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Mind The Gap: February 2007

Author: Kate Neath, Issue: February 2007, Topic: Education, Mind the Gap, News, Newsletters, Students

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. Enjoy your ski-trips on the weekends, Snow-Festival in Hokkaido, and Setsubun Festival in Nikko. See you soon! Kate

Entrance Exams - Good Luck!

Good luck to students sitting for the Tsukuba University Entrance Exams in Jan/Feb. I hope you all do brilliantly, and successfully enter your Masters/PhD course here at Tsukuba. Here is the info in Japanese for dates of Entrance Exams: http://www.tsukuba.ac.jp/nyushi/g-guide/info_grad19.html

Important Notes for entrance exams:

  • CHECK the room number & time for each exam and interview on the big white notice board on the day BEFORE YOUR EXAM, using your ID number (notice board is located outside, near your faculty office. Ask a friend from your kenkyushitsu to show you). It is VERY IMPORTANT to get these details the day before your exam, and confirm where your exam room is located. Don't do this on the morning of your exams, as you don't want to get lost and be late for your exam. They won't let you in if you are late!).
  • It is cold in the exam rooms, so take warm clothes & blanket (lap-rug) to keep you warm.
  • Note that you will have up to 15 professors on the panel for your interview. Think about possible questions and prepare your answers beforehand.
  • Entrance Exam results will be posted about 2 weeks after the exam on a huge white noticeboard in the carpark next to Administration building.

Visa Extension

The immigration bureau accepts applications for visa extensions from about 2 months before the expiration date. So, for example, if your visa expires in April 2007, you can apply for an extension from February 2007. This is handy if you are planning to travel during March!

List of Announcements, ISC

You may have seen the following list of announcements that have been displayed on bulletin boards of department offices around Uni and in the ISC, for international students.

To All International Students

Please pay attention to the following issues, in order to have a nice and peaceful student life.

1. Check your permitted period of stay

Please check the period of stay marked on the land permit in your passport or on your Alien Registration Card. As a rule, formalities for the extension of the period of stay must be done at the Immigration Bureau within 2 months before the date of expiration of your visa. If you stay in Japan until your graduation ceremony, without realizing that it was an illegal overstay (due to visa expiration), you may have problems when leaving Japan. This is especially the case of students who arrived in Japan early before the admission at the university. If you need to stay for a while after the expiration of you period of stay, for the graduation ceremony or for preparations for returning to your home country etc, you need to change your residence status to Temporary Visitor (90 days) or other legal status in advance, at the Immigration Bureau.

2. You need permission in order to do part-time jobs

International students who have the residence status of College Student are required by law to obtain a ˇ°Work-permit (Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted)ˇ± from the Immigration Bureau. In order to apply for this Permission, you need to obtain a Fukushinsho (Work-permit form a university), a document issued by the university. According to the law, regular students may be allowed to work for up to 28 hours a week (14 hours a week for non-regular students such as research students etc.)

3. Car driving

In order to drive a car in Japan, you are required by law to have a valid Japanese driver's license. Also, you are strongly advised to enroll not only in the mandatory automobile liability insurance, but also in optional insurance plans. Should you be responsible for an accident, you will have to pay a great amount of money as compensation for damages. Furthermore, please do not forget that driving without a license, hit-and-run, driving under the influence etc are criminal acts and therefore are punished according to the law.

4. National Health Insurance

All foreigners planning to live in Japan for one year or more are required to enroll in the National Health Insurance program. Applications are made at the City Hall. If you are enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program, the medical expenses you may incur during your stay in Japan are reduced to 30%. Please note that lending or borrowing Health Insurance Cards is a criminal act. Also, as Health Insurance Cards may be used as ID cards when making money loans from loan companies, please keep your card in a safe place so that it is not illegally used by someone else. You need to return the Health Insurance Card to the City before you return to your home country.

5. Your College Student visa becomes invalid at the moment you terminate your enrollment at the university

The College Student visa is valid only while its bearer is enrolled at a university. Please realize that your College Student visa will become invalid at the moment you terminate your enrollment due to graduation, completion, withdrawal from school or expulsion, even if the period of stay on your visa is still valid. In this case, you are advised either to return to your home country or to change your residence status as soon as possible. Students who reside in Japan for more than 3 months without a valid reason, after graduation or withdrawal from school, will be cancelled their residence qualification even if they are still within the period of residence permitted by their visa, and they may also become subjects to forced expulsion.

6. Credited Auditors (Kamokutorishusei) who wish to acquire the College Student residence status

In case students who enrolled at our university as Credited Auditors (Kamokutorishusei) wish to acquire the residence status of College Student, they are required according to the ordinances of the Ministry of Justice to attend at least 10 hours of classes per week (Furthermore, at the University of Tsukuba it is required to register for at least 24 credits for the entire academic year (at least 8 credits per trimester).). Please make sure to register for at least 10 hours of classes per week, for the entire academic year (all three terms). You will not be granted the College Student status if you only have the intention of taking more classes later on.

