After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Tokyo Tech, I pursued a master’s degree through the Tokyo Tech’s International Graduate Program (IGP)-C. During my undergraduate study, I was enrolled in the Global Scientists and Engineers Program (GSEP) and was fully supported by the Japanese Government Scholarship (Monbukagakusho/MEXT). Since this scholarship was given only during my undergraduate program, I needed to find another scholarship to support my next two years of postgraduate study.
I started my master’s program in April 2021 as a privately funded student. I realized that studying without a scholarship to cover my living expenses was very challenging. Every day, I was constantly worried that my savings wouldn’t be enough to pay the rent for the following months. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to finish my study due to this issue. The financial stress really affected me to the point that I couldn’t focus on my study and research during the first few months of my research.
I told my research supervisor about my financial condition. Luckily, he had an opening for a research assistant (RA) position at our lab. I was so grateful that he offered me the job. It helped me cover my expenses for a couple of months. If you face the same situation as me, I suggest you talk to your research supervisor. They might have some openings for research or teaching assistants. This could help you earn some money to support your study.
While working part-time as an RA, I actively looked for scholarships. I learned that the Tokyo Tech announcement website was beneficial. The Tokyo Tech’s Student Support Division regularly updated news about scholarship opportunities through that webpage. I remember visiting and refreshing the page multiple times a day to check if there was a new scholarship opportunity. I recently found that Tokyo Tech had a new scholarship finder page that was super useful for finding information about various financial aid programs.
On April 7th, I found there was an opening for a privately funded scholarship from the Moritani Scholarship Foundation. After confirming my eligibility, I proceeded to register for the scholarship and fill in the necessary forms. Around two months after submitting the application forms, I received an email saying I passed the document screening and was invited to an interview. After that, I did an interview practice every night. I wanted to get the scholarship, so I tried my very best to pass the interview. Then, the interview day finally came. The interviewers were very encouraging, so I could answer the interview questions well. I believe I did a great job in the interview.
The interviewer said that the announcement would be out in about a month. While waiting for it, I continued searching for other scholarships, just in case I wasn’t accepted. To my surprise, I received a mail from the Moritani Foundation earlier than I thought. And guess what! It was an acceptance letter! I was astonished. I remember reading the letter multiple times to make sure I understood it correctly. The letter stated that I was chosen as a recipient of the Moritani Scholarship for the entire duration of my study. I felt so much relieved.
A few months have passed since I received the acceptance, and I am now in the final year of my study. The financial support from the Moritani Scholarship Foundation has helped me focus more on my research. I can now attend my classes and do my research without worrying about my rent and other expenses.