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  • International Budo University 2012

    Hello,

    I'm opening this theme because I'm very interested in IBU. I know that you've allready discussed about it but all of the articles were very old. So I would like to get a e - mail from anybody who is there now or was in IBU in past 5 years.
    Plus, please, tell me about your experiences ... Will I have any problems because I'm woman? Is it really so hard to handle with xenophobical Japanese people? Is this only stereotype or truth? Did you have any problem with getting scholarship (I can't afford to pay so much for tution fee, of course)? Does Japanese government really give scholarship to every foreign student which asks for? Should I contact International Office for these question?

    Thanks for the answers,
    Roza Jaki

    P. S. : sorry for my English. Not native speaker!

  • #2
    I do not have experience with IBU (so can't answer your more specific questions) but do have experience living, studying and working in different countries.

    I thinking spending a significant amount of time in another country is invaluable. It's not just that the world is getting more interconnected and being able to deal with other cultures will give you an edge, I think it will it will enrich one's life.

    Every country has both its wonders and problems and your experience will most likely not turn out how you imagined. You asked questions about what it is like to be a woman in Japan. I'm not female so I can't say but I had similar questions in the back of my mind about Europe's stereotypical racism when I decided to live in Switzerland and the UK (my ancestry is Taiwanese). Yes there were issues, but they were relatively minor compared to the positives I got out of the experiences.

    Specifically about Japan (since I'm here now): I think the term xenophobic as a term applied to the Japanese is a bit misleading. The word literally means abhorrence of foreign things. But that's is far from describing the vast majority of Japanese. They have a pretty keen interest in foreign things and in fact, I see more positive features on TV here about places US and European TV tend to neglect as backwater.

    If there's a better word to describe the Japanese it is shyness. If they run away from you it's not because they hate you, it's because they are too embarrassed to deal with people outside their comfort zone. Once you reach a passable level of Japanese conversation ability you'll probably find people take an interest in your culture, though of course you'll get bizarre questions based on what little they know about where you're from (e.g. they will probably confuse Slovenia with Slovakia... but hey most Americans will too).

    And in my personal experience the problem of shyness has become more acute with the younger generation who have grown up in post-Showa prosperity. They've had affluence handed to them unlike their parents who grew up remembering tougher times so saw doing business outside their borders as essential to obtaining better living standards. One of the problems dogging Japan now is the younger generation's reluctance to go on foreign assignments. In fact, one of my Japanese friends said it goes beyond that with many now not even bothering to compete in Tokyo, instead staying in their hometown doing menial jobs because it's more comfortable. As such, I find most of my post-keiko conversations are with middle or older age gentlemen and sometimes with people roughly my same age. The people who are younger than me don't generally speak to me when they don't have to, I'm guessing due to a combination of shyness and the fact that technically I'm senior to them so not someone for them to have fun chit chatting with (this latter reason is probably the bigger factor).

    So in my view, get out there. You may perhaps consider other universities in Japan if you're interested in studying here. General universities sometimes have strong kendo clubs (Tokyo University, Waseda and Tsukuba among them). You don't have to be restricted to IBU to get a fantastic budo experience while attending uni. That said, you can typically expect to spend an additional 2 years in language preparation to get into general universities (you have to pass at least JLPT N2 for most while the top unis may expect N1), a requirement that seems a bit more relaxed at IBU from what I've read before on KWF.

    Also be aware that Japanese unis have their course year from April to March rather than an autumn start. This poses some challenges to people who are already in Western universities and want to do an exchange. Todai (short for Tokyo Daigaku/Tokyo University) is in the process of switching to an autumn start in a few years time. Several other unis are looking at following Todai's lead.
    Last edited by dillon; 28th February 2012, 08:45 AM.

