kindness, and their attention to detail with regards to their work. I felt at that point like my life had been very influenced by Japanese culture, and I wanted to continue living in a society that places so much importance on harmony and consideration for others.

My dream in the future is to establish new modes of education through new technologies. I believe that we can eliminate educational inequalities through cutting-edge technologies. I want to build a business model that will help solve the current reality, which is that social inequality ends up leading directly to educational inequality, and at the same time make this issue more widely known to people throughout the world.

I felt that the most important thing in job hunting is the prep work. Whether it be practicing for interviews or the SPI, I felt that the most important thing was to practice, practice, and practice some more, as many times as you need.

In my job hunting, I put my focus on one major factor: I wanted to work somewhere that allows me to be involved in a variety of industries and business areas. In the past, I felt I grew quickly as a person because I worked my way through a lot of different fields, and overcame the various difficulties and challenges that were presented to me. That’s why I wanted to be able to work a job that transcends industries, so that I could keep challenging myself to do new things.

During the job hunting process, I worked to promote a few things about myself. For example, my strength is that I always want to improve myself, better myself. Examples of that would be when I planned a university event, or when I served as an actor in a play. During my time at university, I planned an event called the “Chinese Traditional Clothing Experience” at the school festival, as the project manager of the international student association. This was to improve my own planning skills, and the event was attended by more than a thousand people. I also thought I should be in a play so that I could try to get over my shyness (a weakness of mine) and so I acted in a play for six months, to an audience of about 500 people for each show.

Job Hunting Information Article

Internships

In recent years, more and more universities are hosting internships for 3rd year undergraduate students (and 1st year graduate school students), from around August to February of the following year. Internships in Japan are meant for students to experience what it’s like to work in a company and get a feel of the actual work environment. Students are able to experience work in an actual workplace, engage with various issues, visit every office and work site, and expand/deepen their understanding of the company and its industry.

Regarding the actual span of these work experiences, there has been an increase in the number of 1 to 5 day long internships, although there are, of course, also long-term internships that span several months. Short-term internships are seen as an extension of a company information session and are mostly unpaid, while long-term internships place more emphasis on practical work experience, and can be paid. This differs depending on the company, however, so we recommend that you ask about this in advance.

Internships are also a great opportunity for companies to promote themselves and their industries to students. They also help prevent job mismatches during the job hunting, which is another reason why many companies now offer internships. There are also an increasing number of companies that offer fall (October to December) and spring (February) internships, in addition to the usual summer ones.

Internships are very useful in the job hunting process, especially if you want to see what it’s actually like to work for a company or an industry, or if you’re confused about what work you want to do. We encourage you to make use of them as much as possible.

5. Visit Japan

In this section, we bring you information about sights, events and foods of regions with universities or other types of schools. The July issue takes a look at Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Tsukuba City covered in fresh new greenery
  • Tsukuba Science City

Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, located at the base of Mount Tsukuba, was developed as a “Science City” as part of a national project, and is the only such city to exist in Japan. Get on the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company Tsukuba Express rapid express train, and it takes only 45 minutes to get to Tsukuba City, the last stop from Akihabara in central Tokyo. The construction of the city was approved in 1963 in order to mitigate overpopulation in Tokyo, and for the city to serve as a site for high-level research and education, and by 1980, six ministries and 43 institutions had been moved to Tsukuba City. In 1985, the city held The International Exposition (nicknamed the “Science Exposition”) in order to increase societal recognition of Tsukuba Science City, and promote the city to private companies. Nowadays, the city is known for its concentration of intellectual organizations, national research institutions like the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tsukuba Space Center, RIKEN Tsukuba Campus, and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, as well as various corporate research centers.

Mount Tsukuba in early summer

Tsukuba Science City is known for its pedestrian deck, which residents use as a place to relax and socialize. The pedestrian-only road spans a total of about 48 kilometers, snaking around various parts of the city. The stretch of road between the University of Tsukuba and Akatsuka Park is particularly notable, spanning 10 kilometers, and about 10 to 20 meters in width. This stretch of road, along with the parks, public/commercial facilities, research facilities, houses, etc., scattered throughout it, create a cohesive and highly convenient network for the community.

6. NIPPON Information

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

Lifestyle Information

Ochugen (Summer Gift)
  • Ochugen (Summer Gift)

In Japan, there remains a custom in which we send gifts to the people we are thankful for in our everyday lives, at certain designated periods of the year. Although nowadays this tradition is beginning to fade, there are still many people who send these gifts to one another. Gifts that are sent between early- and mid-July are called “ochugen” (summer gifts), and gifts sent in mid- to late-December are called “oseibo” (year-end gifts). Around this time of year, department stores and major supermarkets will have sales for this specific type of gift.

The term “ochugen” originally referred to a specific date, and was not used in reference to a custom or gifts. In China, January 15 was known as “jogen,” July 15 as “chugen,” and October 15 as “kagen.” These words are used in Taoism, a religion that originates in China, and the three days are said to be the birthdays of the Three Pure Ones. On these days, followers of the religion would make offerings to these gods.

Japan also had a Buddhist custom called “urabone,” in mid-July as well, which was used to provide offerings to the ghosts of our ancestors. This custom is still practiced today, and is known to modern Japanese people as “Obon” (Bon Festival). The ochugen custom, wherein Japanese people send gifts to people they are thankful for in their everyday lives, is said to have come from this overlap between Chinese and Japanese customs.

Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

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

  • niponica
  • (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese)
  • niponica is published in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese) to introduce to the world the society and culture of Japan today. The title niponica is derived from “Nippon”, the Japanese word for Japan. The latest edition has a feature called “Welcome to Japanese Gardens,” which introduces Japanese gardens culture, creators of Japanese gardens, and so on.

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).

Study in Japan Fairs in FY 2019

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

  • Study in Japan Fair (Taiwan): Kaohsiung: Saturday, July 20, 2019 / Taipei: Sunday, July 21, 2019
    Study in Japan Fair (Hong Kong): Hong Kong: Saturday, August 17, 2019
    Study in Japan Fair (Thailand): Chiang Mai: Saturday, August 24, 2019 / Bangkok: Sunday, August 25, 2019
  • See the official website for information on other events.

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

JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices 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 July 2019 issue will be published on July 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.

New University Listing(s) this Month:
Nara Institute of Science and Technology

Job Hunting Guide for International Students

This guidebook provides a great amount of information for international students looking to job hunt in Japan. This covers everything you need to know, from the preparation process to the entry sheets, tests, changes to statuses of residence, and more, categorized by time period, and in an easy to understand language.

8. From the Editor

In this issue of “Lifestyle Information,” we discussed the Japanese custom called “ochugen” (summer gifts). Yet, in all honesty, and despite writing about this topic, I have never sent ochugen myself. And I think that young people nowadays probably don’t either. That being said, sending presents as a display of gratitude certainly isn’t a bad thing: it’s actually a common practice throughout the world. So, I will also try to make gifts to show my gratitude, regardless of the time of the year.

The Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for people 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 August 9. Don’t miss it!

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

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

Contact

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL (telephone) number is +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX (facsimile) number is +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail address is alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
  • * Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.

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