Upcoming: Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro Festival Outing

While almost everyone knows about the beauty of Kyoto’s Arashiyama during the day, have you ever wondered what it looks like illuminated at night?

MSA’s next event in Kansai will be an outing to Arashiyama’s Hanatouro Festival, where beautiful open air lanterns, bright lights, and ikebana flower arrangements can be viewed along famous spots such as the Bamboo Forest and the Togetsukyō Bridge.

We’ll be gathering on Saturday afternoon, the 9th of December, so if you’re an interested MEXT scholar, do check out our Facebook event page for more information!

We’re looking forward to an amazing outing with all of you!

Picture taken from jpninfo.com (2017/12/01)

Free use of language learning tool (iKnow) for MEXT scholars!

We all know that the MEXT scholarship is difficult to get – but what we often don’t know are the wonderful things that former scholars are doing to impact society.

Luke, one of these former MEXT scholars, for example, was one of the team who created the online language learning platform called “iKnow” (https://iknow.jp/). This is a platform which boasts tens of thousands of users and which is even used by universities to teach languages.

Usually a membership costs around 10,000 yen a year, but Luke has kindly offered MSA members free one-year memberships in order to give back to the community!

The tool in itself not only offers content in Japanese, but also in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and English. Features include a curriculum which caters to students of all levels, quizzes, vocabulary explanations and even audio guides.

From our side in MSA, we really want members to take advantage of this tool to further our language abilities – not least in Japanese. MSA is also working hard to, like in this example, bring in more deals which will benefit our members.

Let’s take this great (and free!) opportunity to improve our Japanese!

The iKnow signups for this batch have concluded at the second half of November with members who have indicated interest able to use iKnow until the beginning of November in 2018. A new round of signups and account activations may be held at with the entry of the next batch of scholars next year.

Fall Intake Kohai Meetup Schedule Out!

With a new year comes a new batch of MEXT scholars. And we want to welcome them as warmly as we can!

Because of this MSA will be holding a whole string of welcome meetups for scholars throughout Japan. The details of which are below.

Please note that these meetups are open to ANY MEXT scholar, whether new, current or graduated! Also, the list below lists suggested universities but feel free to participate in the one that is the most convenient for you.

If you are interested please signup on the form here.
We really need to estimate the number of people attending so we appreciate your cooperation! Also, we will only be sending out the contacts to people who have signed up.

— List of events below —

KANTO

Primary Contact: info@mextsa.org

Shinjuku / 15th Oct

Meeting place: Shinjuku station JR East Exit
Event Date and Time: 15 October, 5pm
Recommended for: Waseda (all campuses), Saitama U., Meiji U. (Izumi), Sophia U. and other universities towards Saitama
Activities: Introduction of all MEXT scholars, dinner at izakaya, karaoke.

Hongo / 14th Oct

Meeting place: Hongo 3-chome Marunouchi station
Event Date and Time: 14 October, 5pm
Recommended for: U. of Tokyo (Hongo), Keio (Mita), Meiji (Surugadai), Chiba U. and all other universities in east of Tokyo and Chiba.
Activities: Introduction of senpais and kohais, walking around campus, dinner together.

Kunitachi / 14th Oct

Meeting place: Kunitachi station
Event day and time: 14 October, 12pm
Recommended for: Hitotsubashi U., Chuo U. (Tama), Tokyo Metropolitan U. and other universities near to Hachioji
Activities: Lunch at famous 海鮮丼 (Kaisen-don) restaurant, then strolling around Kunitachi

Shibuya / 14th Oct

Meeting place: Shibuya station, Hachiko statue
Event Date and Time: 14 Oct, 6pm
Recommended for: Tokyo Inst. of Tech, U. of Tokyo (Komaba), Keio (Hiyoshi) and all others within the Shibuya / Setagaya area
Activities: Introducing senpais, a light dinner and karaoke.

Yokohama / 21st Oct

Meeting place: Sakuragicho Station
Event Date and Time: 21 October, 4pm
Recommended for: Yokohama National U. and all others within the Kawasaki / Yokohama area.
Activities: Sight-seeing of Port of Yokohama, Chinatown then afterwards karaoke with dinner.

