How I prepared for Master Degree in Japan with ADB Scholarship
Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP) provides a full scholarship for those who want to pursue master and doctoral degree in Japan
My First Encounter with ADB-JSP
I am currently receiving ADB-JSP to take a master degree in tourism and hospitality management at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) Graduate School. The first time I encounter this scholarship was when I come to one of the APU events in my hometown, Jakarta, shortly after I graduated from my undergraduate study. At that time, I found a pink paper placed among APU Graduate School documents.
I could see the information and the requirement of ADB-JSP in that paper and I clearly remember that one of the requirements was to have work experiences for a minimum of 2 years. I put aside my initial intention which was to take a master's degree right after I obtained my bachelor's degree because this scholarship is too precious to be missed. At least I should give it a try! :)
Why Choose APU?
ADB-JSP is available not only at universities in Japan but also in other countries such as New Zealand, Singapore, and even in the US. However, as stated in the name (JSP - Japanese Scholarship Program), the majority of universities that receive this scholarship are located in Japan and one of them is APU.
I have known APU since I was still a high school student as its staff(s) often visit my school to do promotions. However, I had no intention to continue my higher education in Japan because what I only wanted back then was to enter a public university in Indonesia.
One major in APU's Asia Pacific studies that always catch my attention is Tourism and Hospitality. That's because I have an immense passion in travelling and tourism industry.
I also had brief yet memorable work experience in one of the Indonesian community-based tourism enterprises that eventually inspire me to establish my own tourism enterprise and give a significant contribution to Indonesia's tourism.
To realize that goal, I need to learn and understand tourism more deeply by attending various tourism courses offered by APU.
My Preparation for ADB-JSP
After having approximately 2 years of work experience, I still had a strong urge to take a master's degree abroad with the help of a scholarship. Therefore, I came to APU representative office in Jakarta to look for a graduate program information and found out that ADB-JSP is still applicable for new students that enrolled in September/ Fall intake.
It was around September 2018 when I went to the office and at that time, the application for 2019 spring intake was already closed but the application for 2019 fall intake was not yet opened. Thus, I began all the preparation while waiting for the fall intake registration period opened.
The first preparation I had was taking the IELTS exam because I need to wait a minimum of 2 weeks to get the result. In APU, 6.0 is a minimum score required (as of 2019).
In my opinion, those who already possess decent English and conduct a self-learning on how to pass an IELTS exam, getting score 6.0 will be achievable.
However, the higher score the applicants get, the better they will have a chance to get accepted by the university.
2/Abstract for Final Thesis
The abstract for my research proposal or final thesis took the longest time to prepare. An abstract is 1-2 pages of A4 paper, containing a general summary of academic writings (including a thesis). It will be passed through a screening process and will determine whether the applicant will get accepted to the university (or to the particular scholarship) or not.
I might say that abstract is the most important part for someone who wishes to take a master or doctoral degree.
In my case, the content of the abstract is preferably something that related to the development in each applicant's home country. Since I'm majoring in tourism and hospitality, I choose a community development through volunteer activity in Indonesia as a topic of my thesis.
Therefore, I had spent nearly 2 months working on my abstract and I used that time to brainstorming ideas, researching, gathering data, and asking an English pro to check my choice of words, spelling, and grammar.
The third preparation I had was preparing all the additional documents needed to apply ADB-JSP. Yes, apart from submitting the basic application document to their intended university, this scholarship applicants have to submit some additional documents to complete the whole application process.
All of these documents must have (at least) an English translation if Japanese is not possible to have.
The English translations must also be translated by the sworn translator (the one who authorized by the Foreign Office to translate an official document). Even though this requirement is not informed or required by ADB-JSP, I still did that as suggested by the APU Jakarta office staff.
My preparation for the scholarship's almost done. Are you curious what would happen next? Stay tuned for my next part!
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