I’ve only just learned of this awesome Japanese government scholarship from my sister recently, after I told her that I’m being laid off.
My sister was lucky enough to have done 2 exchange programs to Japan, once when she was in high school, she spent a summer in Kagoshima, Kyuushu. The second was in her last year in college, she went for a whole year at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. It was at Aoyama where she met people who was on the Monbukagakusho (Monbusho for short) scholarship.
I’m a typical elder child in the house. I studied boring subjects in college, got myself stable jobs at Microsoft and Yahoo! Never strayed far from the planned path. When my sister got to do the summer home stay in Kagoshima, I was quite jealous of her. I never chose to have any fun in school, all I thought about was picking the “right” courses to prepare myself for a career in the computer industry. I really wished I had taken chances to relax and do something crazy.
Now, I’ve just passed the big 30 mark. (and by just, I mean more than a year ago :P) I finally have enough skills and experience under my belt to make me feel safe. I begin to think about stepping out of the “stable zone”… doing the “crazy” stuff. I’ve had some crazy ideas, one was to make films about sharks. I love sharks! And I fucking hate Chinese people for eating shark fins! I wanted to put some bogus research on film saying that shark fins are cancerous! So they would stop eating shark fins! Yes, the idea is bat shit crazy!:D Some more realistic ones include a few web based businesses that I’m trying to put into motion now, and finally, going to Japan… I hadn’t really thought about this one, but once my sister told me about the scholarship, I did some research… and now I’m not quiting until I am there!
Monbukagakusho (文部科学省) literally stands for “Literature, Science, Ministry”. Their English name is Ministry of Education,culture,sports,science and technology (MEXT). They have been inviting international students to study in Japan at state expense since 1954. I got most of the information from this website, there are seven types of Japanese government-sponsored scholarships available – research students, teacher training students, undergraduate university students, Japanese studies students, college of technology students, special training students and YLP students. The only one that I can apply for is the “Research Students” one. When I read the qualifications, it really hit me hard!
You must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (includes prospective graduates). Or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.
Must be under 35 years old… that’s like saying to me, “you’re almost too old to make a change in life!” It really got me thinking! Where am I in life? Like I said before, if I have child support and a mortgage to pay, I probably would’ve looked for a new job already. Even if I spend a little time opening my own web business, I can imagine I’ll be back in corporate America’s death grip within 1 ~ 2 years. So do I want that? My answer is no. I think I want to work for an American company, but I don’t want to work in the US anymore. Getting this scholarship and going to grad school in Japan will allow me to achieve that goal. So, I applied. The results? That’s for a later post. (Hint: FAILURE!!)