By the way, what do we really mean by MEXT? MEXT stands for Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It is also formerly known as Monbusho or Monbukagakusho for its modern terminology. It was established year 1954 and until now, over 65,000 (and still counting) from over 160 countries internationally are studying in Japan under this Japanese Government Scholarship program.
I can still reminisce the first time I applied last year for MEXT scholarship for graduate studies. I was fully determined, motivated and prepared that after reading all of the requirements needed for submission, I said to myself, "I am fully ready!". Before starting off, here's what you're gonna get after successfully passing all of the required documents and interviews by your Japanese embassy handling MEXT:
- 144,000 yen per month (for Master's Degree applicants) with 2,000-3,000 yen stipend which varies every year depending on MEXT's budget.
- A round trip ticket fare after successful completion of the course/program.
- Tuition and Other Fees.
- And many more benefits which you will learn once you're there in Japan including its Japan's culture, history, its language, etc.
HOW ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCEDURES?
As part of the Embassy-Recommendation application procedures, here's the list of forms or documents to submit to your Japanese embassy by the required date or deadline:
- Application Form
- Placement Preference Form
- Field of Study and Research Program Plan
- Certified grade transcript for each academic year
- Graduation certificate or degree certificate of the last university
- Recommendation from the president/dean or the adviser of the last university attended
- Medical certificate
- Abstracts of theses
- Recommendation from the present employer (if currently employed)
Okay, so there you go, I've posted the list but what were really the mistakes which I think were the reasons why I didn't make the cut?
MISTAKES BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
1. Handwriting your application: Filling out your application by means of handwriting it is a big NO-NO, especially if you're not given the special talent to write legibly and clearly (like me). Better yet, type it using your desktops or laptops. I'm pretty sure your embassy has prepared an editable copy for you to use like (click this link for a sample). Take note that reviewers, may it be a Japanese diplomats or a designated native officials in your country, will not favor your application documents if it's not readable after all. (there are other applicants who will make it easier for them to review their papers).
2. Submitting a copy or whole copy of thesis: Wanna impress your Embassy with your all-time winning thesis by photocopying a portion or even worst, the whole copy of your thesis? Don't even expect that your Embassy will be diligent to read your masterpiece because again, as I've mentioned, if you're not going to make it easy for them to peruse your documents, better yet, change your strategy and make a short (one page or 3/4 page) summary of what your thesis is all about.
3. Photocopy of Transcripts: Other applicants are still trying their lucks submitting a photocopy version of their transcripts because they are running out of time or maybe the deadline is going to close. Bear in mind that not following instructions will disqualify you from the application process, by all means.
4. Medical Certificate not fully filled out: Make sure that all fields of this form are filled out properly especially those fields not applicable to you. Kindly recheck your medical certificate form before leaving your doctor/physician's office/clinic.
5. Unorganized documents: Even if the university stated in their instructions that you can number your documents from 1 through 10 in the right corner of each sheet, if you can print out a cover page indicating the documents you have to submit will make it more presentable, appealing and organized especially for the reviewers of your application.
6. You thought you've already done your 101% best: I myself thought I did my 101% efforts to my Embassy-recommendation documents but the thing is, after googling all of these requirements (sadly I did google them after submitting to Embassy). I just came to realize that there were things still I could have done better in my application if I just prepped up a bit early (6 months preparation prior the deadline is ideal). Remember, preparation and research are the keys to make it successful, so take advantage of this 6-month time frame.
These were the things I think ruined my Embassy-recommendation application and I hope you won't be doing the same thing again. I'll be posting the other series of my MEXT adventure, so stick around and stay updated.
Good luck with your MEXT application folks!