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Student Life

JDS Support

Once accepted as a JDS Fellow, you are entitled to receive following support from the program.

  • Full tuition fees
  • One round-trip air fare
  • Arrival allowance
  • Accommodation allowance
  • Monthly scholarship
  • Subsidiary allowance for purchasing books
  • Subsidiary allowance for shipping
  • Subsidiary allowance for traveling and seminar
  • Overseas travel insurance
  • Supports from the agent
    - Finding accommodation
    - Initial settlement of your life in Japan
    - Emergency situation etc.

To start with, JDS Fellows will be provided with pre-departure orientations, arrival briefing and orientation program to prepare your study in Japan, and with support for initial settling in including immigration related procedures and housing. Although not all the people speak English in Japan, you don't have to worry. Many universities as well as we will assist you smoothly start your academic life in such environment.

Throughout your study in Japan, various supports are also available by us including monitoring meeting and support on emergency situations to assist your smooth academic life at each university. We will conduct regular individual monitoring meeting to see if the Fellows are doing alright and facing any problems or not. This is a good chance to talk about your current situations or concerns of your daily life while you are in Japan. With this support, more than 98 percent of JDS Fellows successfully complete their academic work as scheduled.

Once you successfully complete course work and conferred master's degree, you will return to your country and be a member of alumni. Each fellow is expected to use knowledge, network, and experience gained in Japan for the betterment of your own country.

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Process flow

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Special Trainings and Events

JDS Program provides the following opportunities for JDS Fellows only in addition to research at university.

Asian Government Leaders Networking Event
This special event aims to establish long-term cooperative relationships between JDS Fellows and Japanese government officials by providing opportunities of interaction and mutual learning. JDS Fellows participate in the event and expand their personal networks with Japanese government officials, who would become their counterparts in the future.

Japanese Language Training
All JDS Fellows participate in Japanese language training after their arrival in Japan. This training provides Fellows with the lessons on Japanese characters (hiragana, katakana, and kanji), greetings, and how to introduce themselves. In addition, they deepen their understandings of Japanese culture, lifestyle and manners, and learn the procedures necessary for staying in Japan such as government office, post office, and bank.

JDS Joint Seminar
JDS Joint Seminar is held half a year before returning home, inviting all JDS fellows from each university. During this seminar, the Fellows have opportunities to attend a series of programs, including leadership program and a special lecture given by a prominent scholar. It also helps them build a network with JDS fellows from various countries.

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Life in Japan (General Information)

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Voice from "Sempai" - Message from JDS Fellows

Q1) Tell us about your work as government officer before coming to Japan.

I had been working at the Ministry of Finance for two years prior to applying for studies in Japan. I was working in the National Budget Department. My primary responsibilities were routine publications as well as conducting fiscal research on different social aspects of the budget. Prior to my studies in Japan, I had worked on the Covid-19 Economic Relief Package which consisted of loans to the private sector as well as the income support allowance for individuals that lost their jobs due to the pandemic. I had also worked on the formulation of the Maximum Retail Price of drugs sold in the Maldives.

Q2) How is your student life in Japan since you came to Japan?

Student life in Japan has been exciting and challenging at the same time. Covid-19 prevented us from having face-to-face classes at the start of my academic year. Despite this, the professors made their best efforts to make sure that learning was not limited even though classes were mostly online. The courses offered at my university were brilliant and relevant to my field of work and I will be able to apply the lessons taught in every one of them when I go back to work after studies. Japan is a very convenient country, and anyone could survive without knowing the language, and if you are interested, many courses are provided by the university as well as JICE to foster Japanese language proficiency among students.

Q3) About the future perspective of your country.

The Maldives faces numerous challenges in the future as a developing country. After the Covid-19 pandemic, it was clear to us our economy cannot withstand another crisis without alleviating the current situation of our country. We must address the issue of our staggering debt. We must also invest in infrastructure that helps grow our economy as well as mitigate the adverse effects of climate change in the future. Furthermore, we must diversify our economy and ensure food security as well. These are only a few challenges that our country must overcome. I am confident that we can achieve these targets with sound policy measures as well as the help of our foreign counterparts.

Q4) Message for Applicants

The JDS Scholarship has been a great learning opportunity for me at one of the most elite Public Policy schools in the world. It has helped me strengthen my knowledge in my field and taught me invaluable lessons on research and thinking like an academic. There are endless resources to help you understand and learn the material better. The professors and teaching assistants go beyond their way to help you out in academics. If they are unavailable, you will surely meet a lot of people from around the world to help you and they will soon become your peers and lifelong friends. This is truly a great opportunity for anyone to expand their knowledge and immerse themselves in an intense learning experience.

Q1) Tell us about your work as government officer before coming to Japan.

Prior to coming to Japan, I worked in a remote district in Bhutan where my core job responsibility was planning and implementation of agriculture development interventions in the districts. I worked with the local farmers to bring about the modernization of agriculture and farming practices at the grassroots. I had worked in this capacity for more than 10 years.

Q2) How is your student life in Japan since you came to Japan?

As a student in Japan, my journey has been exciting and enriching. University campus offers an excellent study environment and the techniques and methods of teaching promote experiential learning. Students are made to do the work on their own for which facilities and environment of self-learning is well established.

If need be, students are also provided with handholding supports from the professors, and I have been recipient of such supports from my professor and supervisor in my ongoing research. This is not only encouraging but also boost confidence and rekindle interest in scholarly work despite challenges.

Not to forget, covid 19 pandemic has affected my study life in Japan in some ways but overall experience has been satisfying one. In fact, I have been learning new knowledge and skills from day one in Japan.

Q3) About the future perspective of you country.

Bhutan is a small developing country where agriculture is not only main source of people’s livelihood but also an important sector to country’s economy. Food security and self-sufficiency have been given top priority in the country’s modernization process since the beginning in 1960s. Despite all these efforts, the development of agriculture has not been able to keep pace with the growing population. As a result, country relies on import of basic food commodities. Covid 19 pandemic has made us realize how vulnerable it is to be dependent on food imports. Border closure due to pandemic has caused some disturbances in the food supply and distribution in the country.

Therefore, I remain determined to return to my country with new sets of knowledge and skills from Japan, and that I will continue to work hard with pool of experts in the agriculture department for unprecedented progressive change.

I am positive about my future contribution based on my learning experience in Japan. There is a geographical similarities between Japan and Bhutan. Both the countries are mountainous and farming scale is almost comparable. The difference is in technology. The former has highly specialized, mechanized and efficient farming, and the latter can adopt most of the technologies without much difficulties.

There are already collaborations between two countries through Japan international cooperation agency (JICA) for agriculture development, and I have been part of one of the projects. I would like to work toward furthering similar projects with JICA and the technical advancement through research and development would be the area of my interest for collaboration.

Q4) Message for Applicants

I am one of nine scholars in the first batch of JDS scholars from Bhutan. It is a great achievement in my life to be receiving this prestigious scholarship that support study and stay in Japan.

Japan is a highly modernized country where technological advancement has made people’s life efficient and productive. It is also a country where beautiful culture and heritage of ancient society are well preserved and practiced. These together with rich and beautiful environment make Japan extra special place on earth to live. Studying in Japan will be one of the best experiences in the life.

I wish you all good luck for JDS scholarship selection.

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