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The contents of the "Study in Japan".

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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 143)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 143 March 10, 2021

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 143

Notice

The March 2021 issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be the last issue of our much-loved e-mail magazine: we plan to launch a new social networking site from July 2021. All our readers can look forward to communications on social media.

1. Life in Japan by Photo

March in Japan

The March edition of Life in Japan by Photo introduces “March in Japan.”

Wearing Hakama for a Graduation Ceremony
Wearing Hakama for a Graduation Ceremony
Japanese Bush Warbler
Japanese Bush Warbler
Botamochi (Food Made By Covering Round Balls of Cooked Mochi Rice With “Anko” (Red Bean Paste))
Botamochi (Food Made By Covering Round Balls of Cooked Mochi Rice With Anko)
Field Mustard Flowers
Field Mustard Flowers

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS 1: International Students Believe Their Strengths When Job Hunting are “Having a Global Perspective and Understanding the Culture and Customs of Different Countries”

The results of a survey about job hunting for international students of the sciences in the corona crisis have been collated. Originator Co., Ltd. carried out the survey from October to November 2020 on their international student job hunting information site, and there were 297 valid responses. According to the results of the survey, international students of the sciences emphasized “a high pay scale” (39.7%) and “being able to work around the world” (39.1%) when choosing companies. Moreover, the respondents considered the strengths of foreign nationals to be “having a global viewpoint” (71.0%) and “understanding the culture and customs of their home country and Japan” (67.7%). Meanwhile, more than half the respondents said that the effects of the spread of the novel coronavirus led to “job hunting events and interviews being suspended or delayed, and they could not proceed as planned” (52.5%).

NEWS 2: New Status of Residence Established, Enabling an Extension of Up to Two Years for Entrepreneurial Activities

In November 2020, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan announced a new type of designated activities status for international students who have graduated from a university or similar institution. This status permits a stay of up to two years for entrepreneurial activities, and is allowed if an international student wishes to continue entrepreneurial activities after graduating from or completing a course in a Japanese university or similar institution. International students who have completed a course in or graduated from institutions selected by or participating in the Program for Enhancing Employment of International Students, or from institutions selected by the Top Global University Project are eligible. They will be permitted this status if they fulfil the conditions, including having a recommendation letter and support from their alma mater.

Study Abroad Testimonial

Le Hai Nam

Name: Le Hai Nam
Nationality: Vietnam
University: Kurume University Graduate School (Master’s)
Major: Business Administration
Period of Study: October 2014 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

I came to Japan in October 2014, and have lived in Kurume for around six years. I chose Kurume University because I had lived in Kurume since I came to Japan, and I was used to its culture and everyday life. I thought that in this environment, if I attended nearby Kurume University, I would be able to actively participate in my studies, clubs, and circle activities. My dream is to be a brilliant manager in the future. Because of this, I am interested in subjects such as the international market and international management; I heard that Kurume University’s Department of Commerce is famous and has a lot of excellent teachers, and so I really wanted to study there.

I believe that when the lifestyles of international students are mentioned, a lot of people think that they are tough: a repetitive lifestyle of working part time while commuting to university every day. However, I find my lifestyle as an international student and my university lifestyle to be very enjoyable. My part-time job means I earn income, and also lets me talk to Japanese people. Obviously, that lets me improve my Japanese, but I can also interact with Japanese people and learn about Japanese culture, so I think that having a part-time job is a good experience.

After coming to Japan, I joined the Kurume Bureau of Tourism and International Exchange. I have experienced Kurume’s culture, food, and more together with Japanese people and other international students from different countries, and made some really fun memories. University life in Kurume University is very interesting. I can study the subjects that I want to learn about, and I’m also involved in the futsal and volleyball circles with my Japanese friends, so I’m able to enjoy each day.

I chose to take the five-year master’s course* rather than job hunting in April 2020, and am attending lectures in Kurume University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. From now on, I want to do my very best with my studies and job hunting activities so I can work in a job related to international marketing in a Japanese company after I graduate from graduate school. In the future, I'd like to actively participate in the business worlds of Japan and Vietnam, and act as a bridge between them.

