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My Scholarship Application Experience: MEXT Scholarship Research Student

My Scholarship Application Experience: MEXT Scholarship Research Student

Photo Credit: Tianshu Liu
It is very common to consider applying for a scholarship program to pursue your education in Japan. In this article, a graduate student from Thailand who successfully received a Japanese government scholarship (hereafter, MEXT scholarship) to go to a university in Kyoto talks about her experience of the scholarship application!

MEXT Scholarship Research Student Program

I am an international student from Thailand, currently taking a doctorate course at Kyoto Institute of Technology after having completed a master’s course at Kyoto University of the Arts.

The MEXT Scholarship has some categories. I applied for the Research Student Embassy Recommendation and successfully received it in 2017. When I came to Japan in 2017, I could not speak Japanese at all, so in my first year in Japan, I focused on learning Japanese at Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language. In 2018, I enrolled in Kyoto University of the Arts to continue my Master’s degree, and conducted research in Character Design.

This scholarship is for students who graduated from university and want to continue their study in Japan. In the first year (or two) the student’s resident status is “research student” and if he/she can continue on to graduate school, the scholarship will continue.

When applying for the MEXT scholarship, first you need to submit all the required documents, including forms and your research plan. Only people who pass the applicant screening can get to the interview. It is often said that a key for getting picked is to have a unique or innovative research theme.

However, in my case, I had not exactly set my research topic yet at the time, so what I did was write about myself. Focusing on things I was good at, I built up the proposal with my character, interests, cultural background, and motivation for learning to present an effective appeal. There may be many ways to do this but I hope this idea helps some of you.

The tips I am sharing here are my personal experience, which may be different from person to person.

The application procedure consists of 3 steps.

1. Application submission including study plan
2. Examination
3. Interview (only for those who pass the examination)

Credit: Andrew Neel

1. Application submission including study plan

The required documents for the application are listed on the website for the MEXT Scholarship, as well as the website of the Japanese diplomatic mission (such as the Embassy of Japan) in your country. The deadline for submission of application documents varies according to each Japanese diplomatic mission, so you must check the deadline with the place where you are going to submit the application.

In my case, I submitted my application form, test application form, study plan, photo, transcript, graduation certificate, and JLPT certificate. You should try to submit early, just in case some of the required documents are missing.

Credit: Scott Graham