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Mind The Gap: July 2006

Author: Kate Neath, Issue: July 2006, Topic: Education, Mind the Gap, News, Newsletters, Students

Hi Everyone! Did you enjoy the June newsletter? In this month’s issue we have more info and a brand new comic strip made especially for Tsukuba International students. Take a look! Also, soon it will be summer holidays, which means really hot and humid weather in Japan, so I recommend taking a trip to the beach to cool off. Or if you don’t fancy the crowds and the nice brown seawater (ha ha), why not travel up into the mountains where the air is clean and fresh, and rivers are crystal clear. For those of you who will have Tsukuba University Entrance exams, good luck with the study! Talk to you soon, Kate

Entrance Exams – Masters/PhD

The exam timetable is now available for Masters/PhD Entrance Exams in July/August/Oct 2006 and for February 2007. Make sure you check the date and time of your exam on the website below. The room number for your exams and interview will be posted on a notice-board a couple of days before your exam (ask your senpai to show you where the notice-board is). For studying, check last year’s exam papers in your field of study. Usually the exam will include translation (Japanese to English or English to Japanese), English comprehension exam, plus an exam on your field of study. You will also have an interview, so prepare your answers in advance, for example possible questions are ‘Why do you want to study in Tsukuba University?’ or ‘Please explain your results from your graduate thesis’.

In your interview, there may be about 15 professors on the panel, so try to relax and answer the questions clearly.

Exam Timetable in Japanese (on Tsukuba Uni website):

Exam Timetable in English (translated by ISC):

Handy Hints: How to Save on your Mobile Phone Bill

For new students - ‘AU’ company is recommended for students as we can get a 50% discount on the cost of phone calls. The cheapest option is 1990yen per month, plus 300yen extra per month for email and web access.

For everyone - Make sure the AU shop is up-to-date with your personal information and change of address, especially your student status. For example, if you passed the entrance exam to do Masters/PhD, you will receive a new student card, so you need to show this to the AU shop. Otherwise, they may stop the 50% student discount and start charging you the full cost. The AU shop is located near Ishimaru Denki in Tsukuba Center. They also have the catalog in various languages, including English.

Make sure you read this - Look at the example above of an AU mobile phone bill (3750yen plan), and how to save on ‘packets’. If you often check your Yahoo email or the news on your mobile phone, I recommend checking how much this is costing you! Check your ‘Packets’ cost – if it costs you more than 1000yen, go to the AU shop and ask for the ‘Packet 1000yen Plan’, where you can save at least 2000yen on your bill.

Harrassment Consultation Services

There was a notice in the May 2006 issue of the ‘Tsukuba Students’ newspaper describing new consultation services for students of the university regarding power and sexual harassment. If you feel that you are subject to harassment, or would like to ask a question, please contact the consultant in your academic faculty (name of consultant and contact details are listed on the website address in Japanese below, pg. 14). Please also contact the International Student Center if you need assistance.



Japan Drivers License

The best way to go to the Mito Drivers License Center (Menkyou Center) is by bus from Tsukuba Center as it is cheaper, faster, and drops you at the door of the Mito Drivers License Office. The bus leaves Tsukuba Center from Platform No. 3 at 7:30am, and you can catch a bus back to Tsukuba at 12:30pm or 4:30pm. If you have to do the practical driving test, which takes more time, you can catch the 4:30pm bus back. NOTE: If you have trouble speaking Japanese, ask a friend who speaks Japanese to go with you, as nobody speaks English at the License Office so it can be very difficult to communicate. Also, it is common for everyone to make the trip to the License Office at least 2-3 times before receiving your Japanese Drivers License, so try to be patient. Often documents are inadequate or extra documents are needed, and often it takes more than a few tries to pass the practical driving test. Remember, this happens to everyone, so don’t worry and keep trying!

Travel Information – the best websites!!

Ab-Road – cheap tickets and tours (only in Japanese)

Seishun 18 kippu (in English)

Skymark – airline - cheap tickets to Kobe, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Naha (in Japanese)

Starflyer – new airline – flies to Kita Kyushu (in Japanese)

Yadoplaza – cheap accommodation in Japan (in Japanese)

AirDo – airline - cheap flights to Hokkaido (in Japanese)

Metropolis – magazine on places to be and to do in Japan (in English)

Outdoor Japan – ideas on variety of activities

CrissCross – a magazine on Japan (in English)

Views from the Shokudou

What are your plans for summer?

Guillermo Zuniga

Honduras, 1st Year Masters student, MBA-MPP
I’m going to Singapore and Malaysia, travelling abroad in July is very cheap. Next year I’ll be very busy, so now it’s a good opportunity.

Herb Fondevilla

Philippines, 1st Year PhD, Arts and Design
I’m trying to organize a children’s workshop for kids introducing Philippine art and various art techniques. Well, I have free time and I might as well be doing something productive!

Randall Perez

Nicaragua, 2nd Year MBA
Travel inside Japan. Travel agencies have cheaper prices in July. By August prices rise.

Comments, Questions or information?

Please email to Kate Neath at:

We will try to include them in the next issue!

<< Meet Some Current and Former Tsukuba Residents | Master Index | Mind the Gap: August 2006 >>

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