*A system that lets students complete an undergraduate and master’s course in five years, when it would normally take a total of six. The entry requirements differ depending on the university.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Support for International Students Job Hunting in Japan and/or Returning Home

Fukuoka University Career Center

This Center has people responsible for helping international students who hope to job hunt in Japan: they offer individual consultations at their desks, corrections to CVs, and support for job hunting activities, including providing information about job offers for international students. The Center also works in cooperation with organizations such as Fukuoka’s Hello Work for new graduates and the Fukuoka International Student Support Center to hold job hunting seminars for international students, and offers explanations about job hunting activities in Japan, participating in internships, how to write a CV, strategies for interviews, etiquette, resident status, and more.

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.

The International Professional University of Technology in Tokyo

University Profile (As of April 1, 2020)
Name: The International Professional University of Technology in Tokyo (IPUT)
Address: Sogo Kosha Cocoon Tower, 1-7-3 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Number of Students: 230

Cocoon Tower

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

The Robot Lab

IPUT is Japan’s first professional university certified by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in the field of technology. Professional universities were opened as a new type of university system, and are obliged to maintain a “practical educational environment with direct links to business,” something that conventional university systems do not have. Under President Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, the former president of the University of Tokyo, IPUT collaborates with the ICT and digital content industry around the world, making excellent use of cutting-edge technology to create new value and services, and fostering people who will solve social problems. This is IPUT’s mission. In April 2021, the International Professional University of Technology in Osaka and the International Professional University of Technology in Nagoya will be opened as part of this university group.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Graduate Schools

The Video Editing Room

Faculty of Technology
- The Information Technology Department (AI Strategy Course/IoT System Course/Robot Development Course)
Students of this department innovate by assimilating new technology, including AI, the IoT, robots, and Big Data, into industry and society. The department fosters leaders who can realize solutions to social problems in the age of the super-smart “Society 5.0.”

- The Digital Entertainment Department (Game Production Course/CG Animation Course)
The Japanese field of games and CG is world-famous. 5G (the fifth-generation mobile communication system) is being commercialized, and it has become possible to share large amounts of digital content. This department uses the latest IT technology to foster leaders in an age when people want more interactive games and digital video.

3. Support for International Students (Everyday Life Support Including Accommodations Support, Scholarships, Tuition Reductions, etc.)

Systems for Tuition Aid
- The Partner Business Tuition Exemption System
- The Graduate Scholarship System, etc.

Support Systems for Apartments and Condominiums
- IPUT’s designated student dormitories
- Apartments and condominiums specially provided by partner businesses

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

Image of a class

Complete Supervision System
IPUT has established a “supervision system,” and maintains an environment for individual education, from learning plans and course registration to daily studies. Representatives from its career support center, who understand the requirements for human resources in the industry, are responsible for providing one-to-one guidance for job hunting.

Overseas Offices
IPUT has offices overseas, including its sister school in Paris, France, as well as in the US, Italy, Shanghai, and Taiwan. Each office supports global learning, from offering training and practice overseas and supporting students when they are studying abroad, to collaborating with foreign companies and educational institutions, and holding discussions about enrollment for those entering IPUT directly from another country.

5. Other Support for Online Classes, etc.

In the corona crisis, IPUT quickly set up hybrid classes that combine face-to-face interaction and online teaching. Guest lecturers invited from famous companies and universities have held special lectures online.
Examples of special lectures held:
- Christophe Defaye, the art director of AOKIstudio, a company that creates 3D CG images. He has worked on Pokémon GO TV commercials and other projects.
- The former president of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, Professor Koichi Hori of the University of Tokyo Graduate School
- An authority on multi-agent robot systems, Professor Jun Ota of the University of Tokyo Graduate School, and others

Testimonial on Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Awards, etc.

Le Thi Hoa

Name: Le Thi Hoa
Nationality: Vietnam
Type of Scholarship: Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students
University: Nagasaki International University
Major: Department of International Tourism
Period of Stay: October 2015 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N2

Each year, at the start of the new semester, applications for scholarships for international students are opened, and detailed information is uploaded to a dedicated Internet portal for university students. I applied for a scholarship after checking that information. To apply, you need to submit a scholarship application form: your grades in university are also relevant, and so the efforts you make each day are important. After you pass the first review, there is an interview. This year, it took place online due to the impact of the novel coronavirus.

When I entered my fourth year, I became busier than ever before with my graduation research and job hunting activities. I have less time for my part-time job, and my income has decreased. The effects of the novel coronavirus on the world economy mean that the allowance my parents send me has also been reduced. I’m really glad that I am able to receive a scholarship during such a difficult situation. I can now concentrate on my graduation research and job hunting activities.

