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!

MSA Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday to MSA!

MEXT Scholars’ Association turned 1 on the 17th of June and what better way to celebrate than with a big cake surrounded by old and new friends! MSA organized a birthday event at the Omotesando Oval Building in Shibuya filled with both opportunities for experience exchange and for networking with fellow scholars as well as alumni.

At this event, the participants had the honor to listen to how the following three alumni speakers succeeded and how they give back to the Japanese society:

1. Ashraf Omer from Sudan, a Deputy Manager at Sumitomo Chemical.

2. Benson Liu, an Australian Transfer Pricing Associate at Grant Thornton.

3. Arianne Dumayas, an Assistant Professor at Chuo University from the Philippines.

The guest speakers started off with sharing the experiences they made studying and working in Japan. Since one of the themes is “to give back to the Japanese society”, the guest speakers were asked for their opinions and experiences regarding this matter. They seemed to be doing their best to “give back”, be it giving back to students through their job in terms of education or giving back to those in need, of which there are plenty in Japan, even though it is such a highly developed country. The session then proceeded to a panel discussion, which is part of the MSA’s “From Scholars to Scholars” series, which features alumni with professional experiences. The floor was open to the audience to ask each of the speakers personal questions regarding their experiences in each of the fields that they are involved in.

Alumni speakers, Omotesando Oval Building, Tokyo

The discussion was followed by an annual report from MSA’s side, where the achievements throughout this first year were presented, followed by the introduction of plans for the future and then a warm greeting from Izumi-san, a MEXT representative. A networking session over finger food, drinks, snacks and delicious birthday cake concluded MSA’s birthday party. MSA’s Birthday Bash was attended by nearly 50 alumni and current undergraduate as well as graduate students, with academic fields of expertise ranging from linguistics to mathematics and international relations.

Participants of MSA’s Birthday Bash, Omotesando Oval Building, Tokyo


We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks especially to ZESDA for opening this space for us to hold this unique event to celebrate our birthday and strengthen our community of MEXT scholars together. Last but not least, a big thank you to our guest speakers and every single MEXT scholar or alumni, who joined us for our birthday party and made this event special! We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Photography provided by Jorel Chan

Meeting the Kohais – TUFS April 2017

Those who have been in Japan for a while –  all remember how they landed in Japan from a plane starry-eyed dreaming about what awaited them…

And also the overwhelming and lost feelings

If only they had had prior connections with their senpais, settling in would have been much easier! How to handle the first few months in Japan, how to approach studying in Japan, how to save money …

This is why the MSA visited TUFS, to hang out with the new MEXT scholars there on the 23rd of April. The areas of discussion included where to shop, how to approach university applications and other such queries.It was followed with a lovely dinner over sankichi bento.

We hope to continue these kinds of events to create links between previous and current or even graduated scholars! Thanks to all of you who came to participate and we hope to see you at our next event!

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.

MEXT Scholars Welcome Party (Tokyo ’16)

On the 19th of November, both MEXT Scholars Exchange Platform (MSEP) and MEXT Scholars’ Network (MSN)  participated in the MEXT Scholars Welcome Party held at JASSO’s Odaiba dormitory.

The event was organized by MEXT and more than 300 participants from universities from all over Japan gathered.

We thank all the scholars for participating in the event and hope that the event gave everyone a chance to get to know fellow scholars, as well as MEXT scholar groups such as MSN and MSEP which aim to further and deepen the community between scholars.

The next party will be held probably in the middle of 2017 in Kansai so we hope to see you there!

“From Scholars to Scholars”: Speakers Series #2

#2: The Pathways of Engineering – Telecommunications, Civil, and Management.

“From Scholars to Scholars” is a series of panel discussions that feature alumni with outstanding professional experiences. Hoping that attending these sessions and interacting with other participants, both students and alumni alike will bring the inspiration to contribute back to society in a larger capacity.

The 2nd iteration of the MEXT Scholars’ Network’s “From Scholars to Scholars” Speakers Series was held at the ASEAN-Japan Centre in Shinbashi on the 1 Oct 2016.

Our second panel discussion features the following three alumni speakers:

1. Sourabh Maiti, an Indian research engineer at Softbank.

2. Duangkamol Kamolyabutra, a Thai senior engineer at TÜV SÜD Japan, a German railway company.

3. Khoo Kai Siang, a Malaysian corporate strategy manager at Toyo Engineering Corporation.

The event started off with the presentations by each speaker, sharing their educational experiences while studying in Japan, as well as their career journeys ever since graduation. The session then proceeded on to the panel discussion section, where the floor was opened to the audience to ask each of the speakers, personal questions regarding their experiences in each of the fields that they are involved in. Of note was especially how engineering as an education degree actually leads into very different and exciting pathways, as well as opening many doors, when it comes to career choices.

