Lunes, Setyembre 5, 2016

VISA APPLICATION ANSWERED INQUIRIES + CHANGE OF FLIGHT SCHEDULE + JAPAN EMBASSY LOCATION + VOID AND VALID VISA

  • VISA APPLICATION ANSWERED INQUIRIES
In my previous post, I mentioned that I emailed and asked a lot of questions to Prof.Ery. After just a day or two she replied answering all of my questions. Here I will just quote her reply:

"Hope you are doing fine. 
Before answering your questions in a previous mail, I will be asking you something to confirm, please:
1. About dormitory: 
You were assigned to Momiji Student Dormitory, please check the list of Osaka University dormitories attached to this e-mail and let me know if you confirm your application by Monday 22nd
In general, these dormitories are fully furnished, located relatively near from the University and the monthly rent is quite cheap. You can stay there just after your arrival to Japan up to 6 months and meanwhile you can search for your own apartment. For its convenience and fast availability we strongly recommend you to apply for it. (this one just requires us to pay 13,500 yen per month in total, no hidden charges haha! So out of 147,000 yen per month allowance, dorm fee is absolutely cheap/affordable)

2. About Air ticket:
Intended length of stay: 2 years (even though I will be under a 5-year program)
Date of arrival in Japan: according to the attached ticket
Port of Entry: Kansai Airport
Name of Ship/ Airline: according to the attached ticket
Name and address of hotels/persons with whom applicant intends to stay:
Address of the dormitory as attached file
Guarantor or reference in Japan: (I deleted the info for my supervisor's privacy, but all info were provided)
Name: 
Tel: 
Address: 
Date of birth: 
Male/female: 
Relationship to applicant: Supervisor
Profession or occupation and position: University Professor
Nationality and immigration status: Japanese, Japanese national

Inviter in Japan: “Same as above” is OK.

  • CHANGE OF FLIGHT SCHEDULE
WARNING: LONG DRAMATIC STORY AHEAD, SKIP THIS PART!!!
For your Air ticket application, you are given two options to decide when you would like to set your flight. Before choosing your travel dates you are required to consult your lab secretary, since they may arrange a transport or send someone to pick you up at the airport. Fortunately, my laboratory would  be able to pick me up only on the 28th of September, and send me to my dormitory. However during my first application, my used to be "friend", (well she's not actually my friend, we used to attend the same class years ago), who is currently at Osaka and has already finished her M.S. degree told me that she will not pursue Ph.D anymore (personal reasons I guess). She told me that since her flight back to Philippines would be on the 29th, she would like to meet me on the 26th or 27th. Why not on the 28th? Because she will be too busy on that day in preparation for her flight the next day. She'd like to sell to me her bicycle and make me pay for her remaining 3-month data plan. Being a good former classmate, I sacrificed the perks of arriving on the 28th, and submitted a 26 or 27 flight schedule. I know it would be hassle on my part since:
1.)  I would have to find for an accommodation for a day or two
2.) I would have to travel alone from airport to the hotel I'd be choosing. 

But then, I chose to meet her, since she said that in return (pakunswelo) she'll hand me over her winter clothes/ Actually, I don't really need hers, cause I have relatives abroad (HK, Taiwan and Singapore) who already sent me winter clothes.  She told me to inform her as soon as my air ticket itinerary arrives. And when it did (approved SEPTEMBER 27 FLIGHT) , I checked for her messenger's "ACTIVE NOW" status, and sent her an INFORMATIVE MESSAGE, telling her that my approved flight will be on the 27th. After just few minutes she replied with this message:

"ALAM MO BA KUNG ANONG ORAS NA?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
2AM NA DEZ! NATUTULOG RIN AKO!
IT'S ALREADY 2AM, I SLEEP TOO"

I was shocked. I never thought that after all the sacrifices and hassles she gave me, I would end up being disrespected by someone who has already obtained a graduate degree, yet don't even know how to use proper words. Before I replied to her, I thought of many things. That maybe she's just tired. But after I rationalized, I realize that being tired is not an excuse to disrespect someone, most especially if that someone has already made a sacrifice for your convenience. My message for her:

"If you were really asleep and is dead-tired, I wonder why your messenger status was still in "ACTIVE NOW" mode.
and if really so, why you still have to reply to my message? It isn't even in an interrogative form, where your feedback is required. You could have just ignored it for the sake of you asking me to change my convenient flight schedule! For the sake of you asking me to pay for your 3-month data plan bill. For the sake of you asking me to buy your bicycle."