I believe that living alone is tough for an international student. I think that there are a lot of financial hardships, and I recommend that junior students obtain a scholarship so they can focus on their studies. Keep holding on to the goal that led you to study in Japan, and choose your future path, and let’s all do our best.

Olaf Witkowski

Name: Olaf Witkowski
Nationality: Belgium
Type of Scholarship: Monbukagakusho (MEXT) scholarship
University: University of Tokyo
Major: Department of Computer Science, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology
Period of Stay: April 2009 to March 2015
Period of Scholarship: April 2009 to March 2014
Japanese Proficiency Level: Advanced

In Europe, I studied civil engineering, then machine learning, and linguistics. Meanwhile, I had founded the first of many startups, and started a promising entrepreneurship career in technology. However, my heart was still thirsty for learning. I wanted to understand the mathematics of communication, intelligence and the nature of life itself. This was to become my "ikigai", or reason for being.

Ten years ago, luckily, my parents and I were regulars at the concerts and movie projections of the Japan Cultural Center, and I happened to learn about scholarships by MEXT. I rapidly contacted professors in my field, and must have shown plenty of motivation or real determination, because soon after the interviews I found myself on a plane, to start a PhD at the University of Tokyo.

In Tokyo, I instantly felt welcome and at home, as if I had found the gravity center between my origins, and yet no intersection with them, which drove my research too. From that point, the key for me was that I proactively sought mentorship to help me get through a wildly interdisciplinary thesis, in a new field called "Artificial Life" (ALife). I think Japan is one of the rare places where such very original research was really possible.

I am now the director of research at Cross Labs, a research institute that focuses on AI, cognitive sciences, and ALife. It was founded by Cross Compass, which is based in Kyoto and Tokyo. My team and I advocate for a new model of the university, and believe Japan is the right place to lead change in how research is made hand in hand with the technology industry.

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

The Japan-China Friendship Center

Program Name
The Ninth Japan-China Friendship Kishi Sekiko Award (Call for Theses)
1. Overview:
The Japan-China Friendship Center established the “Japan-China Friendship Kishi Sekiko Award” in 2013 based on the last wishes of the late Sekiko Kishi, with the aim of developing human resources who will contribute to academic exchanges between Japan and China. Sekiko Kishi lived through tumultuous times as the wife of a Japanese government official in Manchukuo, the Manchurian pre-war Japanese puppet state. From her own experiences, she was keenly aware of the importance of passing on an accurate understanding of history, and of the gravity of the friendship between Japan and China. She wished to put this into practice herself, and also to pass these aims on to the next generation.
This year is the ninth call for applicants, and the top three excellent theses will be awarded a certificate and an extra prize (200,000 yen). We hope that international students from China will participate enthusiastically.
2. Application Eligibility:
International students from Northeast China (Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang)
3. Qualified Theses:
Master’s theses that were successfully defended at a Japanese graduate school in the 2019 academic year (April 2019 to March 2020) or the 2020 academic year (April 2020 to March 2021). These should be in the field of the humanities and/or social studies, and be written in Japanese.
4. Required Documents (Will Not Be Returned):
- Two copies of the master’s thesis (clearly mark the month and year of course completion)
- Abstract of 1,500 characters or less
- Recommendation letter from advisory professor
- Copy of passport (page showing that student is from Northeast China)
- Contact information including mailing address and e-mail address
*No format is specified for the abstract or recommendation letter, but they should be on A4-sized paper.
5. Selection Schedule:
First Selection: Around June 2021
Final Selection: Around October 2021
Award Ceremony: Planned for around November 2021
*The outcome of the selections will be mailed to those involved.
6. Application Period:
Monday, February 1, 2021 to Monday, May 31, 2021 (entries will be valid if they are postmarked on this date)
7. Mailing Address/Inquiries:
Ninth Japan-China Friendship Kishi Sekiko Award Selection Committee Secretariat
1-5-3 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 112-0004
Tel: 03-3814-1261
E-mail: kourakuryo-k "at mark" jcfc.or.jp
*Please convert "at mark" to "@" when you send an e-mail.