Tsukuba / 29th Oct

Meeting place: Tsukuba University, In front of Central Library
Event Date and Time: 29th October, 12noon
Recommended for: Tsukuba U. and all others within Ibaraki prefecture or within parts of Chiba nearby.
Activities: Interaction with Senpais, Lunch.

KANSAI

Primary Contact: kansai@mextsa.org

Kyoto / 14th Oct

Meeting place : Clock-Tower, Yoshida Campus, Kyoto University
Event Date and Time : Saturday, 14th October,2017 | Time: 5:00 PM
Recommended for: Kyoto University and all other universities within Kyoto
Activities: Introducing with Senpai(s), Stroll around Kyoto, Dinner.

Kobe / 22nd Oct

Meeting place : Sannomiya Station, Kobe
Event Date and Time : Sunday, 22nd October,2017 | Time: 3:00 PM
Recommended for: Kobe University and all other universities within Kobe / Hyogo.
Activities: Introducing with Senpai(s), Stroll around Harbour land, Dinner.

Osaka / 13th Oct

Meeting place : Central Terrace Cafe , Suita Campus, Osaka University
Event Date and Time : Friday, 13th October,2017 | Time: 4:30 PM
Recommended for: Osaka University and all other universities within Osaka.
Activities: Introducing Senpai(s), Dinner.

TOHOKU

Primary Contact: tohoku@mextsa.org

Sendai / 27th Oct

Meeting Place: International Interaction Building (国際交流棟), Kawauchi campus
Event Date and Time: 27th October, 2017 | Time: 5.00 pm onwards
Recommended for: Tohoku University
Activities: Introducing senpais, interaction.

KYUSHU

Primary Contact: kyushu@mextsa.org

Fukuoka / 21th Oct

Meeting place: Tenjin Subway Station, Kuko line central gate (underground).
Event Date and Time: Saturday 21th October ,5 pm
Recommended for: Kyushu University, Kyushu Institute of Technology
Activities: Introduction of all MEXT scholars, light dinner / karaoke.

Don’t forget that the sign-up link is here.
Looking forward to see you!

Upcoming: MSA Gion-Matsuri in Kansai!

Photo by Stefan

MSA will be having our first event out of Tokyo this coming July! We will be gathering in Kyoto for the Gion-Matsuri – one of the 3 big festivals of Japan.

We want to let festival to be an opportunity for scholars to get to know each other and experience Japanese culture. We also plan for this grand festival, with the yamahokos in the Kyoto streets to mark the start of our activities outside Kanto.

We’re gathering on the evening of Sunday, the 16th of July so if you’re an interested MEXT scholar, do check out the links below for more information!

Sign-ups here!

Also check out the Facebook event page!

We’ve Merged!

As of today – the previous groups of MEXT Scholars Exchange Network and MEXT Scholars’ Network are no more…

Instead, both organizations have now merged to become MEXT Scholars’ Association.

The reason for the merger is simple – given similar goals (click here to find out more), why not pool our resources and manpower. Indeed, through leveraging on each others’ strengths we want to further strengthen what we can provide for the MEXT scholar (and alumni) community and further pursue our goals.

We promise to bring you more exciting and interesting activities and to contribute to both scholars and Japanese society. More exciting developments coming up soon so stay tuned!

Slush – MSA Collaboration

Slush is a student-driven non-profit movement, originally founded in Finland, to change attitudes towards entrepreneurship.

Slush connects startups and tech talent with top-tier international investors, executives, and media. In 2016, Slush brought together over 17,500 attendees from over 120 countries for the two-day event in Helsinki.

Facilitating meetings between startups and investors is at the very core of Slush. Last year, 2,300 startups and 1100 registered investors pre-booked over 5,600 meetings that were held over event through our industry-leading proprietary Slush Matchmaking Tool.

In 2015, Slush was organized in Tokyo and Beijing for the first time. In 2016, Slush has expanded to Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.

Many eminent personalities like Carlos Ghosn, Akie Abe etc. have supported SLUSH by attending, delivering Guest talks at the events and interacting with the audience.

MSA was provided with free passes to SLUSH (each pass costs $180) by DMM, one of the main sponsors of SLUSH. We have had an amazing turn out 40 scholars and alumni, who have attended the event and say that they had a great time interacting with startups and investors.