Friday, July 1, 2011

Buffetting : MEXT Scholarship Interview

I'll be damned if I said I wasn't nervous at all.

What's worse, I thought I was doomed when I got stuck in the jam near the old The Jump on my way to Persiaran Stonor.

Yet, luck was on my side, and I managed to hit the place on time, with everything well equipped.

jam ar...

The Japan Embassy is very strict, in which they do not allow visitors to bring in phones, hence I have really limited photos for this post.

But one thing is for sure, its so hard to differentiate both Japan Embassy and Singapore High Commission from far.

They are both plain white, and both filled with bars.

The only thing different is the interior and security measures. Japan Embassy's was much more stricter, and Nicer. At least they greet you well.

It was 8.45 am when we enter the commission's 1st floor, and we were greeted with a video showcase on Japan Traveling while we wait for the lady in charge.

Got to know a few friends, though it was mostly girls. Like what Karyne said, girls are normally more punctual than guys, and yes it's true. of all 4 early birds, I was the only guy.

Chit chat a lil, and Cik Nuraini came in and rechecked our documents.

She was so nice,*bet she did this like a gazillion times* and she flipped through our applications to check if everything is fine.

I panicked a lil and she reassured me with ," It's okay I know you are nervous. The panels won't eat you up!"

And it did help.

The day proceeded with going into the waiting room before entering the interview panels' room. There was where I met few more people, a girl from Samtet taking social science in psychology, and a girl from TARC taking medicine, and a fellow STPMer Keith Conrad taking medicine also.

Pfft. 2 competitions. Hopefully I can outweigh both of them with my Japanese XD

When it was my turn, I just head in, and VERY IMPORTANT GESTURE:

SHAKE THEIR HANDS. No matter you have sweaty palms, smelling palms, whatever shit palms, shake their hands because it makes a great impression and respect.

It shows that you are prepared, and not afraid. Well, at least to me.

red stripes today~
The interview started with introduction, then asking of why taking medicine, in Japan because engineering would be so much more easier. Why Japan, out of UK, US, Australia?

Luckily I was smart enough to ask Hoshino Sensei about some Japanese university cultures. Apparently, in Japan the students do not only go for the school's prestige, but the professors' too. We have to resource out the professor we wish to study under instead of basing on the curriculum of the field like how we do it over here.

That was why I chose, Japan.

And if you were to be offered pharmacy, do take it up because it can also help people.

It was weird because they keep on stressing that I have excellent academic background.

I was like, "Are you serious? It's like nothing! Somebodies out there ought to be smarter than me!"

Yet, I succeeded in impressing them with my Japanese language scores, and also JLPT N3 when they were asking about my co-curriculum activities.

I wanted talk about Form 5, but they prompted me to talk about Form 6. So impression time.

Form 6 Council Vice Secretary cum Ad-Hoc President, Debate and Drama Club, and Event Manager+ Interpreter job in Japanese Cultural Exchanges.

Next up is impression on Japan. Technologically advance country, even better equipments than Russia and States.

Then it was politic question. We expect you to return to Malaysia after graduation, and becoming the bridge between both countries. How are you going to succeed in doing that.

I was actually predicting this question, somehow it just popped into my mind in the showers. And I just thought of medical researches right on the spot. HIV is definitely one thing which can bring both countries together. If we manage to nail this virus, we can get closer in different terms,especially with what's going on in Japan.

There are other stuffs, I think my interview was one of the longest around. They were impressed I can see. I think its because I've already done so much. I was prepared already. The Japanese from UM was very enthusiastic towards my application, I can see that.

He was like,"You've already gotten impressive academics, and you have gained admission from universities already! What are you going to do if you get this scholarship? Are you going to consider any other outcomes?"

I couldn't give a concrete answer. But I will choose Japan over any other thing else.

Owh I totally forgot about the panels. There were 5 of them, one from JPA, one from Jagam, one from UM(Japanese lecturer), one from JIS(the Japanese) and one more Malay man from I have no idea.

I know The lady from Jagam because I sat for EJU. The Japanese professor from UM was informed to us by Cik Noraini. The JPA lady was introduced when they asked me if I applied for JPA. And the Japanese form JIS is because I've seen him during my written examination.

But the Malay dude was very nice also, much better than the panels I have had in JPA interview.

We even joked about me being the ambassador in the future! And they were so cool with it!

"Practicing doctor ambassador. Imagine that."

I can't stop but to think that they were actually amazed of my application, despite of the low scores I have had in the examination. I got like 45 for maths, while people who took physics got 90. Wtheck how did they get 90 at all???!!!!

I got the highest for Chem among all applicants, but still, I'd wish I can have higher scores.

They were like," Are you sure Japan is the place with all the tremors going around? You are like the hope of your family, the brightest one!"

I'd swear I wanted to digress. Because I'd never see myself in that manner.

Anyway, they said it will be a strong recommendation from them, and I can see in their eyes they liked me.

Last question was, do you really want to go to Japan.


Lets hope for the best then. Replies to be done in August, when I will update again.

PS: Keith! Post your experience also!


  1. omg, yong bin, i'm sure you'd aced the interview!anyways, all the best while waiting for your interview result!

  2. @jo: haha thanks girl! i thought i did in jpa one also, but I guess 10As wasn't enough. Owh well, its all up to luck right now!

  3.'s almost time for the results I guess?:D

    1. HAha it came out,i didn't get it. Medicine's requirement is too high in Japan. Probably should try vet this year.

  4. Hello,

    I know this post is quite old but I really felt like I needed to ask this.
    Did you take the interview in Japanese?
    I read your post and I was confused because I couldn't find you saying something like that anywhere. I have JLPT N3 too and I was wondering if a level of that knowledge would be enough to try taking the interview in Japanese.

    Sorry for commenting on a post this old!

    Thank you.

    1. Nope. The interview was completely in English. Although most, close to all of the interviewers had basic Japanese, they opted to have the interview in English because there would be a basic japanese course over in Japan prior to university commencement if we were taken.

      N3 well, would need a little bit more. N1 is of course the best. But the interview was definitely in English. Japanese, was just to impress them in the certificates.

      Hope this helped!

  5. Hey, I've a little question to ask, hopefully you can solve my puzzle. If I'd graduated my secondary school and want to apply mext undergraduate scholarship, do I compulsory sit for their Japanese language exam?

    1. yeap it is. It's part of their test module to gauge, but its not exactly the most important subject among all because normal successful applicants are subjected to 1 year of preparatory Japanese language class before entry of the university.