Information About International Symposium

Sesson Symposium 2021

Muromachi suibokuga*1 are connected to Zen,*2 and were produced in great numbers by the monk-artists Sesshu and Sesson. However, recent years have seen an increased interest in early modern paintings, which take a variety of forms and expressions, and Edo Period (1603 to 1868) paintings by Ito Jakuchu and Katsushika Hokusai are becoming popular. The Association will host a symposium focusing on Sesson in Miharu Town in Fukuoka Prefecture, where Sesson spent his later years, to spread the charms of Muromachi suibokuga once again.

*1 A type of ink painting popular in the Muromachi Period (1336 to 1573) in Japan
*2 A school of Buddhism

Date/Time: Saturday, April 17, 2021 / 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Location: Mahora Hall, Miharu Festival House Mahora, (191 Omachi, Mihara-machi, Tamura-gun, Fukuoka)

  • Sesson Symposium
  • (Japanese version only)
    Organized by: The Japan Art Appraisal and Preservation Association
  • Invitation to the 15th SGRA-V Cafe: "The Power of Anime Culture, Demonstrated by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba"
  • Date/Time: Saturday, March 20, 2021 / 3:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. (online: Zoom)
  • Application page
  • (Japanese version only)
  • 18th Public Study Group FY 2020
    "Findings from interviews with international researchers in research institutes of humanities and social sciences"
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 / 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. (online: Zoom)
  • Application page
  • (Japanese version only)
  • 19th Public Study Group FY 2020 (Online event)
    "A comparative study of international faculty members and researches in Korea, Japan and China"
  • Date/Time: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 / 3:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. (online: Zoom)
  • Application page
  • (Japanese version only)

Introducing Academic Societies

Name: Japanese Association for Social Policy Studies (Sociology)
Location: Headquarters: 700 Dannoharu, Oita City, Oita (Faculty of Economics, Oita University); Academic Conference and Business Center: 2F Ozawa Building, 4-1-1 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Social Policy Academic Conference and Business Center within WORLD PLANNING Co, Ltd.)
Number of Members: 1,168 (as of March 31, 2020)
Membership Fee: 10,000 yen (annual membership fee; 7,000 yen for graduate students and members without full-time employment)

1. Introduction to Society
The Japanese Association for Social Policy Studies is one of the oldest academic societies in Japan, having been established in 1897. Its activities were suspended for a time, but since its reopening in 1950, it has held biannual conferences in the spring and the fall, totaling 141 conferences (as of January 2021) as it welcomes its 71st year. The Association issues an academic journal, Social Policy and Labor Studies (Shakai-seisaku), three times a year, as a way for members to publish their research.

The Japanese Association for Social Policy Studies can be broadly split into research on labor, and research on social security and welfare. Its strength lies in the way that research on these two areas is collaborative. Issues of poverty and disparity caused by labor are closely connected to the state of social security and welfare that complement them, and it is important to consider these issues in a comprehensive manner. Moreover, Social Policy and Labor Studies includes a lot of research based on fact-finding surveys, and the Association is also focusing on fostering young researchers who will continue these activities and lead the next generation.

In recent years, links with Europe and America, as well as with the rest of Asia, have become stronger, and there has been an international, mutual influence on the way labor and social welfare is handled. The percentage of Association members who are international students is increasing, especially researchers from China and South Korea, and the Association is proactively carrying out activities with foreign social policy societies and offering financial support to encourage international exchange. This is a wonderful society if you are interested in social policy.

2. Societies in similar fields

Japanese Language Tests

  • *Note that the tests may be cancelled. Make sure to check the official websites for these events before heading out.
  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
  • First test
    Test Date: Sunday, July 4, 2021
  • BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test
  • The BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test is administered in two types: individual testing and group testing. For individual testing, please register your account from the official website of the BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test, make a test reservation, and take the test. When making a reservation, you can select your preferred test center and test date. For information on group testing, please contact the applicable group.
  • Test of Practical Japanese (J.TEST)
  • (Japanese version only)
    155th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, March 14, 2021
    Application Deadline has passed.
    156th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, May 16, 2021
    Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
  • Monozukuri Nihongo Kentei (MNK)
  • The Monozukuri Nihongo Kentei is a comprehensive (free) service that allows you to take classes, take tests, and be certified on your smartphone, through the Internet. You may also use the self-introduction video you post on the related website as part of your job hunting efforts. Go to the MNK official website for more details. If you wish to take the test, register for the test (English version available) on the official website.