The discussion was concluded with a networking social session over pizza, drinks and other refreshments. The event was attended by over 30 alumni and current scholars alike, with academic field of expertise ranging from engineering to economics and international relations.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks especially to ASEAN-Japan Centre for once again opening this space for us to hold this unique event to build our community of MEXT scholars together. Last but not least, thanks to all of you who made it down to join us! See you at our next event!

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“From Scholars to Scholars” Speakers Series held at the ASEAN-Japan Centre, Shinbashi

MEXT Scholarship Alumni Party

The MEXT Scholars’ Network held the inaugural alumni networking event on the 27th of August, 2016 at a cozy event space in Meguro. It was a rare opportunity for scholarship alumni from different professional backgrounds to reconnect with an internationally diverse community.

Though it was a rainy summer evening, there was a sizable turnout of 26 people from all around the Kanto region. A grand buffet was presented by a chef specializing in Italian cuisine. There was also a free flow of drinks. The event was also attended by a few members of ZESDA (Zipang Economic System Design Association), a Japanese NPO that promotes social innovation through business, as well as JAPI (Japan Association for Promoting Internationalization). From diversity often comes new ideas and inspiration, and many of the participants took the opportunity to share their thoughts on cross-border innovations.

We would like to thank everyone for making this alumni party a success! We look forward to your continued support for future events at which alumni members may build their professional network.

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The inaugural alumni meet of The MEXT Scholars’ Network, Meguro

“From Scholars to Scholars”: Speakers Series #1

#1: Mobile Games, Student Ventures and Corporate Accounting

“From Scholars to Scholars” is a series of panel discussions that feature alumni with outstanding professional experiences. Hoping that attending these sessions and interacting with other participants, both students and alumni alike will bring the inspiration to contribute back to society in a larger capacity.

The inaugural event of the MEXT Scholars’ Network “From Scholars to Scholars” Speakers Series was held at the ASEAN-Japan Center in Shinbashi on the 11th of June, 2016.

Our inaugural panel discussion featured the following three alumni:

  1. Thiago Kimura de Leon, a Brazilian creative director at Yodo1 Games, a Chinese mobile game software developer
  2. Goi Hoe Chin, a Singaporean senior researcher of entrepreneurship at Keio University
  3. Edmundo Prado, a Venezuelan accountant at INPEX Corporation, the largest Japanese oil and gas production company.

During the self-introduction section, each speaker kindly shared his personal and professional experiences in Japan, and also provided advice on how to choose one’s path in life. Then the panel discussion started, and with it a lively debate on the various merits and demerits of working in a small company as opposed to in a large, well-established corporation. Of particular interest to some participants was the role of tertiary education institutions in encouraging entrepreneurship.

The discussion ended with a reflection on “being hungry”, a point raised by one of the speakers. This was followed by a networking session with participants bonding over pizza and soft drinks. The event was attended by around 50 MEXT scholar and alumni, the latter of which hail from very diverse industries such as business consulting, IT marketing and commodities trading.

Special thanks go to Sato Taiki of Fourth Valley Concierge for a speech on the challenges faced by international students in job hunting; to Akira Iyadomi, for starting development on a mobile platform that aims to connect MEXT scholars and alumni; to ASEAN-Japan Center for graciously allowing us the use of so accessible a venue. Last but not least, a big thank you goes to all the participants of our event. We hope to see you at our next event!

MEXT Scholars’ Association Launch Party

The launch party for the MEXT Scholars’ Network (MSN) was held in Kudanshita on Showa Day, 2016. It was the first day of Golden Week, a week-long stretch of public holidays in spring, and all of Tokyo was in a celebratory mood.

At a wood-paneled reading room, the organization’s name was formally announced to a small gathering of about 20 MEXT scholars and alumni. In the opening presentation, the following goals for the MEXT Scholars’ Network were outlined: to encourage members of the community to be the best they can be, to engage with both public and private stakeholders in promoting the internationalization of Japanese society, and to elevate the profile of Japan and the MEXT Scholarship on the international stage. These are planned to be achieved by building a platform for mutual support and information-sharing amongst members.

Following the opening presentation were two speeches by active members of the community. The first was by Austin Zeng, a Singaporean MEXT Scholar from the University of Tokyo. He shared his experience interning at both a Japanese IT start-up and at a NGO that works closely with MEXT, and strongly encouraged the students among the audience to experience life outside of university too. The second was Tran Vu Ha Min, a Vietnamese alumnus who currently works at Odakyu Railways. She shared her experience contributing to her company’s business efforts in Vietnam, showing how international students can bridge the gap between different countries and cultures.

The members then bonded over pizza and drinks, talking about life as a foreigner in Japan, career prospects in Japan, and sharing academic and business ideas. Some participants took the opportunity to catch up with old friends they had not seen in years. The after-event was held at a nearby izakaya, and the conversation continued late into the warm spring night.
Special thanks go to Akira Iyadomi from worldnavi for providing us the pizza and drink, and Hayato Kaneda from 営業課 for such a homely venue. A big thank you also goes to the participants, for supporting us in building this community. We hope to see everyone again at our next event!