Well, actually there are many exchange program to university in Japan (Osaka University, Tohoku, etc ) for Indonesian Students, specially for those registered in university that have agreement with university in Japan, for example : ITB, UGM, UI. For sure, you can ask the support office in your university.
Then, what will we do in the exchange program?
The answer is that depends. Some universities will offer you a chance to attend classes there (maybe in English –> mostly but there are some in Japanese), and some else will offer you opportunity to join a research group related with your interest.
In Osaka University (大阪大学), there are 3 programs offered to us (college student) :
- Regular Exchange Student
Actually, there are many more program from Osaka University, but the most common are the listed above. You should browse Osaka University homepage for international program for looking another program.
How about the period?
Basically for undergraduate student, the program offered for 1 (one) semester or 1 (one) year. Regularly the period will be either April – September or October – March.
But, for graduate student you get the flexibility to decide for how long you want to be in the lab. But, in Osaka University it is suggested that you may stay for more than 3 months.
Next, how about the fund or money for living there?
Well, you need to consider money for university fees and living cost which is really expensive in Japan. But, no need to worry, because there are many sponsor for scholarship that can help you. Usually, information about scholarship will be explained also in the information sheet about your application to join exchange program.
But, one thing to consider is the amount of money that you can receive from the scholarship. The amount range from around 50.000 yen until 250.000 yen each month. Hey, why there is kind of a great gap in the range? Yes, because it depends on your sponsor! And actually, for master and doctoral program, you will get bigger amount of money! But, as an exchange student, we can get cheaper housing. That’s why, in my opinion it would be enough if you can get scholarship for 80.000 yen each month.
You can also take part time job, but one thing to consider is you have priority in your university and also think if there will be enough time for part time job. In my opinion, don’t plan to get your living expenses from the part time job fees, consider it as additional money only!
Estimation for living expenses can found here : http://www.gcn-osaka.jp/exchange/pdf/Living%20expenses.pdf
Finally, who is eligible to join this exchange program?
Mostly, the requirement will need you to be third year (junior) or forth year (senior) in your home institution. And your academic report must be good too! But, basically it will take part only in the selection from your home institution. Well, if you have extracurricular activities as well, that will be additional point for you!
I think any other requirements are not so difficult, like letter of recommendation from you lecturer, photos, TOEFL score greater than 550 (oh yeah this is a must! That’s why I write this post in English, so basically one that have reached this point must be quite good in English! but actually I am not really good but still can pass the test :p)
The next thing if you get approved, you will need to apply for college visa, flight ticket, fiscal (free if you are still under 21 years old or can show NPWP of one in your family), learn a little about Japanese language (that would help you a lot there!), and any others. I hope I can make a post for that later.
So, if you’re interested to participate in exchange student program and you meet the requirement, I think you should join one! がんばって！