# On the sheet titled “Field of Study and Study Program,” first write a brief, bulleted outline of your proposed field of study in Japan, and then write a detailed program of what you intend to study.
# There is the possibility of extending your scholarship to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D as a regular student at your university if your grades are high and you pass the entrance exam given by the university, but scholarship extensions are by no means automatic. You should go to Japan with the understanding that you are a research student only.

The general timetable for the scholarship application process is as follows:

* May 25, 2007: Applications due at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta.
* Mid-June 2007: Interviews and exams at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta.
* End of June: Preliminary acceptances announced by Consulate. Successful applicants are instructed to contact universities for letter of acceptance.
* August 20, 2007: Letter of acceptance submission deadline.
* Mid- December: Tentative acceptances announced by Tokyo.
* Mid- February 2008: Final response and university assignment (April departures)
* April 1-7, 2008: April departures leave for Japan
* July 2008: Final response and university assignment (October departures)
* October 1-7, 2008: October departures leave for Japan

/***** Field of Study *****/
****** 専攻分野
****** Proposed study program in Japan – State the outline of your major field of study on this side and the details of your study program on the back. 日本での研究計画 - この研究計画は、選考及び大学配置の重要な参考となるので,表面に専攻分野の概要を,裏面に研究計画の詳細を具体に記入すること。
****** 相当の日本語能力を有する者は,日本語により記入すること。

My proposed field of study is “Information Science” – 情報科学. Through these studies, I hope to attain a high level of Japanese language skills related to technical communications, which will in turn allow me to continue on my career path to become a senior technology analyst. I intend to convert to become a regular graduate student and pursue a master’s degree after the first year.

The reason for choosing “Information Science” came from my work experience at Yahoo!, which I will explain in the detailed section. The following are subjects in my intended studies:

• Japanese Language
• Language and Information Science
• Visual Cognition
• Media and Culture
• Media and Semiotics
• Socio-psychology Communication Studies
• Search and data storage in Japanese

***** Study program in Japan in detail and concreteness(研究計画:詳細かつ具体に記入すること。)

First, upon arrival in Japan, I plan to participate in the six-month Japanese language training. I have intermediate Japanese language skills but in order to become a regular graduate student in Japan, I’ll need close to fluent level. In case I cannot reach fluent level even after my first six months in Japan, I have chosen “Information Science” as my field of studies with this in consideration. The courses in the “Information Science” major allow the students to acquire basic interdisciplinary knowledge in the various fields concerned with social and cultural phenomena related to media, communication and information. These subjects will allow me to continue to learn Japanese, while being highly relevant to my career at the same time.

As I’ve said in the outline section, the reason why I chose “Information Science” is partly due to my work experience at Yahoo!. After spending more than 6 years at internet companies like Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc., I have become an expert in database analysis. My career goal is to become a Database Architect in the Business Intelligence field. (Business Intelligence is a specialized database strategy that gathers and extracts information from historical data.)

In November of 2006, a “Business Intelligence Analyst” position opened up at Yahoo! Japan. The position requires Japanese Language skills, and the qualified candidate will work closely with both Japan and the US. He/she will be responsible for bringing the US’s “Business Intelligence” technologies to Japan. This job is extremely challenging and I felt that it was the ideal position for me. I possess the technical skills and I have always wanted to work in Japan. I applied and passed the technical exams. However, on my 3rd interview with a Japanese developer, I had a difficult time with his technical questions in Japanese and so, I failed to qualify for the position. As this field is highly specialized, they have yet to find a suitable person to fill the position as of May 16th, 2007. This tells me that there’s a lack of talent in this field.

After my attempt at that position, I have come to realize that, a job that works to bridge technologies between Japan and the US, is the only job that I want! In order to qualify for such a position, I will need to improve my Japanese. I started looking into graduate programs in Japan, and that was how I discovered the Monbukagakusho Scholarship.

As I researched into suitable graduate courses, I kept my career goal in mind. I need a program that will allow me to be in touch with the Japanese language. It will also be beneficial if I can learn about Japanese in the current age media such as the internet and mobile phones. These are the type of data that are used in an internet company’s Business Intelligence department. After researching into some of the top universities’ graduate programs, I found “Information Science” to be an ideal match for me.

Two of the universities that offer the “Information Science” graduate program are the University of Tokyo and Tohoku University.

At the University of Tokyo, I found the “Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies / Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies” department. The graduate school is comprised of three courses: Cultural and Human Information Studies, Socio-information and Communication Studies and Interdisciplinary Information Sciences.

The Cultural and Human Information Studies course is concerned directly with the task of constructing a new interdisciplinary field of information studies fusing aspects of the humanities and social sciences with elements of the natural sciences. Faculty members associated with this course are engaged in research on diverse topics, including information theory, evolution, ecological psychology, perception, semiotics, visual images, cultural studies, historical informatics, archiving, media literacy, media expression, education systems and design of the learning environment. The four main areas of study in this course are: (1) Life, body and environment, (2) Culture, representation and image, (3) Media expression, learning and literacy, (4) Archiving and historical informatics. Number 3 and 4 are of special interest to me as they are directly related to my career.

In the Socio-information and Communication Studies Course, students acquire basic interdisciplinary knowledge in the various fields concerned with social and cultural phenomena related to media, communication and information, and carry out research and other practical applications based on this knowledge. There are six main areas of study in this course: (1) Media and journalism studies, (2) Socio-psychology and information behavior, (3) Law and policy, (4) Economics and industrial studies, (5) Sociology and history, (6) Asian regional studies. Specific examples of the kind of topics covered in lectures and seminars are electronic money, the freedom of information, and the social and behavioral effects of cellular phone usage. This course is most relevant for internet professionals like me.

