Back to Kyoto

Anyone reading carefully over the past couple of weeks would have figured this out, but I never said quite specifically. Tomorrow I will be flying back to Japan, and living once again in Kyoto. This time I will be studying again, but instead of as an exchange student or employee at Ritsumeikan University (what I did the first and second time I lived there) I will be a graduate student at Kyoto University, on the Japanese Ministry of Education foreign research student scholarship.

I have to find a place to live once I arrive, but I do have a place to crash for a couple of weeks while I make long, or at least medium-term arrangements. Anyone living in or near Kyoto or who might be passing through is encouraged to let me know, and I will of course be visiting Tokyo from time to time, and other areas of Japan at some point in the future.

I know that a lot of people reading this may be interested in the application process for this scholarship program, so at some point I will post a detailed description of my own passage through it, which I began writing as an email to a friend of mine who told me that he had changed his mind about applying for it when I was about halfway through.

My onlineness may be a little unstable for the next couple of weeks, but hopefully I will be able to respond to messages with moderate promptness, and of course I will have my trusty vintage 2006 keitai-at least until I buy a fancy new 2008 model, with my fancy new student discount.

10 thoughts on “Back to Kyoto”

  1. I also might be going to Japan soon and was wondering if you have advice for those of us that don’t have a place to crash for a few weeks. Since I plan on being there a few years I want to go ahead and get an apartment but I’ve heard that you need an alien registration card to sign a lease. Is that true? Last time I studied in Japan it took quite a while to get this card so I’m not sure what to do until then.

  2. Those Ministry of Ed schols are sweet. I suckled at their teat for seven years. Back when I first started it wasn’t paid into your account, but handed over by the university as cash – brand new, crisp, sweet-smelling bills…. Then they started doing bank deposits, which just wasn’t as satisfying really. Actually, I’ve heard they’ve gone down a bit in the past few years, by about maybe 5,000 yen.

    So what will you be studying in Kyoto, and why Kyoto?

  3. Congrats. I am also a Ministry of Education scholarship veteran (and I’m also going back to Japan rather soon as well). It is an amazing opportunity. Will you be starting out as an enrolled MA student, or as a researcher? What will you be studying.

  4. Wow, ex-mombusho gathering! Welcome to the club Roy. Life really is good on the scholarship – well better than working for three years, anyway. Are they going to place you in language courses? Normally that part is required, but I’m not sure you need it.

  5. For the research student, I don’t think they have language courses per se. Though they may have an optional (?) six-month one. I never had a research student one (the undergrad and the postgrad instead) so am not sure, mind you. The hard-core language course at Gaidai’s school is for the undergrad schol.

  6. I did the language course because I needed it, but I also heard about a research scholar who got roped into doing one despite the fact that they claimed their Japanese was “fine”. That “fine” could very well have been judged “not so fine” by the Monkasho people, but for Roy, it may be better to check this out sooner rather than later. I’m sure that getting stuck in 6 hour a day language classes starting out with “Watashi ha Mutant Frog desu” is not your idea of fun.

  7. “Please come up to Tokyo asap. There are a lot of people waiting to meet you.”

    Yeah,let’s do some book-hunting at Jinbocho again,Roy.

  8. This language course is offered or at least run by the university you are assigned to, right? A bit different than the Gaidai one I assume. At least from what I have heard. But yeah, you want to make sure you don’t get roped into it. Were you a degree student or a non-degree student? – if you have a BA from a Japanese university you shouldn’t be made to take a language course. That is, MEXT should realise you have the language already.

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