Funding – Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan

Who:

What:

  • Bridging Project – a program that actively recruits students twice a year to apply for study abroad programs in Japan.  The goal is to introduce cross-cultural relationships and spark an interest in Japan. You can either spend a year or just a semester there at a Japanese University.  It looks like you choose your program and they help with travel/living if you win.  You have to submit a report within 60 days of the program’s ending to the foundation about your experience.

Who Can Apply?: American Undergraduates interested in Japan and currently enrolled in a US university.  Japanese language study is not a pre-requisite – any major can apply. The study abroad program you choose must transfer the credits back to the US university (be part of your major). SUMMER PROGRAMS ARE NOT INCLUDED.  

How Much?: Approximately 100 scholarships for a total of $350,000. $2500 for semester-programs and $4000 for year-long programs. Intended to help with “travel and living expenses”

Paperwork:

  • Application (on the website)
  • Short Essay (up to 500 wrds)
  • Transcript
  • Letter of Recommendation

Where to find out more: Link

 

Advertisements

Exposure to other social rules is major part of study abroad

“Exposure to other social rules is major part of study abroad”

by Jasmine Li via “Daily Trojan

Last week, I sat with folded hands before my father and sister, surrounded by the warm aroma of an udon shop. My father’s noodles lie in a dish before him, smooth and garnished with Japanese plum.

He looked at me and said, “You’ve changed.”

A comment like that was to be expected after half a year of studying abroad in Japan. Though the singularity of the country and the homogeneity of its citizens can be overemphasized, it’s true that the societal norms here were enough to change me. Now, I bow reflexively and hold the elevator door open for my elders. I am shy calling someone by their first name and uncomfortable using an over-familiar form of speech. I try to soften my loud, deep voice and straightforward words.

The Japanese culture is one of respect and restraint. To that end, there are two basic forms of grammar patterns — polite and casual — both of which can be divided into yet more variations, each connoting a different level of respect and intimacy. It’s unheard of to use a casual form of speech to one’s superiors at work. Juniors at school are expected to speak politely to their seniors.

Just two days ago, I was taking a night stroll around the temple district of Asakusa as part of a club event. The night was warm and quiet. The still water of the fountains and the petals of the cherry blossoms were lit up by street lamps. I was walking alongside a freshman who, assuming I was the same age, spoke casually with me.

Half an hour later, an acquaintance smiled and said, “Jasmine’s a third-year, you know.”

In a heartbeat, the freshman changed his speech style and apologized. He insisted on attaching “sempai” to my name, an honorific reserved for one’s seniors at school and in the workplace. Despite my protests that I care little for such things, I was moved that he treated me as he would treat another Japanese person.

That isn’t to say, though, that I’m used to the custom. Using different forms of speech is a constant reminder of the distance between me and whomever I’m speaking with. Sometimes, I feel like I’m on an escalator watching people pass me by, headed to some remote platform either below or above me. Many of my friends here tell me, “You’re basically Japanese now,” but I am far from completely assimilated, and the path I took to get to where I am now was not a smooth one. . . .

READ MORE

“11 Extremely Practical Japan Travel Tips”

“11 Extremely Practical Japan Travel Tips”

by Frances Cha via “CNN

A Japan Rail Pass can save a lot of money, but must be booked outside of Japan.

“(CNN) — Japan isn’t a country to which you just show up and wing it.

For foreigners, the language barrier can be intense, the technology overwhelming and the prices terrifying for just about everything other than instant ramen.

The key is preparation.

We’ve taken care a lot of that for you with the tips below, leaving you to puzzle out the fun stuff, like getting out of a karaoke bar with your dignity intact and figuring out how to ask them to hold the katsuobushi at breakfast.

1. Rent a wireless router

Getting a prepaid SIM card with local calling service is difficult in Japan.

It’s better to rent a handy little wireless router, known as “pocket Wi-Fi” in Asia.

This will allow multiple gadgets — smartphone, laptop, tablet, Kindle — to connect at once with un-throttled, unlimited data.

Local calls are then possible via cheap Internet phone services like Skype.

You can rent and return one of these devices easily at the telecom company counters at most airports.

Booking online before the trip brings the price down even lower.

Global Advanced Communications, for example, offers a deal of ¥5,550 ($53) for a seven-day rental plan if you book before the trip.

They deliver the device to the airport/hotel/office for free the day before your arrival, and include a prepaid envelope for returns.

2. Book a Japan Rail Pass before arrival

Booking the flat-rate foreigner-only Japan Rail Pass, which can be used throughout the extensive JR train network on all four main islands, can save a lot of money for travel by  . . . . .”

READ ORIGINAL

“Traveler’s Lodestone” out in Hard Copy!

Celebrations abound! At last, “Traveler’s Lodestone” is officially out in hard copy — a great universal translator ready for use!

After a great deal of time and effort, we have put together this great resource for anyone working with foreign languages. Whether that be while traveling abroad or when dealing with non-native speakers in your own backyard.  “Traveler’s Lodestone”  is a point-to-speak book. It uses picture-based communications to cover the basic things a person would need when conversing in any foreign language. The idea is that when the words aren’t at the tip of your tongue, the pictures are at the tip of your finger. Everything from groceries to clothes to hotel amenities to weather, directions, and more is available instantly with this easy to use book. It’s quick and universal!

Right now it’s out on CreateSpace, but coming soon to Amazon and other booksellers near you. At 5×8 and 100 pages, it’s small enough to stick in your purse or bag and carry around, easy to pull out and use. Check out this great universal translator! Now tested in Korea, Japan, and China–it worked perfectly! (the Bathroom/Toilet pic is apparently very popular 😛 )  Trust me; I’ve tried the dictionaries, translation books, etc. and this is the best tool I’ve found so far.

Great for students abroad!

Pick up Your Paperback Copy By Clicking Here

If you are interested in the E-book Version, that’s available here.  The e-book is actually broken up into 3 short Volumes for easier use.

We’re also working on a Android/Apple app. As soon as I figure out how to attach buttons to links, we’ll be adding that.