But my actual message was:

"Oh, I didn't know your asleep, since your messenger status is "ACTIVE NOW". I sent you this message just to inform you of my approved flight schedule since you asked me to. You could have just ignored it you know? Anyway, I apologize again for this inconvenience."

After my last message, I blocked her on FB (haha! that's the least thing I can do to redeem myself).
So I thought I would be doomed arriving on the 27th for not having anyone to pick me up at the airport, for paying a whole day accommodation, and for wasting a day that I should have used as bonding time with my mom and brother. After couple of days feeling frustrated for sacrificing over a worthless (argh) person, I decided to email my professor again. I asked her if I could still change my flight to September 28. After about 2-3 days she replied and told me that it was possible with attached changed e-ticket already, scheduled on the 28th! How fortunate! I'm really grateful that Prof.Ery is doing her very best to assist and supervise me. 

Also few weeks ago I met someone on FB who happened to be a Filipina and UPLB graduate too. She messaged me on FB and told me that we're on the same university and department, we just differ in laboratory we belong to. I felt calmed and happy since I already know someone whom I can be friend with during my stay in a foreign country. She will also be arriving on the 28th. ;) So expect more stories about us soon! :)

  • JAPAN EMBASSY LOCATION
Japan embassy in the Philippines is located at 2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. I don't know how to go there, so I asked my mom and my friend Karen (who knows how to) to accompany me. We went on a Monday (August 22). From Alabang, Muntinlupa we rode a jeepney going to PASAY ROTONDA (terminal located at the back of StarMall Alabang). Then we asked the driver to drop us across HERITAGE HOTEL. We walked towards the right corner, and looked for HYATT HOTEL since it is said to be very near to JAPAN EMBASSY. And yes! it's just about 300 meters (5 mins.) away from the jeepney drop off point. We left Alabang around 7am and reached the destination point around 8am. The embassy actually opens at 8:40 A.M. and closes by 11 A.M. Whoever are inside up to 11 A.M. will be assisted. Since we arrived a bit early, we waited outside for 40 mins.more. No chairs can be found! Haha! So much for being an early bird. When we're allowed to enter the building, the guards asked us for an I.D. and to deposit our gadgets (cellphones and ipod). With that I only have a picture of Japan embassy entrance.




Entrance of Japan Embassy (Philippines)

 We were given our numbers, even if I was the first one to arrive, I was given the 10th spot, since some of visa applicants went crazily fast to the entrance, as soon as the guard let us in. 

Inside the building, when my number was called, I handed the following to the staff:
(NOTE: These won't be returned to you)
1.) My number (#10)
2.) Visa application form with 2x2 inch (or 45 mm x 45 mm) picture (white background) attached (pasted)
3.) NSO-Birth Certificate valid for a year upon the date of issue (or issued recently)
4.) Passport without cover
5) Original Certificate of Eligibility/Scholarship (you may ask your supervisor to send/airmail and email this to you)
6) Letter of Notification (This just happened to be sent together with my certificate, so I gave this to them too)

The staff asked me to recite the following information for verification purposes:
1.) My complete name
2.) Birthday
3.) What Scholarship and for how long
4.) How I learned about the scholarship (thru online, since I was University Recommended, I reached/emailed my supervisor directly.

Then they stamped a lengthwise document and handed it over to me, with date and time I should return to claim my visa provisionally (if there are no problems). I was asked to return on the 29th of August (Monday), but since I told them it is holiday, they changed my claim schedule to 30th of August (Tuesday). 

  • VOID AND VALID VISA
30th of August (Tuesday)
It was just 2 minutes before 11 A.M. when I arrived at Japan Embassy. They still let me in, and there I met Chrystelle with her mom at the entrance (the one I told you who would be also studying at Osaka U, under the same department). I presented the lengthwise document (DO NOT FORGET TO BRING THIS WITH YOU) and claimed for my passport with visa. I was asked if I am a MEXT scholar, and I said yes, They verified again my visa and passport.  I waited for about 10 to 15 minutes (and I feel very sorry for Tel and her mom, since they told me that they will be waiting outside). It turned out that the first Visa (VOID) I had has no "JAPAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLAR" on the remarks section, while the second page (VALID) visa has remarks on it. It took me so long to notice for the difference of the two, Actually, it was Bes TIN (hello bes!) who showed it to me. 





I intentionally blurred and meshed some of my personal details, but here's how JP Visa looks like. Notice the GOV SCHOLAR written in the Remarks sec. It must be included there for my student visa to be valid.

