What will happen if I cannot sign for the scholarship?

SUMMARY

  • There are two monthly deadlines for signing each month. Even if you fail the first one, as long as you sign by the second, your allowance will just be delayed.
  • Failing to sign for either the two deadlines will result in no allowance for that month.
  • Repeated lack of signature should be notified beforehand to your office.

Written by: Pedro Couteiro

As MEXT scholars, we all must sign for our scholarship monthly at our universities, which is also generally called the Confirmation of Presence. This confirmation shows that yes, we are in Japan and in our universities, and thus eligible to receive the monthly allowance.

But depending on your scholarship you are going to spend several years in Japan and it is natural that one might want to travel back home for longer periods or have other projects that might clash with the scholarship deadlines. In those cases, sooner or later we end asking ourselves, what happens if I don’t sign for it?

How to sign for your scholarship

Before anything else, let’s clarify the signing process. Every month there are two deadlines for signing. The calendar for that is by no means steady and is decided yearly, so you need to get yours with your university. The first deadline is usually in the beginning of the month while the second is by the very end of it. In principle, we are all supposed to sign until the first deadline, but in case you can only make it to the second, the only consequence is that instead of receiving the allowance by the end of the current month, you will get it by the middle of the following month.

What happens if you miss the deadline?

In case you miss both deadlines, it still happens that the month ends and you haven’t signed, you will get no allowance, simple as that. Wait until the next month.

In some extreme cases, one might fail to sign for more than one month in a row. How repeated failure to sign is handled depends on the university, but in the very worst case this could lead to scholarship termination.

So, if you really need to do so, please be sure to discuss any difficulties regarding the scholarship signing with your school’s in charge beforehand. Given proper reasons, applications to MEXT can be done through the office and penalties other than not receiving the allowance money can be avoided.

(Image taken from flickr.com (2017/10/06))

These guide articles are meant to be advice based on the experience of current and previous scholars. Given how situations may change depending on the school, region or year etc., we urge any scholars to approach the relevant authorities in your school if you have any doubts or concerns.

Are there any communities where I can get free furniture or get rid of mine?

SUMMARY

  • Dormitories usually provide furniture, but rental apartments don’t
  • Ways of getting furniture (Beside buying first hand from shops, 100yen stores, websites)
    • Personal connections, direct trade websites  – can be free if you are lucky, but usually you have to go pickup or arrange delivery by yourself
    • Recycle shops, second hand websites – not free, but still much cheaper than brand new ones. Usually has delivery service.
  • Getting rid of furniture
    • Pay the government to come pick it up
    • Alternatively, use the above websites to give / sell your stuff away!
  • List of resources at bottom

Written by: Nattanon Tharachai

Let’s start from the furniture culture in Japan. Usually universities’ dormitories will also provide furniture but you may want some extra appliances etc., Commercial apartments only provide basic utilities like the toilet, kitchen, and lighting. No beds, shelves, table, etc.

Furthermore, to dispose of furniture in your possession, the traditional way is to have it picked up at a trash place near your home and usually you have to pay. Small pieces can be picked up for free, but for anything from the size of rice cooker trash pick up tickets have to be bought from local government. The size and rate for each area is different.

But worry not, people have come up with better ways to get and get rid of furniture. There are communities in Japan where people who want furniture and want to get rid of their furniture connect with each other via personal connections, SNS, direct furniture trade website, etc. and indirectly via recycle shops, second hand websites.

Ways to get furniture / dispose of them

Personal connection:

  1. Try joining groups / mailing lists of your nation’s student association, your university’s group etc. – you may have senpais who are about to graduate who want to get rid of their stuff.
  2. Furniture trade Facebook groups
    1. Tokyo Sayonara Sale
    2. Mottainai Japan
  3. If you happen to know a lot of people living in Japan, why not try asking them?

Pros: Easy to contact. More trustable if it’s the person you know. People posting are likely to be people living near you, so delivery is easy. Get free stuff if you are lucky!

Cons: Offers get reserved fast. Hard to browse through.

Direct furniture trade websites:

  1. English site
    • Sayonara Sale – a lot of choices, easy to post offers, very few free items
    • Gaijinpot Classifieds –  a lot of choices, easy to post offers, a lot of free items
    • Craigslist Tokyo – a lot of choices, easy to post offers, some free items, also provide other offers like jobs, housing, etc. Covers Tokyo, Nagoya and Sendai.
  2. Japanese site

Pros: Good if you are looking for a particular piece of furniture (the search function helps a lot). You can get free stuff if you are lucky!

Cons: Buyer has to go pick up or arrange delivery service.

Recycle shops:

  1. Local recycle (“リサイクル”) shops can be in a lot of places. They buy and sell second hand stuff and usually delivery services too.
  2. Franchise stores like “Hard-off”.

Pros: Able to see the stuffs and choices yourself. They also usually deliver bought items.

Cons: No free items. Japanese staff usually don’t speak good English.

Second hand website:

  1. Hardoff Website – the website of “Hard-off”.
  2. Rakuten Second Hand Website

Pros: Search from the comfort of your home. Usually has delivery and pick up service.

Cons: No free items.

Finally but most importantly, welcome to Japan!

(Image taken from flickr.com (2017/10/02))

These guide articles are meant to be advice based on the experience of current and previous scholars. Given how situations may change depending on the school, region or year etc., we urge any scholars to approach the relevant authorities in your school if you have any doubts or concerns.