15 October 2017

My Road to Yokohama National University, Japan (Thanks for World Bank Scholarship and my department and my dearest family)

After enrolling into the Yokohama National University (YNU), I would like to share the 1 of the scholarship info from World Bank/YNU. (Yes, there are MANY scholarship throughout the world by WB, more info can refer here ) Precisely, I am taking the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP). Here is the brief about JJ/WBGSP (2017) :-

The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is open to women and men from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master degree program in a development-related topic.   
JJWBGSP offers scholarships for over 200 Preferred Programs (.xlsx 49 KB) spanning a wide array of development topics and for 14 Partner Programs (.xlsx 15 KB)  at universities in U.S., Africa and Japan in key areas of development, including economic policy management, tax policy, and infrastructure management.  JJWBGSP scholarships for developing country nationals are not available for any other master degree program.
A JJWBGSP scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
For the past 1 year, I was very aggressive in applying oversea scholarship for the Master graduate program as there is budget constrain from the department and I have to take my own initiative. To my surprise, there are many scholarship for the graduate (Master/ PhD) program.
Thanks to Google, I manage to found this program, Master in Infrastructure Management @ Yokohama National University. (IMP - Infrastructure Management Program)
I applied this IMP scholarship on January of 2017. I have applied many scholarship before and this is the only university request the application to post the hardcopy forms rather than online application.
The due date was end of February 2017. There is 2 selections process. 1st screening by the YNU 20 candidates will be recommended to the WB and WB will finalize the last 10 finalists. I am lucky enough to become the finalist. (Something weird to me is there is NO INTERVIEW/ Teleconference being conducted during the process which I had few teleconference interviews for other oversea scholarship.) 
After the the YNU 1st screening, the last 20 candidates will receive another link from WB to fill the form online, again. (a long form within some personal statements required)
Once getting the offer letter from WB (ohhhhh yessss... I am lucky enough), I had written to my department to apply the study leave and it was granted. My biggest concern/dilemma was my family constrain..sob..sob..no more elaboration here~
Today is the 2nd week in Yokohama, still adapting after getting a total culture shock here~ Perhaps will share more after this.
Here are some pictures :-
Get ready for the departure from KLIA, Malaysia. The departure was late due to bad weather (raining) and missed my planned connection flight (From Osaka to Haneda airport) . Luckily was reimbursed free due to the Airline fault and manage to catch up another flight just an hour later~
YNU Entrance Ceremony


 International Student Lounge @ YNU

 Registration to the Yokohama City Hall and national health insurance
 
 At the campus

 My hostel, Ooka International Residence
 The walking route to YNU from the nearest subway (eki in Japanese)

 Wefie at the 1 of the graduate school

 Gumyoji post office. (to pay our student insurance. so many insurances in Japan)

Student welcome party. Like a mini UN gathering.

08 October 2017

Mobile Plan in Japan for Foreign Students who stay 1 year and more

I just arrived in Yokohama early Oct 2017. And I am having a dilemma in choosing the mobile plan. There is a writing quite resourceful which is here.

However it is not as easy once I getting into real time application. Below are some of my experiences:-

- the DMM seems is cheaper as the only company provide 1GB option, YET, 1 of the Japanese friend told that there is no physical shop to test your handset/setting for you. You gonna apply online, pay and the sim will deliver to your doorstep.

- I went to survey around Yokohama Station, there is a huge telecommunication plaza are suitable for the survey. With a Vietnamese uni mate and a Romanian tutor (she is well-verse in Japanese), we manage to compare 2 telco (Y-Mobile & OCN Mobile) . Here are the package detail :

i) OCN

Data (3GB) + voice = Yen 1944 / month


ii) Y Mobile
Data (1GB) + voice = Yen 1980 / month for the 1st year, Yen 2980 for the second year onward. The pros only it include unlimited free calls for 10 mins / call.



However, few days ago my course-mate did apply at another telco service and we would like to give a try. To my surprise, the plan by BIC Sim is much value for money among two of above. I applied here, just less than 10 mins walk from Yokohama Station. (Bic Camera Yokohama Nishiguchi shop, 2 Minamisaiwai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Both of us have applied this plan :

i) Data (3GB) + voice = Yen 1728



*** There is a on going promo until 31 Oct 2017, whereby Yen 300 discount and 3GB extra for 1 year! There for I am getting 6GB + voice at the price Yen 1428 for 1 year. Even cheaper that the DMM.

*** Reminder, there is minimum contract of 12 months, so no problem for me as will stay for 2 years. The cancellation cost is the remaining months x Yen 1020. Still the plan seems like most value for money.

*** Reminder, to get this package/price, ALL telco seems need CREDIT CARD for the application/payment. (should be no problem once open an account in Japan, an ATM card, Debit Card and a Credit Card will be provided. I haven't received them yet and I use my country credit card which is OK.)

The staff there is patient. We tested our mobile phone with the sim.We only sign up once the sim is compatible with our mobile phone. Required docs are
i) Residence Card
ii) Credit Card

That's all. Simple & Easy.


***
- BIC SIM is powered by IIJmio and using NTT Docomo line. (I am a bit confuse at first as IIJmio and NTT Docomo has it own plan. My mobile is showing NTT Docomo for the carrier service.)
- another freebie is free WIFI ID for Wi2 300 wireless lan service which I have registered an ID for free.
- another good thing is the staff told me the English website just launched by IIJmio. However, I am using Chrome which has auto-translated into English. (https://www.iijmio.jp/member/)