After I claimed my passport with visa, I went to JICC Library. You have to exit Japan Embassy building first, then you will be given another ID LACE pass to enter JICC Library with very high stairs! Don't fret, it's just beside Japan Embassy, you'll never be lost :) Ask the guard if you still can't find it. I showed to the JICC staff my passport with visa, she asked me to sign over a paper (listings), and handed me a Tax exemption request letter. Then as soon as I exited JICC Library, I went straight to Tel and her mom (I'm also with my mom :P ). We decided to grab a taxi and this has driven us straight to TIEZA OFFICE (for just 15-20 minutes), located at 142 AMORSOLO ST., LEGASPI VILLAGE, MAKATI CITY. Take note of 142, as it is the number of the building itself that would help the driver to locate TIEZA OFFICE. We were a total of 4 passengers but based on the metric fare we were just asked to pay 99 php. My mom and tel's mom decided to pay him 120php. 21php for the tip (haha!) In Japan, giving tip is a sign of rudeness. You only have to pay the exact amount. In TIEZA OFFICE, we presented our TAX EXEMPTION REQUEST LETTER and our PASSPORT.

After few minutes, we were called and given back our passport together with the tax exemption certificate that looks like a bank cheque. 




I distorted some details here. TRAVEL TAX EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE issued by TIEZA OFFCE


My mom and I went to SM Makati after, and grabbed some Sbarro lasagna and pizza. Tel and her mom went to Glorietta after.







That's it for today's blog :) My next bag will be THINGS TO BUY IN PREPARATION FOR JAPAN FLIGHT





Huwebes, Agosto 18, 2016

HAVING TROUBLE IN MY VISA APPLICATION 2016

As the caption says, this week is the time to submit our VISA FORM. The thing is there are lot of details I cannot fill-out yet. I plan to submit and apply for a student visa this coming Monday (August 22, 2016). Japan Embassy in my country (Philippines) set visa application from 8:40 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. only (Monday to Friday). For some of you who are on the same page with me, I hope this blog entry can help you soon! (although details may of course vary from case to case basis). You may want to email your sensei/ lab staff in this format.

I emailed my sensei's assistant Professor asking the following details:

Dear Prof. Ery,

Greetings!

I will visit Japan embassy on Monday and submit all requirements needed. However, there are some details asked in the visa application form that I hope you can help me with or clarify. Here are the following details asked:

Intended length of stay: ( 2 years? although the program is 5 years, I understand that I can only write what's written based on the certificate given to me)

Date of arrival in Japan: in the visa sample given, October 2016 (with no exact day) was written. I am confused as to whether I would write the exact day of my flight (which I don't have as of the moment), or just stick with October 2016.

Port of Entry: Kansai Airport?
Name of Ship/ Airline: No idea

Name and address of hotels/persons with whom applicant intends to stay:
Since I am applying for a student visa for 2 years, I wonder if the information I would write here is the hotel I would be staying for 1-2 days or the dormitory I would be assigned to. The problem here is I don't know any details yet with regards to my dormitory. Name, Telephone Number and Address are asked.


Guarantor or reference in Japan:
Should I write your name Prof,Ery? or should it be Prof. Muranaka? Name, Tel.No., Address, Date of Birth, Occupation and Position, Nationality and Immigration status are asked.

Inviter in Japan: (same as the Guarantor right?)

Thank you so much for your kind assistance. Have a great day Prof.Ery!

SIncerely,
Dez

I will update you guys once I receive Prof. Ery's reply.

-xoxo
dhezcycoolet

Martes, Agosto 9, 2016

AIR FLIGHT TICKET APPLICATION FORM


I sent them my pledge (this one is different, since it is a pledge stating that you're already a mext scholar). It must be printed in duplex form (back to back) in A4 size paper with printed (BLOCK LETTERS) name and affixed signature (hand written). It only took 2 days for my document to reach Osaka University. I airmailed it through LBC (August 2), and they received it  and emailed me of its arrival 2 days after (August 4). Minimum weight of document would cost you 1,250php.



Just the same day (August 4), I received the original (hard copy) certificate of my eligibility, stating that I am Osaka University and MEXT scholar and document for enrollment procedure. A two-page document sent through FedEx. It also took 2 days (August 2-4), before I received my certificate. On the enrollment procedure, I was informed to call Japan embassy for the issuance of mext scholar visa and that I should apply for a visa only after August 17. Also I was asked to prepare with me $2000 or equivalent, since stipend could only be received every end of the month. Also if you are a mext scholar, it is your University that will decide on which dorm you would stay.