7. Keep close contact with your academic advisor

As an international student, you receive help and guidance from you academic advisor not only on academic matters, but also in the various aspects of your everyday life. Furthermore, numerous important documents related to the university are distributed to your academic advisor. Consequently, you are strongly advised to keep a close contact with your academic advisor. Also, in case you are absent for a longer period of time, you should inform in advance your academic advisor about it.

8. Make good use of the International Student's Guidebook

You will find answers to many frequently asked questions in the International Student's Guidebook issued by the International Student Center. If you have questions, please check the Guidebook before you come to inquire at the International Student Center Office.

9. Use the advisory services for international students

If you have any problems related to academic or everyday life matters, please feel free to seek advice at the Advisory Section, located on the 2nd floor of the International Student Center.

Stefan Kaiser, Director, International Student Center

DC Credit Card Present

Did you know you can receive a present with your points accumulated from your DC credit card? Your total points are written on your bill (Page 3, top left-hand corner), and it's best to use your points before they expire! There are lots of options available for using your points, for example for 800 points you can get a 4000yen Starbucks card! Once you've selected the product that you want, you can call and place your order using your credit card number and product code. It is all automated on the phone in very fast Japanese (I was completely lost!), so I recommend asking a Japanese friend to help you!

Tsukuba Uni Cheap Accommodation

Did you know that there are Tsukuba University Training Centers that offer cheap accommodation for students? There are three:

1.Yamanaka Training Center in Yamanashi-ken located on Yamanaka Lake, which is the largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Picturesque area with view of Mt. Fuji!

2.Tateyama Training Center in Chiba-ken located on tip of Boso Peninsula, with warm weather all year round. In Spring can enjoy picking strawberries, and in summer swimming in the ocean.

3.Ishiuchi Training Center in Niigata-ken popular destination for skiers in winter, and view beautiful fireflies from end of June to July.

The cost for one night in these Training Centers is very cheap (~1000yen per person per night, 470yen for breakfast, & 820 yen for dinner), so it's a great place to go with friends! Call the phone number on the website for bookings.

Here is the website: http://www.sakura.cc.tsukuba.ac.jp/~gakusebu/gakuseika/kensyushisetsu.htm#yamanaka

ID required for Bank Transfer

Due to the identification law amendment from 4th Jan, 2007, you cannot use the ATM anymore for sending more than 100,000 yen worth of cash, and you have to show your ID at the counter of banks and post offices when you do it. Note: this requirement is only for sending CASH. If you use a bank transfer from your account, you can still transfer more than 100,000yen and ID is not required because it was already checked when you opened the account.

For detailed information, please refer to this site:




Views from the Shokudou

How will you celebrate after submitting your thesis?

Many students have been under stress recently submitting their draft thesis for Masters or PhD and making their final presentation before Christmas, and now final submission. Lets ask how everyone is going to celebrate!!

Yoav Herman, Israel, 2nd Year Masters, Art and Design

I thought that once I submitted the thesis I'd have more time for myself, but it turned out to be the opposite, since work never ends here. Hopefully after next week most of my responsibilities will be over, so I can start learning skiing, which I've been wanting to do since I came to Japan. And watch 10 movies, which I've also been wanting to do!.

Dayan Reuvena, Israel, 2nd Year Masters, Sports and Physical Education

I have to agree with Yoav's first sentence. I also thought I'd have more time for myself once I submitted the thesisˇ­but wrong! So many things still left to be done, so I guess it's never over until it's OVER. And once it's over.I plan to have a whole night out dancing in Roppongi!! Feel like joining me?!.

Lukhachi Jane Ambuko, Kenya, 3rd Year PhD, Pomology Lab

I long to submit my PhD Thesis and get my freedom from books again, but I am sure that my imagined break is not likely to come anytime soon. Either way, when I finally submit the thesis God willing in January 2008, I will surely take a trip to some nice place devoid of books and laboratories and just EXHALE!.

Walter Reyes, Ecuador, 3rd Year PhD, Life and Environmental Sciences, Agriculture

Well all this time, before submitting the thesis, I have been under a little bit of pressure because there were many things to correct like an ugly graph or bad English. He he. But besides that I have a very kind Sensei helping a lot to improve our final draft. Anyway, now I am free, but I still have to write a second Journal paper which is making me stressed..­.but stress is not forever­..and then I will celebrate my graduation with all my friends doing a small partyˇ­..dancing to Latin music..eating..and taking pictures­..pictures and pictures­.that is to prove that I did celebrate my graduation!. He he­.OK, take care everybody, best regards.

Deden Syafaruddin, Indonesia, Visiting Researcher Program, Plant Breeding Laboratory

First of all I am wishing You Happy New Year 2007! Wish you smiles and good cheer! Well, I graduated in last March 2006. It was so excited, because after the graduation ceremony we had combined celebration/farewell party at Bloom Bar (salsa and meringue were main menu of your body movements and steps.hehheeh) and continued to karaoke. That was really great moment and memorable. Since August 2006 I came back to Tsukuba such as a visiting researcher at University of Tsukuba for one year duration. Hopefully, it would be extended for a couple more years.

Comments, Questions or information?

Please email to Kate Neath at:
We will try to include them in the next issue!

<< Tsukuba City Hall Newsletter: February 2007 | Master Index | TsukuBlog: February 2007 >>


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