I am waiting from April 2020 to get into my university as a self-financed student. April intake was postponed because of the corona situation. Then I was able to register for the September intake. However, because of COE delays, I couldn’t get in during the time Japan was open for students. My research is already on hold since I cannot perform the experiments needed for data acquisition. Because of this uncertainty, I now have to consider a Ph.D. topic change even after spending 8 months into my research. I left my previous job in 2019 January thinking I’ll be able to get in by April. Because I don’t know when Japan will start accepting students, I can’t apply for any other job positions either. There is a minimum contract period that I must complete before quitting all most all of the jobs. So my life is on hold since January of 2019. It is not an easy task to keep going [especially mentally] when you are already 30 and you have to depend on your parents for food and a roof over your head. At this point, I am prepared to accept any conditions imposed by the Japanese government if it means that I can start my research. Even something like quarantining in a paid embassy designated quarantine location in my home country before I come to Japan. So, total of one month quarantining is a possible action for me now at this point. That’s how desperate I am at the moment, and I know it would be same for many students who dreamt of studying in Japan. Another long delay will force me to drop my research dream and focus on a different path for the sake of my mental health alone.
What is your education level?
What is your current (or most recent) job?
When did you apply to come to Japan originally?
Why does studying Japanese in Japan mean so much to you?
I’ve been traveling solo throughout Japan and moving there was the next obvious choice to keep discovering the country and culture to the fullest
How do you think that as a student in Japan that you will add benefit to Japan society?
I wish to integrate Japanese society as much as I can as a foreigner and to do so, the first step is to learn the language. The best why to learn japanese is in Japan! I come from an equally culturally rich county and I believe that sharing and exchanging knowledge will be enriching for both parties.
What will it mean to you if there is another delay for students to be able to come to Japan?
I was supposed to move to Tokyo at the end of March 2020 right when the pandemic started. I had quit my day jobs, sold all my furniture and put my apartment up for rent. I was lucky enough to be able to extend my lease for my apartment but I have been living here surrounded by carboard boxes and no furniture for over a year now. Because of the pandemic, I cannot get a job and I’ve had to rely on my freelance work to survive which has been mentally draining. I feel like it has been a year of my life put on standby, unable to make plans for the future. To say that it’s been difficult is an understatement and both my physical and mental health have suffered from this wait and this lack of purpose. Now that a whole year has gone by, I’ve had to make the decision to go temporarily live with my parents just in case I have to leave suddenly once the borders re-open. Leaving the city to go back to the countryside is a huge decision and I’m only able to make it on the grounds that this is a TEMPORARY matter. My visa has already been extended for a year so it’s getting to a point where it can no longer be extended. If I’m to move to Japan, it has to happen very soon. It may sound dramatic but this is my livelyhood in the balance here as well as I’m sure the livelyhoods of many other students here. I’m sure I’ve aged 5 years because of the stress from this past year. For our mental healths, please let us resume our plans or at least help us make a proper decision if we are to give up on our visas.
I have been studying Japanese for seven years. I spent the last year stuck at University, keeping paying taxes even if I finished all the exams in Winter 2020 just waiting for Japan to open and let me in, since I am trying to write my MA thesis regarding women contemporary literature in Japan.
Studying in Japan has always been part of my dream. I wish to pursue not only studying and becoming fluent in Japanese, but to be able to build a life in Japan. I have visited many times and made many Japanese friends. Each visit has had a profound effect on my life, and I wish to be able to communicate fluently, in order to become a contributing member of Japanese society.