Just 4 days after (August 8) admin section of Osaka University sent me an email with the request content of air flight ticket application form, and copy of passport, then email it to them. Basically, one just have to type in block letters your name and make sure that it is the same name printed in your passport, next info to be filled is the date of flight. You will be given two choices for the date of flight. In making this decision, one must consult the lab secretary, since you have to know when they will be able to pick you up from the airport and when dormitory will let you in.

On my case, my lab sec.specifically informed me that it is only September 28 that they can fetch me from the airport and that my dorm would let me in. However, I chose to set my flight (in my flight application form) on September 27 (1st choice) or September 26 (2nd choice). I need a day or two to spend with my former schoolmate who is now an M.S. Osaka Univ.graduate. She told me that my accommodation for a night or two would be free since the owner of the house/apartment is a Filipino too, so now I don't have to worry for my accommodation expenses. 
Also she will give me some of her winter clothes! (Yeah, 'cause you won't be able to wear them in our country, and it would be impractical to still bring it with you back to the Philippines). The best part of it is she will sell me her bicycle for a low price. 

Now the only problem is, who will fetch me then from Kansai airport? Whew. I really hope Filipino Society in Japan can help me with this, or I would have to overcome my weakness. I am directionally challenged mga BES! Haha!

So, GOOD LUCK to me!
I am currently trying to finish my thesis before I leave the country, so I will be very busy. However, I will try to keep you all posted!

-xoxo
DEZ

Huwebes, Hulyo 28, 2016

MEXT Scholarship Email Confirmation

Hello guys (my beloved readers)!!! Yeah, I know I've been gone for a long time. Waiting for MEXT email confirmation became really frustrating. Like everyday I'd check my mail from time to time, waiting and hoping that MEXT would email me. It became more unbearable when some of the applicants, although at different Universities (Tokyo, Hokkaido?), were already notified by MEXT around last week of June! By the way if you've been reading my blog, I applied at Osaka University. Although the assistant/Secretary of my sensei already told me via email that I would receive my result by the end of JULY, hearing other applicants' results via jref.com as early as last week of JUNE, made me anxious. Why do they have to get theirs earlier than us? Why can't the results be released all at the same time? Don't get me wrong, I am truly genuinely happy that they're accepted by their Universities and so with MEXT scholarship haha! But during that time I was envious too. :P

We've been waiting for MEXT confirmation since April, and waiting for 4 more months for the official acceptance letter is NO JOKE.  I am currently finishing my M.S. Genetics degree at University of the Philippines (UPLB), and am about to finish my thesis, but lost motivation on the process :( So up until now I haven't finished my thesis. So a little bit of tip guys. While waiting for MEXT official decision whether they would grant you the scholarship or not, please try your best to focus on your unfinished businesses first. It would be worth your precious time than stare at your mail all day long! I swear! I regret wasting my time on leisure activities. Well, maybe, it's just me trying to divert my frustrations. Haha! Reasons!

So anyway, later I'd be visiting my campus to somehow resume my lab work and document my dormitory for my future blog entry. Today would be my last day in my dormitory. 

Hopefully  I'd be able to defend my thesis and finish my degree before my scheduled flight (between September 20- October 4). I still have at most 2 months. I have to make it happen! Haha! Anyway here's a screenshot of the email I received yesterday (July 28, 2016) around 6PM. Actually, it was my boyfriend who first saw it, since he has access to my Gmail account. So all the way from Jeddah, he called me and gave me the good news I've been waiting to hear. Honestly, it felt so good when the good news you've been anticipating to hear is being told by the person who is very close to your heart (too much sweetness in here, hello MAHAL! I hope you're reading this, and please don't get mad at me for sleeping late again)


Attached in the email are two files 1) Pledge (It's like a contract that I need to abide during my stay in Japan) and send them not later that August 5, so later I will send this document 2) Admin Process for visa and few more instructions regarding flights, expenses, and dormitory. Based on this second document, Osaka University would be the one to choose for my dormitory, and I have no say to whether it would be fine for me or not. Anyway, I'm not picky, I guess I'd be fine. Lastly, it was stated that I might arrive some time between September 20 to October 4. It is only then October 1 that dormitories would start receiving new international students. So they advise us to look for accommodation if we arrive days or weeks before October 1. They recommend for us to arrive before October 1 since we need to process papers (bank accounts, city hall residence etc.). So basically, I'd have to look for very very cheap accommodation. Plus we'd have to shoulder these expenses, since it is only around last week of October that we can get our stipend.