4. Business News

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

Information About Job Hunting Related Events

Events for International Students

*Note that the events may be cancelled. Make sure to check the official websites for these events before heading out.

  • Hokkaido U/I-Turn Fair Spring 2021 (Joint Online Company Information Session)
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Hokkaido)
    Date/Time: Saturday March 13, 2021 / 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    Target Group: General job seekers living in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area who are job hunting with the intent to U-turn (return to the countryside from the city) or I-turn (go to the countryside from the city) to Hokkaido (including students who are expected to graduate in March 2022)
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Industry and Company Research / Self Analysis Workshop
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Fukuoka Employment Service Center for Foreigners)
    Date/Time: Monday March 15, 2021 / 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Fukuoka Employment Service Center for Foreigners
    (12F Elgala Office Building, 1-4-2 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka)
    Target Group: International students who are expected to graduate in 2022
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Gifu Prefecture Job-hunting Guidance in Nagoya
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Gifu Employer’s Association)
    Date/Time: Monday March 15, 2021 / 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
    Location: 7F Winc Aichi
    (4-4-38 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi)
    Target Group: People who are expected to graduate in March 2022 or later (excluding those graduating from high schools)
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Mynavi Job Hunting Seminar for International Students (Osaka Venue)
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Mynavi Corporation)
    Date/Time: Wednesday March 17, 2021 / 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Aura Hall
    (10F Umeda Sky Building Tower West, 1-1 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku, Osaka City, Osaka)
    Target Group: International students who are expected to graduate in spring 2022 from a university, graduate school, technical college, or college of technology
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • 2021 Miyazaki Spring Job-hunting Support Fair
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Miyazaki Prefecture)
    Date/Time: Friday March 19, 2021 / 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    Location: 4F Seagaia Convention Center
    (Hamayama, Yamasaki-cho, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki)
    Target Group: University students in their first to third years (people expected to graduate in March 2022 or later), people expected to graduate from university or high school in March 2021, general job seekers (people who have completed official vocational training (including people who are expected to complete training)), other (their guardians, school officials)
    Pre-registration: Not required
  • Mynavi Job Hunting Seminar for International Students (Fukuoka Venue)
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Mynavi Corporation)
    Date/Time: Saturday March 20, 2021 / 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Elgala Hall, Main Hall
    (1-4-2 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka)
    Target group: International students who are expected to graduate in spring 2022 from a university, graduate school, technical college, or college of technology
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Job Fair for International Students with Business Owners
  • (Japanese version only)
    (ASIA Link Inc.)
    Date/Time: Monday March 22, 2021 / 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Location: Venue in Tokyo (International students will be contacted by ASIA Link with the venue location upon being approved for the event)
    Target group: International students who will graduate between March 2021 and March 2022, and who have Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N2 or higher
    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)
  • Ryukatsu
  • (Originator Co., Ltd.)
    (Japanese version only)

Job Hunting Report

Yang Ya Jin

Name: Yang Ya Jin
Nationality: Taiwan
University: Rikkyo University Graduate School (Master’s Program)
Major: Master of Business Administration in Social Design Studies
Period of Study in Japan : April 2017 to March 2020
Current Workplace: Hoshino Resorts Inc.
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

I majored in social welfare in university in Taiwan; I became interested in the welfare policies of Japan, which is a developed country, and so I came here to study them. In 2018, I entered Rikkyo University’s Graduate School of Social Design Studies to learn about welfare. The School in which I enrolled considers solutions to social problems from a cross-disciplinary perspective, with the aim of creating a better society. Thanks to this, I gained knowledge of social design through a wide range of classes.

My experiences and the knowledge I learned in graduate school served as a catalyst, and I understood that welfare isn’t just techniques that could help people who are struggling; it is also the creation of a society in which many different people can live with ease. As a result of this, I focused on hunting for jobs that create an environment in which anyone can travel easily, regardless of gender, nationality, or whether they have a disability, and aimed for the travel industry. Moreover, I decided to job hunt in Japan, so I could put what I learned during my studies into practice. In April 2020, I joined Hoshino Resorts. In the middle of the coronavirus era, there have been changes beyond my expectations, but I am striving to solve the tourism issues of this period.

