Message from Members

FY 2019
  • Rini
    Current Affiliation :
    University of Tokyo (Faculty of Science, Department of Earth and Planetary Environmental Science)
    Country/Region :
    Republic of Indonesia (Gadjah Mada University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Environmental Geography)
    Name : Meiarti

How did Sakura Science Plan play a role in your study / research in Japan?

Three years ago I attended the Sakura Science program on the sideline of my thesis work. The reason I joined this program was to experience life and the learning system in Japan when I was still a master's student, because when I was an undergraduate student I did not have the opportunity to study abroad. I am grateful to finally pass the selection of students who are eligible for the Sakura Science Plan exchange program to Chiba University, Japan. Even though the program was quite short, it felt useful to me. There were two benefits in the program held at Chiba University; both academic and non-academic. I learned new knowledge which is conveyed through advanced technology. The courses are taught by professional lecturers who can even accompany the students to outdoor research activities. For non-academic advantages, I could expand my network both nationally and internationally. The increase in experience and networking that I acquired will be very useful not only for me personally but also for my future working environment. Moreover, the opportunity enabled me to live simply and independently. In addition, my stay overseas increase the responsibility and love of my homeland. A sense of love for the homeland makes me excited to continue my degree in Japan so that I can contribute actively to my country in the future. Based on these advantages, study abroad can open your mind. Achieving success is not only knowledge but also new experiences out of your comfort zone. One can raise his/her capability and decrease vulnerability of hard skills and soft skills. These advantages make me eager to study abroad in Japan, particularly in continuing my study for my doctorate degree.

Please describe your comments freely related to your life in Japan.

My life in Japan was so wonderful and unforgettable because I've gotten a scholarship. Wonderful was not only studies but also all of the components such as professors and friends. One goal in my life was to make my family proud by getting a scholarship to study abroad. Also by my situation, I had to go abroad by fully funded scholarship. My first visit to Japan was through the Sakura Science Plan (SSP) Exchange Program in 2016 funded by Japan Science and Technololgy Agency (JST) . I had gone through some screening processes such as administrative selection and interview by Faculty of Geography at Universitas Gadjah Mada. Administrative selection is to submit required documents like curriculum vitae, your newest English language record (TOEFL ITP), scanned passport, and master degree student ID card. I had the highest TOEFL ITP score so I’ve been chosen to join the exchange program at Chiba University.

My second visit to Japan was for my research at the University of Tokyo (Tokyo Daigaku; Todai), particularly in the Faculty of Science (Hongo and Kashiwa Campus). To achieve my master's degree, I had the opportunity to join the research team there by Indonesia's government scholarship and the Todai master degree research scholarship (University of Tokyo Fellowship Grant). The Indonesia government scholarship (Beasiswa Unggulan/Unggulan scholarship) is provided from its Ministry of Education and Culture for six months (October 18, 2017 - April 30, 2018). My second visit was fully funded. Meanwhile at Todai, I had been given the opportunity to publish my research article in an academic journal. Also, I followed several steps to get a separate research scholarship in Todai. First, you submit your research proposal, curriculum vitae, recommendation letters from supervisors at both Universitas Gadjah Mada and University of Tokyo. I'd like to thank both of my supervisors. My research took place in the laboratory of geo-informatics. The busy days were just during weekdays so at the weekend I could spare some time to visit places in Tokyo and its surrounding. It was so impressive. That was definitely different from joining a prearranged program which is fully scheduled. Japanese professors are disciplined, silent and humble. They always catch up with us everyday so that we can clear one objective and continue on with others goals. Moreover, they always have new ideas for my research. Even if I fail in one step of my research, they give me initiative to continue fighting for my goals. I am very grateful and blissful to be part of Sakura Science and a research group member at University of Tokyo because I've got many friends from different countries. The friendships are still sustained now.

Please describe your message to people who are going to participate in this program.

To people who want to study abroad in Japan, do the best, make efforts to get a scholarship, and be consistent with your commitment. To be like that, we must think positively and be happy with ourselves. Also support from your family is essential, particularly from your parents!