Monday, 29 October 2012

University Presentations (大学説明会)

Last week, we had what was arguably one of the most important events this year - the 大学説明会 (daigakusetsumeikai - University Presentations). The reason why your teachers tell you not to stress about your universities (and one of the reasons why I applied for this scholarship) is that this year is when you choose your university. So what this event does is that it invites universities from all across Japan to give presentations and consultations to the students.

The event went like this - Listen to a bunch of presentations, Consult/Talk to the professors from many different universities, Continue mingling at the "party" (for us, "dinner"). Quite simple, but very tiring.

And um, while there wasn't a dress code, I (and my fellow Singaporeans), take the blame for a good number (I think more than half) the Arts Stream students coming is semi-formal/business casual clothing (one girl was rocking a suit!). You see, I made Rena wear a blazer with me (and a nice dress). And when we met Nicholas, he was wearing a fairly nice jacket, not a blazer, but definitely not casual (we do a mind-read of each other's brains unconsciously . Because of that, two other students felt the need to change, and bumped into Simone on the way back. And somehow, she thought that the dress code was semi-formal and started telling everyone she saw. So when the other students started arriving, we were all surprised to see them in blazers and such. Well, the 'mystery' was cleared up once Simone came.

From this fair, I got, a lot of information. I talked to around seven universities (we were supposed to talk to at least five. Most universities will give information about their dorm (how long you can stay, if there is one, cost) and their different courses.

Top Left: Some of the files/information booklets I got. Top Right:
Ryuku University (Okinawa!), Bottom Left: University of Tokushima
(very enthusiastic people), Bottom Right: Hitotsubashi University
(Very strong in Economics)
So as your senpai, I have a few pieces of advice you may or may not hear when you come:

Very very importantly, please be nice to the visiting professors/staff! We were told that one year, a professor was very angry because no one came to his table (um, it happened this year for the TUFS table, but in all fairness, we didn't have people who were taking Japanese Language, I think). But do remember that these people have come from all over Japan, taking trains and such. So if you have time (and you will have time), just take a chance at the not-so-popular tables. You may find out that it's a good fit for your after all. Plus, if you're waiting for one university and the table next to it is empty, you might as well use the time to talk to another university. It won't hurt you.

Before you even start, think about the questions you want to ask. While we did have the period before to prepare, it's quite hard to come up with questions one hour ahead. But generally, you should at least ask if your course is available, what the university specialises in and the dorm conditions.

Of course, you should definitely pay attention to the presentations. A lot of the professors are very funny, and if you're unprepared, you can use the information they give as a base for forming questions. Plus, it will introduce you to other good universities that you may not have heard off.

This leads to the next point, which is keep an open mind. One unexpected contender was Shiga University, which, apart from having a persuasive and funny teacher come to present, seems to have an excellent economics/business program (especially if you're interested in the real life applications, because you will get to do internships and go on field trips to factories). I remember that a lot of us business/economics students went "suddenly, I feel like going to Shiga University" after the presentation.

In the same vein, if you're asked to write what you learnt about five universities, it's a good idea to write in pencil (especially if you choose the universities in advance like me). Trust me, there's a very high probability that your choice of universities that you want to 'visit' will change after the presentations. That is, if you stay awake through them.

Finally, do some research after. If rankings matter to you (or your family), it's not a bad idea to search for what rank the universities you're interested in are, and to ask around (Linked In has a group called Business in Japan that is really helpful). Remember, everyone is really nice, but they're also trying to get you to choose their university.

Don't forget, you aren't limited to the universities that came. You can choose from any public university in Japan, so no worries!

3 comments :

  1. Hey Eustacia! It's Jan again :)

    I was wondering if you were given the choice to choose your uni or were you limited based on how well you did in your classes during your 1st year?

    I have two more questions!

    1) do you have any tips on preparing for the math, chem and physics of monbusho 1st year classes?

    2) what books did you use to study these subjects? Would my IB math hl, physics and chem books suffice?

    I plan to get in uni of tokyo so I wanna start preparing, especially since Singaporeans are so freaking good at Maths!

    Thanks and good luck in Kyushu!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jan,

      We are allowed to chose our universities, but whether the university wants us is dependent on our scores in the first year. As to your questions:

      1. Nope, I don't. Sorry. I'm not a test-ing kind of person, although I did do the past year papers.

      2. IB works fine. I still use my IB notes for the my classes now ;D

      Thank you! All the best for your application!

      ^_^

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