When I was job hunting as an international student, I did experience times that I couldn’t put my thoughts into words, and failed. I overcome this situation, I placed emphasis on the core of my job hunting: finding a position that contributes to creating an environment in which it is easier to travel. It’s important to stay calm even if you have failed, and to face the situation. I also made sure to look back at my experiences of failure, talking to senior students, classmates, and reliable people such as teachers at the career center, and thinking of solutions to improve those results.

Job Hunting Information Article

Changing Your Status of Residence

When job hunting in Japan, international students must change their resident status from “Student” to a status that permits employment. There are several types of resident status that permit employment, but when international students are job hunting, many fall under the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” status. Indeed, data from 2019 shows that these make up 92.4% of all job hunting international students.* You should be aware that several documents are needed to apply for a change in resident status, and it takes between one and three months for the application to be reviewed.

*Other statuses were “Professor” at 2.1%, “Business manager” at 1.6%, “Designated activities” at 1%, and “Other” at 2.9%.

Notably, the documents you will need for your application may differ depending on the company that will be employing you, so check carefully and prepare them early. There are also documents that the company should prepare, and it might take time for the company to prepare these documents. Once you have received an unofficial offer, you should immediately discuss the procedures to apply for resident status with the company that is hiring you, and ask them to move forward with document preparation.

JASSO’s Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2022 offers a detailed explanation of how to change your status of residence. You can download it from the site below. Please reference it alongside other sources.

5. Visit Japan

Introducing regions in Japan with universities, and more! The March issue looks at Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture.

Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student

Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture
  • Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture

Utsunomiya City in Tochigi Prefecture is located around 100 km north of Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, and has a population of around 520,000 people. The development of its agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial industries is well balanced, and there are also a number of local agencies from Tochigi Prefecture and around the country here, making it the core city of North Kanto (the northern part of the Kanto region). Utsunomiya City has eight universities and junior colleges, and around 9,000 students live here.

Utsunomiya’s Cityscape

Topographically, the northern side of Utsunomiya City is mountainous, and the southern side is a plain. The cityscape is spread across this southern plain, and at its heart stands Utsunomiya Station, where the Shinkansen (bullet train) stops. On the western side of the station is a cluster of government buildings, including the city hall and the Tochigi Prefectural Government; public facilities such as the Tochigi Prefectural Library and the Tochigi Prefecture Cultural Center; and commercial facilities such as department stores, shopping streets, and large electronics stores. At the moment, there are business streets with numerous office buildings on the eastern side of the station, but there are plans to build a hotel, condominiums, a shopping center, and a convention center here in the future. The largest university in the city is also located on the eastern side of the station, and there are lots of eateries used by the students, including bento stands, curry restaurants, and cafés, in the area around it. The average rent in Utsunomiya City is around 40,000 to 50,000 yen for a 1R or 1K apartment (one-room apartments suited for living on your own) (as of 2021).

Gyoza (Japanese Pot Stickers)

Utsunomiya can be reached in about an hour from Tokyo by Shinkansen, and is a popular tourist area visited by around 15 million people each year. When it comes to local cuisine, it is famous for its gyoza (Japanese pot stickers). Utsunomiya City consumes a lot of gyoza, and there are around 200 places that sell gyoza within the city, making them popular with visiting tourists.

There are around 9,000 students currently studying in Utsunomiya City’s universities and junior colleges, and about 800 of these are international students. The Utsunomiya City International Association runs consultations, support projects, and exchanges between resident foreign nationals and international students, as well as providing information about everyday life on its website.

6. NIPPON Information

This section introduces information on Japan for international students!

Lifestyle Information

The Scene of a Disaster Area Immediately After the Great East Japan Earthquake
  • Supplies to Prepare in Case of a Disaster

Ten years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Now, reconstruction is progressing in the areas hit by the disaster, and local governments are refining counter measures in case of future disasters. It is vital that we all prepare for disasters, including foreign nationals living in Japan. With this in mind, this issue explains what supplies to prepare in case a disaster occurs.

Stores of Food, Drink, Everyday Items, etc.

If a natural disaster occurs, there is a possibility that electricity, gas, and water supplies will stop even if your home isn't damaged. You should prepare food, drinking water, and everyday items in case this happens. It's a good idea to prepare supplies for a minimum of three days, preferably a week: three liters of drinking water per person per day, and foods that you can eat without electricity or gas, such as alpha rice,* biscuits, chocolate bars, and “kanpan” (hard crackers). Make sure you have everyday items such as toilet paper and tissue paper, as well as a portable gas stove for cooking, a flashlight, matches, and candles.