That's it for today!
An unexpected great news arrived in an unexpected day. Haha! 

Biyernes, Hunyo 10, 2016

FOOD CRAZE @UPLB PART2

Aha! I checked my FB uploads and got few of food photos I've been uploading ever since FB was introduced in my life (so much for a dramatic intro) :D

So here's the 2nd batch list of food stores/ food that can be found around UPLB :)


1. IHAW-AN
I used to go here with my former roommates: Aljean, Sarah and Ate Nancy. One of Filipino delicacies! This is the best food during rainy season! You have to try this! Before it has a stall beside Goldilocks? Few blocks away from UP Gate. But now, I don't know. I've been seeing some Ihaw-an at the side-walk. Moreover, El Buritos?Biritos? @Vega Center also offers this food in their menu. Yes, I've tried it but it's no match and too pricey! :P



2. BALUT &PENOY @Grove
Again one of filipino (food) delicacies! I've known some foreigners who would never miss to try eating balut before they fly back to their country. Balut tends to be more pricey than penoy. Its price ranges from 13-15php. penoy price ranges from 12-14php. Balut is a boiled premature duck egg! Penoy is just like the usual chicken egg, but really there's a difference, you should try! ;) Be careful though, for some Penoy has odd taste and smell, my BF would often taste penoy first before he lets me eat it. With that, to avoid hassle, I always prefer balut over penoy. Vendors usually have their stall set-up by late afternoon. You can also find them walking along the neighborhood late at night and hear them promoting their product out loud "Baluuuuuuuuut! Penoooooy kayoooo dyaaaan" hahahahahaha! Filipinos are very hard-working!


3. GREEN MANGO @Raymundo

Mango Cart vendor usually parades along Raymundo at late afternoon. Green mangoes can be sold peeled or unpeeled, with bagoong-alamang or with spiced-salt. It costs around 15-20php. 3 to 5 mangoes per pack. I also would like to feature FISH BALL and KIKIAM but I don't have photos of them with me, and my BF won't allow me to buy/eat such again, so I can't take pictures of it. :( Anyway, Kuya vendor is very generous for he always add  3-5 pcs. of fishball, whatever amount of his food you buy. I commend the sauce that comes with it! Oh, how I missed fishball :( Still 2 pcs. for a peso. The only food that doesn't change its price for many generations!



 4. BUGONG @Vega Center

For just 90-110php you'd be able to avail quarter roasted chicken + rice + unli gravy (yes you may ask for a refill) + upsized Pomelemonade drink (oh I love it 'cause it's PINK) + kimchi! This is a restaurant that offers Asian Cuisine. If you want to dine in with your friend their stall can be found inside Vega Center. But if you want to simply take it out, they also have a stall just in front of Vega Center building. Oh I love their kimchi (small serving for 25php). They also offer a jar of kimchi good for 5-10 servings, for only 55php.


5. CASIES @Raymundo
Can be found near the mini-market of Raymundo. I love their Sizzling Sisig with egg + Rice + Free calamansi juice and water for only 65php. I usually *coughs eat here. (Ok, maybe I meant everyday). They also serve breaded porkchop for 50php, Spicy chicken wings, Silog Meals (most affordable among the canteens @Raymunod, around 35-45php) and Pasta.



6. IRRI Canteen
You can find here delicious food that is really really good for your health, such as Brown Rice, veggies etc. Canteen that offers a lot.of choices from appetizers to main menu to sweets. I can't say more about this for I rarely eat at this place, but I would definitely love to it at this place everyday! And it fits in my budget too. The downfall here is for you to get to this place, you have to ride IRRI shuttle (there's a service that can take you there for FREE. But there's a time schedule). Or if you have a car then it wouldn't be bothersome to eat there everyday!
.


7. SHAWARMA
This stall can be found near parking lot of Vega. It offers shawarma rice with egg for only 70php and shawarma noodles for 60php. Very very tasty! The only option is to take it out. So yeah. With the packaging you can basically eat this wherever you go.



