First glance at the Japanese bureaucracy

Applying for exchange in Japan has brought some interesting questions along. My friends applying for a different University than me have to send their x-rays as well as other medical information to their University, while Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific, where I am applying, has not asked me anything about my health. My friends have a week’s notice to send all the information needed (which means going to a private doctor, since there is no possibility of getting an x-ray in such a short notice). I have generous two weeks time to wait for my new passport and to figure out all the puzzling stuff, such as port of entry. I have no clue where I’ll be landing, or if I will be landing at all.

If I am just applying for the University, how can I know which scholarships I will use to fund my studies? The application papers include 6 pages dealing funding issues – how much money do I have myself, is someone bringing me money to Japan (and how much), who is my sponsor, how much is his annual income and how much does he have in savings. Of course it is important to be on track with the monetary issues and costs of living while being abroad, but how could I know about my scholarships if I haven’t even been accepted yet?

All this paperwork, waiting in the police office, getting statements from teachers I don’t really know, sending papers to the international office and, well, thinking about money, is interesting, weird and making Japan a bit more closer to me. I am one step closer to Nippon, whether I like it or not – assuming I do get accepted to the school. There also is a few pages about the accommodation, so I take that as a good sign. Why would they want to know how I’d prefer to live, if they were not going to take me?

But before Beppu, there is still another mountain to climb. One I’ve visited before, sometimes dreamed about, too: New York.


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