Chamika, 30, Sri Lanka
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.