Education can have a profound impact on one’s life. For many people who are not born with a silver spoon in mouth, tertiary education in a foreign country is a luxury. With limited seats in national universities and private institutions’ fees going through the roof, the help of scholarships becomes much more valuable. Japan is no exception. Japan offers international students a variety of scholarships and the Global 30 Project Scholarship is one of them. The selected 13 core universities in this funding project, with a range of English-based programs, aim to internationalize academic systems and foster the international learning environment of Japanese universities. More importantly, through a multidisciplinary education curriculum, G30 scholars are nurtured to become ethical leaders, who are able to develop innovative solutions through inquiry and analysis, with strong communication skills to be productive members of our global society.
Regardless of the university you applied for, you will want to hear some advice and learn more about the application process of the G30 Scholarship Program. So you are arriving at the right website because you can discover them with Schoolynk, particularly with this article! To give you some idea of the application, I reached out to Vy Nguyen, who is currently pursuing her undergraduate study at the School of Humanities at Nagoya University, with Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies (JACS) as her major.
Grew up in the Southern city of Vietnam, Vy furthered her education in one of the most well-known high school in Vietnam, Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted, taking Literature as her specialization. It was this prestigious school that nurtured her talents, offered her many opportunities, and exposed her to various international opportunities. She feels grateful for her high school because it opened doors of opportunities for her.
Without further ado, let’s hear what she shared about her G30 Application Procedure.
Did you think about studying abroad in Japan at the very beginning?
To be honest, studying abroad in Japan did not approach my mind until I got a chance to visit Japan for one week under an exchange trip for Vietnamese students sponsored by KOKUYO Company. I once held the belief that Japan’s educational system is not ideal for international students since it is a monocultural nation. However, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity proved that I was wrong. Many Japanese universities now provide students with an international learning environment and full-degree courses that are taught entirely in English. Moreover, I realize that I can develop my passion for Japanese culture while pursuing education here.
What made you choose Nagoya University under the G30 Scholarship Program to apply?
Admittedly, I did not have a clue what the G30 Scholarship is until I visited Nagoya University (NU). On that trip, I paid a visit to five prestigious Japanese universities in different provinces; however, NU left a lasting impression on me. I was introduced to the aim and mission of G30 there, which inspired me immediately. I felt G30 Scholarship is so prestigious that anyone receiving it would gain a huge advantage because their financial burdens can be greatly reduced. During the school tour, I was amazed by the quality and wide range of books in its library. My love for books is endless. For a student who specialized in literature, seeing these many books ignited my passion for reading. I want to pursue my passion for exploring Japanese culture, understanding how it correlates with other East Asian countries, learning about Japan’s society throughout history, literature, and films, which hopefully will help me in achieving my dream to be a cross-cultural representative. That is why I chose the JACS program from Nagoya University.
I am really curious to hear your application story. Any difficulties during your application procedure?
Regarding the application procedure, it was not too complicated. I had to write a 1000-word essay and join an interview. For the essay, since my major is Vietnamese Literature, I do not possess much experience in writing English essays. Thus, creating a fascinating and impressively unique essay became a huge obstacle for me. I could not remember how many times I was stuck with drafts and essay revisions. Moreover, I also had to keep a balance between studying for the final semester at school and working on my essay, which was frustrating but quite interesting. My idea came in the last minute and eventually I finished my essay, revised, and submitted it just one day before the deadline. I will never forget that moment. Although I knew from the very beginning that I had to work hard if I decided to apply for this competitive scholarship program. It turned out to be even more nerve-racking as the deadline was approaching. It was never easy but I am glad that I chose this route.
Could you share some application advice for people who might be interested?
I would say the whole process of applying is arduous and may seem intimidating at first, but everyone can (and will) complete it. Always bear in mind that hard work pays off. All it takes is concentration, perseverance, and a plan. Firstly, make sure that you are excited about the list of schools you are applying for specific reasons. Those reasons would be your main source of inspiration for your essay, as well as motivations in case you are exhausted with all the pressure and want to give up. Don’t tell the interviewers or write in the essays that you want to study in Japan just because you are a fan of anime or manga. It’s not enough to impress the recruiters. Secondly, outline each school’s requirements and take note of the important dates. What I did was to give myself plenty of time to put together the best application package possible for each school, so that it would be easier for me to track the missing documents. You don’t want to be rushing through your applications at the last minute. So try to finish everything at your earliest convenience; one to two weeks before the deadline is highly recommended. Make a plan about your application process as much detailed as possible, from the required papers to the idea of the essay.
Thirdly, start your essay early. You should give yourself enough time to come up with ideas, prepare an outline, write a rough draft and finally, have it proofread! Do not be afraid to make a thorough revision of the whole essay if you are not satisfied with it. Work until you are proud of your final draft. Also, remember to check for grammatical errors before submitting them. Fourthly, list all your strengths and stay focused on how to demonstrate them in your essay. If you are about to tell a story, I suggest using the STAR formula “Situation – Task – Action – Result” as it would show, not tell! Behind every one is a story to be told. So why don’t you make the best of it and express yourself through that story? It will be much more convincing than just telling without giving any supportive evidence. Next, you can ask seniors from the university to help you. Finally, to avoid putting a strain on the schedules, ask your teachers for recommendation letters early on. This will allow them to have plenty of time to meet the deadline and may result in a more personalized letter. Also, be prepared to provide detailed information about your intended career path or extracurricular activities that may be used to personalize the recommendations.
You said that there was also an interview round. So between essay and interview, which worried you more? And how did you prepare for your interview?
I was worried about both, but for me, writing essays was more stressful than preparing for the interview. As I mentioned, how to write a standout essay obsessed me even when I went to sleep. About the interview, I asked my senpai about their recommendations when interviewing. I also made a list of questions related to my essay, my major and the school as well as my reasons for applying that may appear in the interview. To me, the key to a successful interview is to practice. I stood in front of the mirror and practiced answering the questions many times. I also asked my friends to be my audience, which boosted my confidence. My tip is to try to stay confident and calm during the interview, even though it is really hard to do so while you’re facing the admissions committee. Again, show, don’t tell. Also, do not repeat what you have already explained in the essays. This is a great chance for you to demonstrate more of your unique attributes. Be sincere and honest, Japanese people always appreciate honesty and your efforts and dedication when doing something. Therefore, try to put emphasis on your passion when explaining your pursuit of any goals.
One last thing, wear something nice on the interview day. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget this or think it is not that necessary. Believe me, it makes a big difference!
This is the last question! Do you want to say anything to those who want to study abroad in Japan in general and become a G30 scholar in specific?
To those who consider competing for the G30 scholarship program or any other Japanese scholarship programs, I’d say go for it! In the long run, you’ll have nothing to lose but everything to gain from applying, which can help you achieve your academic goals and prepare for a successful future. I would really suggest you apply early and get the language proficiency tests finished early. Once you are sure about your decision to go to Japan, you should learn Japanese in advance. Furthermore, you should not limit yourself or your ability but apply to the scholarship that you want because you will never know what surprise is waiting for you. Your journey to Japan will only start when you are ready to accept the challenge and try your best to achieve it.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me and sharing your experience!
For further information about 13 universities selected in the Global 30 Project, please visit this site: http://schoolynkmedia.sakura.ne.jp/2020/03/11/list-of-english-based-degree-programs-in-japan-a-simple-compilation/