The last course, Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, is less relevant to me as it deals principally with mathematical and natural-science approaches to information studies, hence I won’t be going into it in details.

At Tohoku University, I found the “Graduate School of Information Sciences”. It consists of four departments: Computer and Mathematical Sciences, System Information Sciences, Human-Social Information Sciences, and Applied Information Sciences.

The Department of Human-Social Information Sciences has the most relevant courses for me. The staff and students of this Department aim at solving important and urgent problems that confront present and future societies from the environment, cities, population, resources, and energy. The following research topics are particularly emphasized: concepts and theories of information and communication; individual, social, political and economic functions and impacts of information and communication.

The specific courses within the Department of Human-Social Information Sciences that I’ve listed in the outline includes “Language and Information Science”, which aims to elucidate the nature of the system of knowledge that enables us to use natural languages. “Visual Cognition”, which researches into areas of spatial attention, visual consciousness, human factors involved in accident proneness and cross-modal perception. These topics are highly relevant in web design in terms of placement of information. “Media and Culture”, which delves into present days’ communication medium like photographs, movies, television and the internet. This course aims to examine the media society and culture, and experimentally create a new “public sphere” communication system. Once again, highly relevant to the internet industry. “Media and Semiotics”, which aims to analyze and explain all kinds of media contents with various theories and semiotics. Various media are surveyed and researched as sign systems and cognitive schemata for social communication.

In order to demonstrate the thoughts I put into choosing my field of studies, I chose to take up a large portion of the detailed section to write about my work experiences. I understand that the instruction asked for my proposed study program in detail and concreteness, but since the graduate courses’ names are quite self-explanatory, I hope that by explaining why I chose these courses, you can have a better idea of my serious attitude toward this scholarship and graduate studies in Japan. I am eager to devote my time and energy into studying in beautiful Japan.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Nicholas Wang

情報工学研究者 – computer science


Tohoku University 東北大学

東北大学大学院情報科学研究科 – The Graduate School of Information Sciences (GSIS)

  • Human Social Information Sciences Major – 人間社会情報科学専攻
    • Human Information Science 人間情報学講座
      • Language and Information Science 言語情報学
      • Human Learning and Memory 学習心理情報学
      • Visual Cognition 認知心理情報学
      • Philosophy of Human Information 人間情報哲学
      • Text Structure and Linguistic Information 言語テキスト解析論
    • Media and Information Science メディア情報学講座
      • Media and Culture メディア文化論
      • Media and Semiotics メディア記号論
  • Applied Information Sciences Department – 応用情報科学専攻
    • Information and Applied Technology 応用情報技術論講座
      • Information Technology 情報通信技術論
    • Applied Informatics for Human and Life Sciences 応用生命情報学講座
      • Cognitive Psychology 認知情報学
    • Associated Laboratory 連携講座
      • Statistical Science of Complex Systems 複雑系統計科学 [統計数理研究所]

University of Tokyo 東京大学

  • School of Engineer
    • Department of Technology Mangement for Innovation 技術経営戦略学
      • イノベーション マネジメント
      • プログラム・プロジェクト・マネジメント
      • 技術ロードマッピング
      • イノベーションのための情報技術
      • リスクマネジメント
  • Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies / Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies 東京大学大学院情報学環・学際情報学府
    • Socio-information and Communication Studies
Posted in Japan, Japanese, Reference
10 comments on “monbukagakusho
  1. Alias says:

    So how did it go?
    Am in one of the courses your mentioned above : )

  2. cloneofsnake says:

    I don’t know, I got all the required documents except a school adviser recommendation b’coz it has been so long ago… I got 2 recs from my managers here at Yahoo though.

    Really? Which course? Which university? Once I finish the interview and the Japanese test, I’ll need to contact the universities and “obtain admission as a graduate student or research student, or a letter of acceptance as a research student”. So, I need to continue doing research…

  3. Атабек says:


    So, your “field of study” and “study program” essays – How did they work?
    Have you got in?

  4. cloneofsnake says:

    Monbusho was denied ages ago! I didn’t give up on my plan to go to Japan though, and I applied for an independent “Foreign Research Student” program at U of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (東京大学大学院情報学環・学際情報学府). Unfortunately, that was denied too! 😦 I haven’t updated my blogs lately, but there is slightly more info on my journey to Japan.

  5. zineb says:

    pleas can you helpe mie
    I am stedente in algéria and I like to sent my APPLICATION FOR JAPANESE GOVERNMENT
    but i have a boor english language and i can’t write my ” Field of Study and Study Program”
    please helpe mie
    speciality is genetics
    thank you

  6. cloneofsnake says:

    Hi zineb, the “Field of Study” essay is actually the main criteria! If your speciality is in genetics, then it is important that you write, in your own language (French?), your expertise in the field and what you plan on researching.

    My proposal to Monbusho was made in a hurry and looking back, I realize it wasn’t enough to just state my technical expertise at work! Later on, I actually tried to apply to the University of Tokyo directly as a “foreign research student”, my research proposal was much more detailed, (and even that wasn’t enough!)

    So, bottomline is, write it in your own language and then have someone translate it into English or Japanese for you. Good luck!

  7. zineb says:

    thank you very much

  8. Nati says:

    Hello! I need help! I dont know how I can fill Field of Study and Study Program, i Am Civil Engineer, and also another qestion is how are the test and te interview for researchers?

  9. Julian says:

    I just want to say to all the people that are looking for studying at Japan that this kind of proposal for me is too poor; as you can see our friend here has made a proposal based on his own personal desires. I think that Japan offers this kind of scholarships to people that has a deeply commitment with the development of their country…. If I wish to apply to a Monbukagakusho scholarship program with such a weak research proposal (at least here in Guatemala) is surely that I wouldn´t pass the first stage of the process…..

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