8. KITKAT
Oh I love KITKAT! Among the chocolates, this one's my favorite! Elbi Convenience Store @Raymundo sell this for around 30-32php while ministop/7-eleven/SaveMore and equivalent offer this for 45php! Want to save money? Don't buy! Kidding. If you really would like to buy KitKat for comparably lower price, go ahead and visit STAR along the Grove. They sell this for only 25php! You're welcome! :)


9. DOYE'S
I don't know if I spelled it right. Anyway, the canteen that offers this can be found at the corner of F.O. (ef-ow). This can be compared to Big Belly's (which I will feature in my next blog) for their large serving size for only 50php. Plus they don't charge for the box and spoon whenever you opt to take it out, some canteen does (ugh! Like add 5-10php just for the box). I ordered Crispy Chicken Curry, and I'm so full last night, like I can't breathe. When you opt to dine-in you can have free iced tea! Cool right? Though I never tried to eat there (in that place) since it's too small, like there's just 4-5 tables to accommodate customers. Nope. I'm not claustrophobic.



10. GOLDILOCKS
You can find there stall just before Vega Center. Who would say NO to mini choco-brownies/cake, polvoron and macaroons? They are the best snack ever to take with you whenever you travel. Of course make sure you have bottled water with you. :P




That's it for today! Thanks for dropping by :)

Miyerkules, Hunyo 8, 2016

FOOD CRAZE @UPLB

When your friends ask you, "where would you like to it?", and you don't want to answer them with the usual "KAHIT SAAN" phrase, then this blog could possibly help you :P

But if you're on a diet plan, you may stop reading my blog. I've WARNED you. I said SKIP THIS BLOG ENTRY. Alright then. As you wish. Hahahahaha >:)

I've got only 2 months now to finish my THESIS (aha!), so I'd be making lot (a number) of blog entries dedicated to my beloved University (UPLB). My next blog entry would probably be about my dorm? How about a DORM TOUR? Yes? :)

WARNING: Picture Heavy. These are the first 10 of the food store/ products I'd like to feature that can be visited/bought here @UPLB (or around). Photos will be numbered and discussed randomly. Here we go:


1. RISTRETTO  @VegaCenter
Well this is now renamed as ENTABLADO.
Same cozy environment, wherein you can still access FREE WIFI and now with additional entertainment (singers/bands). Before, I usually go here because of their sweets such as FUDGE BROWNIE or BLONDIE (60-70php). It melts in your mouth! and their pasta too!




2. SHAKE @VegaCenter
Oh I love this shake! I've been their patriotic customer for many years now. Real fruits are blended. You can have two variants of fruits for a single serving. I usually order Mango-Cucumber/ Apple-Cucumber / Carrot-Cucumber. The taste is so refreshing! They sell their shake for only 45php (Large) and 35php (Medium) and yes they don't have small size servings. Well I've been wondering for the basis of these sizes haha! 



3. CADAPANS @Raymundo
This canteen is well known for their chicken and unli-gravy. I used to eat here with my friends. Delicious food for a cheap price.


4. KFC near UPLB Gate
One of the nearest fast food chain @UPLB gate, together with McDo and Chowking. Krushers + Fully Loaded Meal would really be a good choice as comfort food. Alright! One of the reasons why I gained weight.


5. EGGS AND LUMPIA STORE near elbi convenience store
When I'm looking for a quick snack, I opt to buy lumpia from this mini-store, for only 10php each. I think quail eggs cost around 14 php for 4pcs. Is it pricey or what?



6. ELBI PLAZA?
I forgot the name of this place. But I really love this cozy place. This is where I celebrated my birthday with a good friend of mine. See where I'm sitting at? Oh yes! That's a swing inside the restaurant. Isn't it cool?



7. POTATO CORNER
I personally wouldn't want to recommend this. It's too pricey for just few strips of fries. Haha! Seriously I spent 90+php for few strips of fries. JUSTICE PLEASE! Right Kim? But I do really like the flavor. It may come with BBQ / sour and cream / cheese. But I'd rather have McDo fries to save few peso (plus it has more strips to offer).



8. JOLLIBEE @CentroMall
Yep. Our best friend! Hahahahahaha!
Who wouldn't be happy with a chicken that brings joy to everybody? Err.. And a spaghetti that is always jolly. Lol. So much happiness!



9. MERNEL'S CAKE along Grove
The world's most famous cake! (Claimed by this cake store) although I must agree! Its moist chiffon, creamy chocolate will surely melt in your mouth! Although I can only finish a thin slice of it. Very crave-satisfying, I must say.
UPLB is well-known for having this cake store. Favorite pasalubong together with Carabao/Choco milk, pastillas, white cheese, milk-o-gel. 


