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Mind The Gap: February 2008

Author: Kate Neath, Issue: February 2008, Topic: Education, Mind the Gap, News, Newsletters, Students

Hi Everyone! Are you coping with the cold weather? Spring is nearly here and soon the ume flowers will blossom, so hold on! Congratulations to those of you who have finished Masters/PhD presentations, and good luck to the students with entrance exams this month. I will be graduating in March, so this is my final post for Mind The Gap - Herb Fondevilla will be taking over from March! Please see below for details! Kate

Starbucks coming to Tsukuba University!

Starbucks is scheduled to open in the entrance hall of the Central Library at Tsukuba Uni at the beginning of March! It will be good to have more variety and choices for lunch time breaks! Hopefully this encourages more food/coffee shops to open up in the University.

Oikoshi Hotspar closed

Unfortunately, the Hotspar convenience store at Oikoshi and the shokudou at Ichinoya closed recently due to lack of business. Hopefully something exciting and yummy opens again soon!


You can apply for extension of period of stay at the Regional Immigration Bureau between two months to ten days prior to the expiration date of authorized period of stay. The immigration office is crowded in March, and much time is required to process applications, so early application is recommended!

Please see ISC website:


moving out of dormitory

If students are not approved to stay in the dormitory from April, students must clean up their rooms and move out from their rooms by March 31. And please notice that students have to apply for the moving out to the dormitory office at least 1 week prior to the last day of their stay in the dormitory.

Join tsukuba student 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 whatís going on in Tsukuba University, we can organise parties, give advice and answer questions, send reminders about exams and visa extensions, etc.

Ume festival in tsukuba-san

Donít miss the Ume (Japanese Plum) Festival at Mt.Tsukuba!! Sakura (cherry blossom) is popular as Japanese flower, but Ume is also popular. The blooming of Ume flowers tell us the end of winter in Japan. Mt. Tsukuba is famous for Ume. So, during the festival, many visitors come to the Mt. Tsukuba and various events will be held.

Date: From Feb.16 to Mar.20

http://www.umematsuri.jp/ (only in Japanese)

Charity event

There will be a special charity event on this week at Tsukuba University, where you can have the opportunity to learn more about Sudan while enjoying a cup of aromatic Hibiscus Tea, and your participation will contribute to the education of people of Sudan with disabilities.

CAPEDS (Committee for Assisting and Promoting Education of Disabilities in Sudan) was founded in 2007 to help realize full participation and equal life of people with disabilities in Sudan. CAPEDS missions are to assist basic education, ITC education, adopted sports, and teacher training. Fundraising events are organized in the form of workshops and charity parties in Japan.

Event: Charity Party by CAPEDS

Date: 8 Feb, 2008

Time: 6:30 Ė 8:30pm

Location: Tsukuba Daigaku, Dai-2-shokudou (cafeteria)

Tickets: \1000 (Hibiscus tea and sweets provided)

Your participation will provide one set of Braille equipment for one child!

Please see the poster below, and here is the CAPEDS website (in Japanese):


The website is very informative and explains the missions and activities of the organisation in more detail. I recomment looking at the photos taken of their trips to Sudan Ė the photos are amazing! You really get an idea of the culture and lifestyle, and the very important work CAPEDS is carrying-out to help the people of Sudan with disabilities.

Tunisia event in Tsukuba

The Association of Tunisians in Tsukuba (ATT Jasmine) is organizing with the help of the city of Tsukuba and the Tunisian embassy, a two-day-event in Tsukuba!

A Tunisian Night (February 23, 2008) with a concert of Tunisian Music at CAPIO Tsukuba and a Tunisian day (February 24, 2008) with presentations, cooking classes, arabic and french classes, tourism information and a photo exhibition.

Please see the posters below, and there is also information on Tsukublog:


Views from the shokudou

In Japan, it is custom for the girls to give chocolates to the boys on Valentineís Day. Letís see what some Tsukuba University students have planned for Valentineís Day!

Joielet Velasquez, Philippines, International Relations

I will try my hand at making home made chocolates. Yummy!

MariaJose Cornejo, El Salvador

I plan to fall in love. If it can be planned!

Adeline Pang, Brunei, Comparative Culture Studies

I plan to stay home and get fat on chocolates! MINE!

MTG editor says farewell

I will be graduating from Tsukuba University this March, and will be passing Mind The Gap over to Herb Fondevilla (our comic writer) who I am sure will re-vamp MTG with her design expertise! Yoroshiku Herb!

Letís continue to support MTG, which provides a great connection for international students of Tsukuba Uni, keeps us in touch with the latest news and events, and gives us a chance to express our views and opinions about life and study in Tsukuba.

Please continue to send in information and news for publication in MTG and on the Tsukuba Students mailing list. I know everyone is busy with their own studies in Tsukuba, but if you have any info which could be useful for other students, please post a mail on the mailing list. There are constantly new students arriving in Tsukuba who may not have Japanese ability or may not be aware of Japanese customs or lifestyle, so it really helps to hear about fellow studentsí experiences and advice. I know I still make mistakes and am still learning, and Iíve been here for over 5 years!

Good luck with your studies, and make sure you take a break on the weekends to see Japan and all it has to offer! All the best!! From Kate

This is me at the ski-slopes in Fukushima-ken. Highly recommend getting to the snow fields on the weekends during Feb/Mar Ė not far from Tsukuba and a lot of fun!

Comments, Questions, or Information?

Please email to Herb Fondeville at:
We will try to include them in the next issue!

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