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    • #3
      Knew an American-born Japanese (didn't speak Japanese) who attended International Christian Univ. (ICU) in Japan. Another friend, from Malaysia but of Chinese background, attended Sophia Girls' Univ. here. Don't know that either university requires previous Japanese-language study, to get in. Check 'em out, maybe?
      As far as being female goes, haven't found prejudices due to that - only, as mentioned, that especially the under-35's fear being close to someone who looks to be an English speaker. That can be sitting in a train (a seat beside me tends to stay empty) or even asking someone on the street a question. My Japanese isn't that bad but sometimes the first "reply" is that he (males move away the fastest) can't speak English though I spoke in fairly well-pronounced standard-Tokyo Japanese.
      Sorry don't know about scholarships.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dillon View Post
        That said, you can typically expect to spend an additional 2 years in language preparation to get into general universities (you have to pass at least JLPT N2 for most while the top unis may expect N1), a requirement that seems a bit more relaxed at IBU from what I've read before on KWF.
        Unless you are interested in an undergraduate degree in something like international relations, hospitality, or global studies. Several universities in Japan offer undergraduate programs that are conducted entirely in English. Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Tama University in Tokyo, are all among them. As are several international schools with campuses in Japan such as Temple and Sophia both. Learning the Japanese language is required in all these programs but it is not a prerequisite for study in the programs, although understanding English and passing the TOEFL exam is.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tort-Speed View Post
          My Japanese isn't that bad but sometimes the first "reply" is that he (males move away the fastest) can't speak English though I spoke in fairly well-pronounced standard-Tokyo Japanese.
          Fun anecdote. An acquaintance told me about an anime in which a Japanese family was about to host a western student. They did not speak good English at all and were in a panic to improve it so they could communicate with him. Not only did they study English but they spent all their time learning what they could American culture and even hung up a flag to help the student feel welcome. When the student finally arrived they all yelled "WELCOME TO JAPAN! Pleased to meet you!" or something along those lines. At which point the student replied "Quoi? Parlez vous Francais?"

          Originally posted by Tort-Speed View Post
          Sorry don't know about scholarships.
          My own research into universities in Japan has mostly shown that any international student will usually qualify for at least a 30% scholarship discount on their tuition. This comes directly from the university which offer programs in English. Not sure about other universities. Other students can qualify for as much as a 50% discount. And these discounts come direct from the schools themselves, with others being available through third party organizations and scholarship groups. My understanding on IBU is that almost all your tuition will be returned to you over time for living expenses and the like during the Bekkasei program. Although that was awhile back so it could have changed or I simply could have misunderstood to begin with.

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          • #6
            Ritsumeikan APU requires no Japanese, student base is 50% international, 95% of students find a job by the time they graduate. Scholarship reduction programs are available and rampant. I'll be doing my undergrad there, and considering Tsukuba or Waseda for grad. Students are normally fluent in Japanese by their third year. Oh Joy! All other universities mentioned work as well?

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the info, but I'm very interesting in martial arts. Is there any other specialized University but IBU? I've hear that it is the only that kind of uni which accept also foreign students. So ... my conditions for uni are:
              1. Martial arts
              2. Accepting strangers
              3. Reasonable scholar fees
              Any ideas?

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              • #8
                Probably just IBU then. Although I hear that some people go over there for a few months at a time to study at specific dojos. I have no idea how that works as far as VISA issues are concerned. IBU seems to be the best deal for the money, in my opinion.

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                • #9
                  Okay. IBU than. So - when I'm accepted (IF I will) - I'll probably won't have enough money without scholarship. So - when I get it? I mean - I can not even start withot it .... And - the other question - I've contacted International Office week ago(I've already heard it's shit) but they haven't answered me yet. I wrote in English, not in Japanese - it could be a problem? I mean they are international office so .... ?

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                  • #10
                    Well, if you want to apply for 2012, it is too late I guess;

                    They can read and write English in the office, so you should try to submit your mail again.

                    If you want more info on IBU, you should read and post here:
                    http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/sho...ra-for-Gaijins
                    Last edited by snooz2k2; 5th March 2012, 07:12 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Applying in 2012 you'll get in for 2013.

                      When I contacted their International Office I wrote in english and got an english reply back. It took them about 2-3 business days to reply.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tomoe Gozen View Post
                        Okay. IBU than. So - when I'm accepted (IF I will) - I'll probably won't have enough money without scholarship. So - when I get it? I mean - I can not even start withot it .... And - the other question - I've contacted International Office week ago(I've already heard it's shit) but they haven't answered me yet. I wrote in English, not in Japanese - it could be a problem? I mean they are international office so .... ?
                        You have to pay the tuition cost upfront. If you can't afford the initial payment, the scholarship won't do you any good. The scholarship is just a monthly remittance given to you that you in-turn use to pay your monthly costs. You're not really "gaining" any additional money. So if you take out a loan to make the initial payment, you won't have a big fat check at the end of your school year to pay back the loan.

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