10.  SM CALAMBA!
If you'd like to travel and tire yourself first before you get to eat, then feel free to travel for at least 30 mins. (If there's no heavy traffic *sigh)
Kenny Roger's and Korean Fast Food Chain



First batch of food stores to drop by Fellas!. I really would like to include here my personal favorites but I'd rather have them on my next blog entry since I don't have photos of them yet in my phone. Proventriculus (Proben), Bugong, Fishball!, to name a few. Haha! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Have a great day/night!
(Black out sucks!)

Lunes, Mayo 23, 2016

Study abroad (JAPAN) via University Recommendation with MEXT Scholarship


I dedicate this blog to all my Filipino friends who would want to study abroad, specifically at Osaka University, JAPAN with scholarship, Monbukagakusho/ MEXT in particular.

Special programs offered conducted in English:
1) Biotechnology Global Human Resource Development Program (my program)
2) Chemical Science Course (Material Emergence Program)
3) International Program for Maritime and Urban Engineering

I'm not being a racist here. It's just that I don't know if the process of application in my country (Philippines) applies the same to all countries. Based on what I've read on blogs and forums such as www.jref.com (forums intended for aspiring Japan International Students), deadlines of submission and process might differ. Moreover, I'd be specifically discussing the process involved for Osaka University Graduate School application (though some Universities of Japan, might have just the same procedures)

Reasons why application might differ from country to country:
1. Diplomatic relationship to Japan
2.Specific Foreign University connection to Universities in Japan

I applied through University Recommendation at Osaka University Graduate School of Engineering, Japan. My M.S. UPLB classmate Jenny Trinidad who's now studying there for about 2 years now played a big role on the process of my application. (This personal experience deserves separate blog. Let's focus on the process of application, shall we?)

Application Requirements:
-Applicant must be from a country with diplomatic relation with Japanese government
-Age must be less than 35 years of age.
-Education: 16 years of formal education
-Must be at least 22 years old. (If below 22 y.o., you are required to take Preliminary Examination of Applicant's Qualifications by Oct.31, consult ISAS)

There are two (2) ways of application:
1.) Embassy
(Semester Starting Date: April)
2.) University Recommendation
(Semester Starting Date: October 1)


Embassy:
I don't have concrete knowledge about this process, since I applied via University Recommendation. Based on the account of my former M.S. classmate who's now studying at Kyushu University (Thru embassy), her first screening would be through a written exam that would assess your English and comprehension skills. Then second screening would be in a form of interview/oral exam moderated by a panel of experts/scientists. 


University Recommendation 
(visit http://www.eng.osaka-u.ac.jp/en/entrance/g_admissions.html )

1.) Email your prospect adviser/sensei at Japan first. 

Usually you would be able to find their email address online via University website. Write a letter (via email) and make sure to highlight your achievements and credentials, such as degree sought, publications such as thesis, reasons why you'd like to work under your sensei's supervision, and if possible your proposed study. You may also want to attach your curriculum vitae/resume. Wait for your sensei's reply. (This applies for all degree level: BS, MS, Ph.D)


2.) Web Application System
http://e-apply.jp/n/osaka-u-gseng


Applicant must visit this URL and complete the necessary processes. Basic Workflow:
A) visit the URL
B) click "Registration", fill out the necessary items and finish the process. 
Note that this system only opens during the designated date and time of application such as last year's period of application (November 16, 2015 to December 15, 2015 4:00PM (Japan Time)
C) when applicants receive an email confirming the registration (B), visit the designated URL to continue further requirements.
Note that applicants should fill out the necessary items and upload the following required materials. After completing the process, press " Submit" button. Also, applicants must complete "Recommendation" term to request the letter of recommendation ( you would be needing email address of your Dean or Chancellor. At least 2 professors must compose a recommendation letter for you. Before you even submit your Dean's email address to this website, as common courtesy you must visit and talk to your Dean first. Inform them that ISAS would email them to request for a recommendation letter for you)

You will receive an e-mail of confirmation when the application has completed. Moreover you should watch out still for another email ( for their assessment on your documents, for sometimes they would ask for more supporting docs), since they give strict deadlines on submissions. Once you're cleared and everything so far is sailing smoothly, you may now "Generate PDF", print the PDF and submit it together with the required documents by AIRMAIL to ISAS:

International Student Affairs Section
Student Affairs Division
Graduate School of Engineering
Osaka University

