We have a new website for "Mind The Gap" newsletter, hosted by the Alien Times. The website has already had 100's of viewers, so it is proving to be very popular! Keep this website as a favourite on your computer and check it each month for the latest information and news!!
The International Student Center (ISC) will have a welcome party for new international students.
All international students, their academic advisors, their tutors and related professors are welcome.
The ISC staff sent the annoucement to each faculty office in the beginning of October and it is also posted on the bulletinboard in the ISC.
See you there!
Do you need to apply for a research extension for next year? The ISC office will send documents regarding research period extension for research students to their academic advisors during December. Please note that if you go home for Christmas or are away from Tsukuba for a long period of time during December, you should tell your academic advisor about your absence and maintain contact while you are away so your academic advisor can inform you of the deadline for the documents!
Do you want to live in a University Dormitory from April next year? You need to apply now, in November! There is a schedule of application dates for dormitory rooms for the academic year 2007, displayed at the Dormitory Office and the Division of Student Affairs. The schedule is also available below. Please check the schedule for qualification, conditions and detailed information. Please be sure to apply if you wish to live in dormitory from April 2007, and note that even if you are living in a dorm now, you have to apply again for next year.
For the academic year 2007 (April 2007 to March 2008)
The schedule for applications for dormitory room residence in the academic year 2007 (April 2007-March 2008, for current students) is as follows.
For details and terms for application, please refer to the notifications that will be posted on the bulletin boards of each academic service office and each dormitory office. (The International Student Center does not have any detailed information.)
Note: If you cannot speak Japanese yourself, you are strongly advised to come to the Student Residence Administration Office accompanied by somebody who speaks Japanese and therefore can help you understand and communicate.
From: Division of Student Affairs (Translation: International Student Center)
Thursday, 2 November, is the final day for applying for the Field Trips!!! Don't miss out! Choose a destination: Kyoto or Nara/Aichi
Last day for Application: Thurs 2 Nov.
Travel dates: Mon 27 Nov – Wed 29 Nov
There is more information available on ISC website:
November is a busy month for PhD students and their final presentations. Good luck! Presentation Schedules are posted up around each faculty, so why not go and have a look! It's a great chance to support your friends and learn more about everyone's research.
Did you know we have Onsen hotels at Tsukuba-san? They offer a great weekend getaway from the stresses of Uni, and a chance to relax in the onsen and escape the chilly Autumn wind. The hotels also provide beautiful rotemburos (outdoor onsen), with scenic views of the Tsukuba area. It is possible to pay just to enter the hotel onsen for about 1000-1500yen, or you can stay overnight. The prices start from about 10,000yen (per person per night in a traditional Japanese style room, includes onsen and traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast). Here is the website with 5 hotel options (in Japanese, room reservations and inquiries can be done by email).
There are hundreds of hairdressing salons in Tsukuba, and sometimes it's hard to decide where to go. "Peace Hair Studio" is my top recommendation, located just next to the ISC (on road outside Uni Post Office, check website for map). The hairdressers at Peace are very professional, and the staff are extremely friendly and caring, creating a relaxing environment for their customers. There are male and female hairdressers available. Communication is in Japanese.
There is a very good Dentist in Tsukuba which is highly recommended called "Katsuragi Dental Clinic" located near Kasuga 3-chome. The Dentist can speak English fluently so you can communicate easily. The surgery is extremely comfortable, with a homely atmosphere and friendly staff.
Directions: Head south down Nishi-Odori from Uni, turn right at Denny's, and then the first left. Follow the signs on the telegraph poles (signs are in Japanese: かつらぎ歯科クリニック).
The idea for the name of this newsletter 'Mind The Gap' originally came from the phrase often used in the subway, warning pedestrians to mind their step. But the phrase can also be used figuratively. For international students of Tsukuba University, 'Mind The Gap' can have a different meaning for everyone. The 'Gap' could mean a gap in communication, a gap in culture, or a gap in the education system, for example. We decided to go out and ask the the international students at Tsukuba Uni what does the 'Gap' mean for them.
Colombia, 5th Year Doctoral Program, International Political Economy
I think there's a big gap between foreigners and Japanese in Tsukuba. Foreigners don't seem to socialize much with Japanese, as it's not easy to make friends. Perhaps foreigners don't try hard enough, or perhaps Japanese are too shy, or both.
Korea, Intensive Japanese Language Course Student
It's lonely in the dormitories. I would like to meet my neighbours, but it's difficult to catch them at a good time. I wish they were more open and gave me a chance to introduce myself.
Saudi Arabia, Intensive Japanese Language Course Student
I don't agree with having the toilet and the kitchen next to each other in the dormitories, as it's not a good smell while I'm cooking. Also, I heard in Japan that a building with more than 4 floors has to have an elevator. I'm on the 5th Floor of Oikoshi, but there's no elevator, so it's very hard walking up those stairs!
Pakistan, 2nd Year Masters, Area Studies
For me GAP is the place where I go to do my part time work. It's a place where I feel at home and myself. Why? Well, there are many reasons and I don't feel like sharing them now. But if you would like to know, please pay me a visit on Sundays.
Colombia, 5th Year Doctoral Program, Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering
One of the biggest challenges faced by foreigners in Japan is that they are not used to the 'tatemae' and 'honne'. The former refers to the way you behave in the society (what you want to show people), while the latter refers to your true feelings (what you really think). For instance, because of the 'tatemae' many people do things that they don't really mean (for example, invite you to their place or to go out with them, or agree too easily on things, etc). That could make many foreign people confused about how Japanese think. Asking a friend to clarify this issue, he responded by saying that in some situations it is even very difficult for Japanese to understand or decide what to do. It seems that there are many unwritten rules, and sometimes you are supposed to understand what others want, even if they don't say so clearly.
We have a new mailing list specific for international students of Tsukuba University! To join, register at:
Everyone is encouraged to join this mailing list so that we can tell each other what's going on in Tuskuba University, we can organise parties, give advice and answer questions, send reminders about exams and visa extensions, etc.
Please email to Kate Neath at:
We will try to include them in the next issue!
TsukuBlog is a daily blog for the foreign residents of the city of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan. It is a sister site to Alien Times. It includes up-to-date information on events, news, living in Japan, Japanese culture, and more.
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