CHRISTEL ABI AKL
I am a fortunate holder of the MEXT scholarship. In fact, people wishing to apply for this scholarship should meet one of two criteria: 1- to be recommended by the Japanese Embassy or consulate in their mother country (Embassy Recommended) or 2- to be recommended by a Japanese university (university Recommended). I actually was recommended by the embassy of Japan in Beirut, Lebanon.
The steps included to apply for this scholarship are long but very well explained and detailed on the Embassy’s website. The first stage was to apply all my documents to the embassy for them to make a preliminary screening based on my GPA, previous professor’s recommendation and experience. When this stage was passed successfully, remaining candidates had to take a language examination in both English and Japanese. But it was not something to worry about, even though Japanese is a plus, not knowing it at all is also an option. In fact, at the time I could not even read Hiragana and submitted an empty paper and still got the scholarship! But being able to communicate and write in English is a must, afterall, the masters will be in English.
The next stage was the interview, and this is the part that needs preparation the most. The best tip to ace it is to know exactly what kind of research you are aiming for and why Japan is the best place to do it in. Preferably, a contact and approval of a professor from a Japanese university has been made.
Applying for the MEXT scholarship is a long process but definitely very worth it! If you get to be as fortunate as me, the Japanese government will be paying for your study in Japan!