2-1 Yamadaoka, Suits
Osaka 565-0871, JAPAN
Telephone: +81-6-6879-7225
Facsimile: +81-6-6879-7229
Email: iso-staff@eng.osaka-u.ac.jp

D) Documents (all ORIGINAL) that must be submitted to ISAS before December 25 (this may vary)

1) application form (a photograph of 4cm x 3cm, taken within the last 3 months should be affixed on the first page)

2) certificate of (expected) / graduation completion
(If you have both B.S. and M.S. completed submit them both. If M.S. not completed, TOR would be fine). If about to graduate as M.S., expected graduation cert)

3) certificate of academic record/TOR (for both B.S. and higher levels if taken such as M.S. and Ph.D)

4) certificate of English Proficiency
(Applicants who have graduated from university where English is the main language of instruction are exempt from submitting this. So in my case instead, I just submitted Medium of Instruction Certificate) 

5) Recommendation letters 
-2 recommendation letters from 2 separate recommenders. (For Osaka U and MEXT scholarship)
-Addressed to the President of Osaka University (Google the current president of Osaka University)

(Recommenders can send the letter directly to ISAS or can be airmailed. In my case, one recommendation letter was sent directly to ISAS via email. Second rcommendation letter coming from my Dean was given to me and was airmailed together with the other pertinent documents)

6) Statement of Purpose
-Research Proposal
-A4 size paper
-double spaced pages
-maximum of 3 PAGES

7) certificate of Citizenship
-A4 size paper
-copy of the passport may substitute for this purpose

8) Abstract of Graduation Thesis/ Thesis Outline (if not yet completed)
-or any equivalent publications/documents

*First screening would be done on the basis of these documents and the interview via Skype. Interview part would just basically assess your communication skills, (if you're good in English or Japanese) also, they would ask questions assessing your determination to study in their country for 5 years. For they fear that some international students would just drop because of homesick. So make sure you'd be able to show your sincerity and determination. This may differ in your interview. But based on the forums I've read, they also just had a casual interview via Skype. Also be punctual. If your sensei scheduled you at say 1pm, you must be online by 12:30pm at least. Stay humble and use simple english words.

After the first screening. If blessed enough to be selected, the University would email you an acceptance letter, that they would accept you as their FINAL CANDIDATE STUDENT under <Insert Program> 
 *Also, by the middle of January, Graduate School of Engineering (GSE), the Osaka University will select PRELIMINARY CANDIDATES for the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho/MEXT) Scholarship from the entire pool of applicants.

Bear in mind that selection process for scholarship is independent to the screening process of University (So for example you might be accepted by University without mext scholarship)

*2nd screening (for you to be selected as FINAL MEXT candidate ): EMAIL-BASED exam-
3 professors from different fields would email you 3 questions each. This interview in a form of email-based exam would conclude by the end of February.
(A total of 9 questions). You might receive all their 1st questions at the same time. So you'd better use your time wisely. As soon as you email back your answer, then will you get the 2nd question. But bear in mind that for every question, you would only be given 24 hours to answer it. The faster you submit your answer the more credible you would be. Make your answer concise and comprehensible. Make it straightforward. They usually ask for answers within the range of 200-400 words.



3rd step: Japanese government will select among the final candidates to whom they'd grant scholarships. 
(Successful applicants will be notified by post by the end of June. Notifications will be sent to the address specified in the application form)
Although based on forums and blogs I've read, once the University had chosen to recommend you to MEXT, you can already relax and claim your victory! Yey! But then, I'm still waiting for the official acceptance letter. One month to goooo!

(Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by the middle of February. They do not reply to individual inquiries regarding admission decisions) Logically speaking, since I did not receive notification this February that I failed, then maybe I can be more positive by this time ;)



Yep! Osaka University accepted me as their October 2016 international student. But I'm still waiting for Japanese Government decision's over my scholarship! Wish me luck!

TERM OF SCHOLARSHIP:
5 years ( 2 years M.S. + 3 yrs. Ph.D in Engineering)
Application fee, admission fee and tuition: exempt

ALLOWANCE:
147,000 JPY/Month = 60,000 PhP
Economy Class Air Ticket free (to Osaka U nearest airport before class starts and back to your country after 5 years)
-if you wish to visit your home country every year it must be at your own expense.
Insurance premiums for travel to/from Japan shall be borne by the grantee.

Godbless! Future gaijin!
If you have inquiries, feel free to leave a comment :) I'd be more than happy to help you.

Lastly, we created an FB group:
Osaka University International Students-October 2016.