|random plum blossom picture to prettify this post XD|
On the Scholarship
1. If I'm doing NS, can I apply a year in advance and defer the scholarship? (Applicable to Singaporean guys)
Sorry, guys! I asked, and you can't defer the scholarship. You'll have the apply the year before you are able to leave for Japan. i.e. if you can leave in April 2018, you should apply in 2017. When in doubt, consult the embassy!
2. Do I need to choose which university to go to in advance?
For the undergraduate scholarship, the answer is no. There is a form, but I didn't know anyone who filled it in. You'll choose your university when you're at TUFS or Osaka University, so there's absolutely no need to worry about that. It might be different for the post-graduate scholarship, but I know nothing about that.
3. What does the embassy mean when they ask for 'original copies'?
I'm not too sure about that, but I handed in certified true copies and everything was absolutely fine. It's probably a good idea not to hand in the original certificates.
4. Is Kyudai stressful? (Is it more stressful than Singapore?)
To be honest, I find it very difficult to compare the two systems, because stress is what you make of it. I know people who claim Japan is much more relaxed, but then you have my sub-zemi, which regularly requires us to stay in school overnight/till it's almost time for the last train, and do tons of projects. It really depends on your choices, I think.
On TUFS (ok, the order is strange but....)
5. Should I buy a bicycle when at TUFS?
That really depends on your goals. I'm the type that actually likes walking - my bicycle here is used only to get to the driving range, which is too far to walk to. For me, the grocery stores near TUFS were within walking distance, and if I went further, I took the bus. I do know a lot of people that got bicycles from their seniors/bought one and used it regularly, though. If you're planning to stay within Tokyo, then I think it can't hurt to have a bicycle. Plus, moving it won't be that difficult (probably).
6. What Church did you go to?
I went to Calvary Chapel Fukuoka, which was a non-denominational Church that has services in both English and Japanese. There is a Japanese-speaking Church nearby as well (my cousin went to that one). I know there's a Catholic Church somewhere, but I'm not too sure where. I think you have to take a train though.
Ok, that's all the questions that I think are applicable to a fairly large number of prospective applicants :D I hope they'll be able to help at least a few people! For more information, check out:
FAQ (the original!)
FAQ (the second)
FAQ (the third)
or the MEXT scholars page.
Thanks to Jordan, Yuki and everyone else who sent me emails about this! (I'm not sure if you want me to use your name, but if you do, let me know :D )
Oh, and I'll probably update the anti-FAQ with this (if it isn't already written there), but please do not send me questions asking about level of Japanese needed for the scholarship or any details about the scholarship (e.g. how many marks do I need, or can I switch between course ABC and course XYZ), or anything about how MEXT selects their scholars. I do not work for MEXT, and I will not be able to answer your questions. From now on, I will be ignoring all emails that consist solely of these questions. Even if I do reply, it'll just be a link to these posts.
Of course, feel free to ask questions that aren't covered here, or if you want to know if you have a senpai with the MEXT scholarship. If I can help, I definitely will(:
P.s. Totally not related to the FAQs, but lately, I haven't been able to see certain Google+ comments. I am trying to figure out how to get two comment systems installed (anyone able to help?), but in the meantime, if you leave a comment, could you check and make sure it's set to "public" and not just "your circles"?