Becoming an exchange student. (an update)

So I haven’t updated this blog in ages. Mostly due the fact that I’m not in Japan in the moment, I find it therefore hard to come up with new ideas for a new post. The other reason is that I’ve been too busy. I spent October month and some of November with my husband, who has now gone back to Japan and to his work. We’ll see each other again in five weeks. In the mean time, the end of the semester is coming closer, which means lots of homework, boring assignments and exam preparation.  Another thing that is also adding to the stress is filling out application papers for our prospective Japanese university.

I’ve been accepted into Japan’s Kobe University for 6 months, starting this upcoming spring.  Which I’m really happy about, since studying in Kansai was my first priority. Now I just have to fill out all their required papers.

Required documents are ;

1. Kobe University Application Form

2. Your academic transcript

3. Application for Certificate of Eligibility

4. Financial Statement

5. Certificate of Health

6. Three passport –sized photos of you

7. A copy of your passport

8. Certification of Japanese Ability (if you have)

9. Certificate of enrollment of the Applicant for Student Exchange Support Program.

I also had to apply for a new passport, even though I had only used it for 10 months instead of 10 years, since I got married to my husband in the meantime and then got my new Japanese surname. Unfortunately I’m not too far into the process.

In the application form, I’m required to write about my study plan at Kobe University and then also write a self-introduction in Japanese (400-800 characters). It’s not that I can’t write a self-introduction in Japanese, it’s more that I have no idea of what to actually write. The same goes for the study plan.

I have not filled out the Application for Certificate of Eligibility, yet either. That is because I have not decided, yet, whether I’ll use my spouse visa or the offered student visa. There are problems with both. Since Kobe decides when documents will be sent out, I might not be able to receive my Certificate of Eligibility (which makes it possible for me to receive my visa from the Japanese embassy) before in February, which can result in my not receiving my visa before March. Since my semester in Japan doesn’t start before April, I have time enough, but due to my husbands work schedule, I wish to go to Japan already in the middle of February.

The problem with the Spouse visa is that I will then not be seen as an international student and I then will not be able to live in the international student dormitories. I’m requested to apply for the same dormitories as the Japanese students, without any priorities. I’ll talk this over with my husband once again, before making the final decision.

My husband have been kind enough to fill out the Financial Statement – which means he becomes obligated to support me financially during the whole semester. And then there’s the health certificate, I have booked a meeting with my doctor this week, so that’s progressing and then I need the copy of my passport and the small passport sized photos. So many things to do, so little time. I really need to figure out what to write in the self-introduction.


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