BEING far away from home to study abroad will teach Janice Lau Lik Wen how to be independent.
Lau, 19, is the only undergraduate student selected under the Japanese Government Scholarship 2018 programme.
She said applying for the scholarship was one of the best decisions she had made as it was her dream to study in Japan.
“The main reason I chose to study in Japan is to experience its culture and the lifestyle of its people. I have been to Hokkaido, Osaka, and Tokyo for holidays, and am excited to study and live in Tokyo for the next five years.”
Lau will pursue her Foundation programme at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, where she will learn the Japanese language, as well as Japan’s economics, law, politics and culture for one year.
She received her letter of acceptance from the minister counselor of the Japanese embassy in Malaysia, Hiroyuki Orikasa, at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Kuala Lumpur recently.
For her studies, Lau will receive RM4,200 a month to cover accommodation fees and daily expenses. Her fees for the entrance examination and tuition at the university will be exempted. Upon finishing her Foundation, she will further her studies in Business Administration.
Present at the event were past president of Japan Graduates Association of Malaysia Dr Ooi Chee Keong and Public Service Department human capital development division principal assistant director Mohd Shafie Jabarullah.
Another 23 recipients, who received their scholarships at the event, will also pursue their postgraduate studies in Japan for this academic year.
Postgraduate recipient Rasyidah Hanan Mohd Baharin, 26, will be attached to the Faculty of Engineering at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for three years.
“My PhD research focuses on an antenna for human body application — a study of antenna characteristics to improve performance for wireless biomedical and health monitoring devices.
“As Malaysia is moving towards 5G mobile application in 2020, there will be more devices, especially wireless monitoring ones, that need faster and more efficient transmission.
“The study of an antenna is crucial as it is one of the important components of these devices. The majority of the manufacturers of these devices are from foreign countries, so now, I believe Malaysian manufacturers and researchers can also contribute new ideas for the development of better healthcare devices.”
Rasyidah holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer network engineering from Universiti Malaysia Perlis and a Master’s degree in electronics systems from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
She wants to learn about the latest technology during her studies from supervisors and lecturers.
For Tharishinny Raja Mogan, 25, the language barrier and a change of weather are issues she feels nervous about, but she hopes to adapt to the new environment quickly.
She will pursue a doctorate at the Graduate School of Environmental Science at Hokkaido University for three years.
“I will do research on synthesising photocatalyst material, to remove bacteria, pollutants or odour, for environmental purposes. It can be applied to a building’s wall, roof and paint.”
Tharishinny said the study was important as she would be using solar energy to utilise the photocatalyst material, which would be applied in many environmental applications.
“Solar energy is renewable energy, hence, if we can utilise the energy fully, we can reduce carbon usage in Malaysia,” said the holder of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in chemistry from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
During the ceremony, Orikasa said besides studying, he hoped that the scholarship recipients would enjoy their life in Japan and learn from experiences on the Japanese way of life.
“You will have a golden opportunity to learn more about Japan and its people. At the same time, it is a good occasion to introduce Malaysia’s beautiful, unique and diverse culture to the Japanese people as young ambassadors of Malaysia in Japan.
“You are your nation’s hope to expand your knowledge and capabilities. I hope you will return to Malaysia to serve and deliver your knowledge to the community.”
Orikasa reminded the scholars to write a thank-you letter to their parents, who had supported them before they depart for Japan.
“Please call your parents at least once a week by using your WhatsApp (application).”
The Japanese Government Scholarship programme was established in 1954, with the aim to contribute to the human capital development of foreign countries and to promote cultural exchange, mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and other countries. The selection process is based on a written test and interview with the scholarship selection committee members.
To date, more than 1,600 Malaysians have received the scholarship. Upon returning to Malaysia, they work as government officers, lawyers, doctors, lecturers or as part of the management team in Japanese companies, thus contributing to Malaysia’s economy and society, and strengthening the friendship between Malaysia and Japan.