Rabu, 23 September 2015

The Dream Never Gives Up On You (Part 1): The Road To Awardee

Konnichiwa, Minna-san!!

It's been more than 1 year since the last time i wrote something in my blog. Apart from the busy life that I lead (#ppfftt), i'm not a big fan of writing in a diary, so since writing a blog is like writing a diary, i'm a lil bit lazy to do that.

But, here we go. The story of a life that i lead.

Currently, I live in Nagoya, a "middle-city" that lies between Kyoto and Tokyo. Not as busy as Tokyo, the people here walks slower that Tokyo's people who seems always in a rush. But still has its own beauty and matsuri, though maybe not as big as matsuri in Kyoto and not as beautiful as Kyoto.

Living in Japan has been one of my dreams since i was in junior high school. So, one of dream's checklist has been fulfilled. Hehe

How was the story that now i live in Japan?

Well, after working in one of research center in my faculty, ASEAN Studies Center, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada, I decided to apply for a scholarship for my master degree (since my parents said that if you want to continue your study after your undergraduate, you have to do it by yourself a.k.a by looking for full scholarship). Yep. My parents could not afford if i want to continue my study, and especially as i want to do my master degree overseas. I understood their concern, as I am the middle child, and i still have a younger brother and a younger sister. It would be not fair if I monopolized their money for my own education.

Sooo, i decided to apply for Japanese Government Scholarship or known as Monbukagakusho Scholarship (MEXT Scholarship) for Research Student (Master/PhD). One reason: study in Japan is always one of my dreams. (Actually, i also applied for  Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) but i just got as far as interview test). Plus, i have interest in several graduate schools in Japan: Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University; Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University; and Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

I need to submit my document (and filled online document) for administrative selection before April 24, 2014 if I were not mistaken, and I sent it one or two days before the deadline. After that, the result of administrative selection announced through the Japanese Embassy website, and i'm quite shocked knowing my name is on the list along with 86 people (I knew the announcement when I was sitting on my chair in the office and holding my friend's, Ainun, hand while praying). I'm quite shocked because my friend who is definitely smarter than me and apply for it too, did not passed the administrative selection. BOOM. I felt very lucky at that time.

As i passed the administrative selection, the next step is Writing and Interview Test. The Education Section of the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta asked to those who passed the administrative selection to send a confirmation email to them to confirm our attendance in the Writing and Interview Test.  I changed my Writing Test venue from Jakarta to Surabaya, since Surabaya is closer, and cheaper in terms of transportation; but we have to do the interview test in Jakarta.

The writing test consists of two things: Japanese Language test and English Language test. Due to a mistake made by the Consulate General in Surabaya (they ask all of participants to choose which language test we want to do, and i choose english), i need to do Japanese Language test before my interview test. Since my japanese language ability is A BIG FAT ZERO, i just wrote my name and my test number, then i gave the paper to the examiner, and said "My japanese language ability is so poor, so it's better for me to not do it".

After waiting for more than 6 hours (my slot for interview was around 1 pm, and i got there around 8-8.30, and i got interviewed around 3 pm), finally i entered the interview room. There were 4 interviewer, 2 ladies and 2 gentlemen (3 japanese, 1 indonesian). As usual, they asked me to introduce myself, and after that they began to drilled me with questions, mostly on my field of study and interests, my view on women and islam, and the best part is when one of them asked me during my study in Japan whether i want to explore Japan or not, in which i definitely answered with a VERY BIG YES!

The result of the writing and interview test came around July 11, 2014. The Embassy then sent me several documents (via email after my confirmation on my willingness to become one of awardee candidate of the scholarship) that i need to complete and send it back to them, including Letter of Acceptance as Research Student from at least 2 or 3 universities, and they asked us to picked up the previous documents that we sent to apply for the scholarships and a document that stated we passed the First Screening process and will be needed to get LoAs from University in Japan. Yap, this is only the First Screening. Thus, began the LoA Hunting Episode.

I got rejected by several lectures from Kyoto University as my research topic more on International Relations, and their topic mostly on anthropology etc. But, with the blessings from God, I got two LoA, one from GSID, Nagoya University and from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Unfortunately, the LoA from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University came late, so i only could submit from GSID, Nagoya University. But it does not matter for me, since GSID, Nagoya University is my priority, so i got what i wanted.

Around November 20, 2014, I got the email from the Embassy regarding the final result of Monbukagakusho Scholarship or Second Screening as they sent our application to MEXT. Alhamdulillah. Next, is the Episode of waiting for University placement. Since I just sent them one LoA from Nagoya University, I knew that my placement would be there. They announced the University via Facebook (The Embassy made a group on Facebook for all of the Monbukagakusho Scholarship for Research Student Awardee) around February 10, 2015. Then, the preparation for departure started!!

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