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Mind The Gap: September 2007

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

Hi Everyone! Are you ready for second trimester? Hope you enjoyed your summer holidays and the Tsukuba Matsuri. This month we can enjoy cooler temperatures and spectacular sunsets! Kate

Welcome new students!

A warm welcome to all new students who have arrived in Tsukuba. Good luck with your Japanese studies, Masters/Thesis preparation, and adjusting to life in Tsukuba. If you have any questions about living in Tsukuba or with your studies, there are many people here to help you! The International Student Center (ISC), your faculty office, your sensei and lab friends, and you’re also very welcome to join our mailing list below, specifically for International Students of Tsukuba University. We are here to answer any questions you might have!

Join Tsukuba students mailing list

We have a 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 Tsukuba University, we can organise parties, give advice and answer questions, send reminders about exams, etc.

Japanese course application

Application procedures for the Japanese course in 2nd term is as follows:

Application period: September 3(Mon.)~6(Thur.) 9:00~12:00, 13:30~16:30 Place: room E of ISC Please bring student ID card.

Placement test: September 7(Fri.) 10:00~12:30/14:00~16:30 Place: international conference room (3rd floor of ISC)

Result of the test: September 13(Thu.) 12:00~ Place: bulletin board in front of ISC office

Please notice that new students who want to take the Japanese course have to apply and take the placement test. Also, students who are over level J500 and want to take higher level need to take the qualification test. Students who took the Japanese course in first term don't have to take the placement test. Students continuing Japanese classes still need to apply for the course between September 3 and 6, at room E in ISC. For details, please check the ISC bulletin board.

Dormitory workshop

There will be a workshop about the Tsukuba University dormitories in September. Many issues will be addressed such as improvement of the dormitories and an increase in price. Please attend the workshop to offer your opinions on how the dormitory can be improved, particularly for international students.

Date: September 10 (Mon.) 18:30~ Place: cafeteria in Hirasuna administration building

Japanese Proficiency Test

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test is held every year in December. It is highly recommended to do the proficiency test if you plan to apply for a job in Japan after you graduate (or for a job overseas where Japanese language ability is required). Also, students may be required to do the proficiency test as part of their course work in their home country.

Here is the website: http://www.jees.or.jp/jlpt/

Date: Sunday 2nd December, 2007. Application Period: 2nd July – 11th September, 2007. Levels: there are four proficiency levels (4 is the lowest, 1 is the highest) Cost: Application cost = 500yen Proficiency Test cost = 5500yen

Applications for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) are sold at the following stores in Tsukuba:

Yuhodo Bookstores Azuma 3-8-7 (029-852-3665) Sakura 1-14-1 (029-857-8633) Umezono 2-25-10 (029-851-1161)

Kumazawa Bookstore Onozaki (in LaLa Garden) 029-860-5197)

Maruzen Tennodai 1-1-1 (on University of Tsukuba campus) (029-858-0424)

Good luck!!

Free Tour of Akihabara

Free guided tours of Akihabara are now available!! Check out Akihabara’s shopping, pop culture and the latest technology!

Here is website: http://akihabara-tour.com/

And more info on Tsukublog: http://blog.alientimes.org/

YOUGAKUSEI COMICS by Herb Fondevilla


Life after Tsukuba - Miguel Quintana (Spain)

Coincidence and a little good luck. These were the two main factors which brought me to Japan and Tsukuba. I sent an e-mail to several Universities inquiring for acceptance in a position as an international student and applied for the monbukagakusho Japanese government scholarship announcement in my country.

I surprisingly received the acceptance of the Institute of Health and Sport Sciences at University of Tsukuba and one out of 10 scholarships available in 2001 for 50 Spanish applicants.

I still remember vividly, arriving to the airport and the ride to Tsukuba by a cab driver in white gloves. Together with Victoria, another ryugakusei who came from Russia and later on became one of my best friends, we had the first impressions and taste of Japan in the beautiful early autumn.

Beginning with registration procedures, accommodation in Oikoshi, meeting other international students and welcome parties. This way started a new life. Then, within a few days, the intensive 6-month Japanese course started. Later, I was guided by my academic Adviser, Professor Sakairi, in carrying out different research projects within the department of Sport Psychology. I took my academic duties during one year as a research student and then two years as a former master program student. Three years and a half later, I went back to Spain full of life experiences and memories, as well as holding a Masters degree.

I settled in Madrid once I came back to Spain, and started to search for a University to continue with my investigations. I was accepted at Complutense University of Madrid at the Faculty of Psychology, one of the most prominent in Spain, where I am currently enrolled in my second year of Ph. D. program in psychology. Simultaneously since I came, I started to set up my own business to offer to the corporate field my know-how on managing stress with meditation and relaxation techniques as part of what I learnt in Japan.

Experiences and good memories are linked to friends who I had the privilege to encounter during my stay in Japan. Many good friends from Tsukuba have visited me during this year and a half I have been living in Madrid. Pierre from France and Kelly from Venezuela visited me last year, and Hozono from Japan will do so this year. My Chanoyou teacher, Ono sensei came to Spain also to teach the way of Japanese Tea Ceremony to more than 125 people in my home Town, Canary Islands. My Kyudo (Japanese Archery) teacher, Mori Sensei came as well in summer 2006 for a seminar, both of them invited by a cultural association of which I am a member. I am in contact almost weekly through telephone or e-mail with them and other friends already back in their countries.

Japan has represented to me a change in my life. The way I see, I do things differently now. I feel I am deeply influenced by the essence of Japan. Attitudes of effort, perseverance and acceptance have arisen.

Although I came across the most difficult times facing struggle, rejection, and emotional distance while living in Japan; I also encountered the most exciting, fascinating and wonderful times in meeting the core of Japanese culture, people and ancestral traditions. Ichi go ichi e (once in a lifetime). Accepting what is given by chance and coincidence. Neither bad, nor good experiences in life after Tsukuba. Just life experiences enriched by others.

Comments, Questions, or Information?

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

<< Nihongo Notes September 2007 | Master Index | Tsukuba City Hall Newsletter: September 2007 >>

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