*Rice that has been cooked and dried. You can buy it in stores.

An Emergency Bag

If your home has been damaged, you will have to evacuate to an evacuation center specified by the local government. You should habitually keep the things you have prepared in a bag so you can take food and everyday items with you if this happens. You can buy special “emergency bags” in stores such as home centers, but a rucksack you don’t use or something similar will do just fine. Put drinking water, food, first-aid supplies (band-aids, bandages, antiseptic solution, medicines, etc.), clothes, underwear, a blanket, towels, etc. in the bag. If you have a portable radio or a smart-phone battery charger that can use dry-cell batteries, these are also useful.

After a disaster, the area outside of your home could be dangerous, with falling rubble, floating dust, and broken glass, so for your own security you should have a helmet, mask, and working gloves ready with your bag. In addition, make sure you can immediately take key items such as your bank book and cash from wherever they are stored.

National and local government websites explain how to prepare supplies for a disaster. They also explore disaster measures other than what you should bring with you, and what actions you should take during a disaster, so please have a look at this information.

Get to Know Japan

In this section, we will introduce topics on culture, technology, lifestyle, and more in Japan.This March issue will tell you about Japan’s 100 yen shops.

Japan’s 100 yen shops

A 100 Yen Coin

A 100 yen shop is a store in which all the products are sold for 100 yen. In Japan, you can buy a can of juice for around 100 yen. Since you can purchase many different types of product for such a cheap price, lots of people use 100 yen shops.

Japan’s 100 yen shops are characterized by having lots of types of product. They sell everything from goods for everyday life and miscellaneous items, to stationary, cosmetics such as lipsticks and skin lotions, and even toys for children. Depending on the store, they may have instant foods, confections, and drinks, too. There is a rich variety of product sizes and designs, so you can choose the product that suits your tastes and your way of using it. These stores also sell products with Japanese-style designs. It might be interesting to try dropping into a 100 yen shop to look for souvenirs when you are visiting Japan.

Products from a 100 Yen Shop

100 yen shops have an abundance of goods for everyday life, making them handy places for students who are starting to live on their own to collect their everyday items all at once. The stores have rows of the majority of the items needed for everyday living, including cleaning supplies (brooms, floor cloths, buckets, sponges, detergents, etc.), laundry supplies (hangers, clothes pegs, etc.), cooking equipment (kitchen knives, ladles, spatulas, plates, cups, etc.), and some electrical products such as light bulbs and extension cables. There is also a rich selection of writing equipment such as pens, notebooks, and pencil cases, and types of files to organize documents. They even have copier paper for printing reports on your home printer. Recently, the number of 300 yen shops, which handle slightly more expensive products than 100 yen shops, have increased. These have more well-designed, fashionable products than 100 yen shops, so they are becoming popular, especially with young women.

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 2021

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 Basic Guide (Study in Japan Guidebook)

If you are thinking about studying in Japan in the future, please read the STUDY IN JAPAN Basic Guide first.
It includes information about the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, as well as the experiences of people who have studied in Japan. You can read even more detailed content on the Study in Japan website, so if you are thinking about studying in Japan in the future, or even if you have already started your studies here, you should have at least one look at the Study in Japan website.

Official Facebook and Instagram 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”

Please read the March 2021 issue. It will be available on March 10.

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):
Yamagata University

Job Hunting Guide for International Students

Job Hunting Guide 2022

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.

The Japanese hard copy version of the Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2022 has been completed. We have started sending the 2022 edition of the book from the end of February. You can download the Japanese PDF version as well as PDF versions in other languages (English, Chinese, Korean) from the site below.

8. From the Editor

Until now, we have sent Japan Alumni eNews as an e-mail magazine, but after this March 2021 issue we will no longer send it in its current form. In the future, we will deliver fresher information in the form of social media, and we will take a short time to prepare for this.
It is thanks to the warmhearted cooperation of everyone involved that we have been able to create Japan Alumni eNews, packed with enthusiasm and wishes for studying in Japan. Thank you all very much. I hope that we’ll still have your cooperation when we share information using our new social media in the future. I look forward to seeing you all again on social media.
You can look forward to the new Japan Alumni eNews from summer 2021!

  • 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 and Career Support 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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