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Outstanding student shares experiences after receiving Japanese scholarship

Mr Soukmano Manivong, was a stand-out student in his year when he studied Environmental Engineering at the National University of Laos (NUoL). Subsequently in 2015 he was selected by examination for a scholarship from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to study further in Japan.

Mr Soukmano Manivong.

Japan has been providing this type of scholarships for Lao students each year for about 15 students a year, including scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Mr Soukmano Manivong explained that currently he is undertaking a Master's course in Environmental Management at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies at Kyoto University. He has been studying in Japan since 2016 and expects to graduate with a Master's degree in 2019 thanks to his scholarship from MEXT to study in Japan.

Mr Soukmano had known of the MEXT scholarships for a long time, ever since he was studying for his Bachelor degree in environmental engineering at the National University of Laos.

The ministry scholarship of Japan is one of the most famous scholarships that Lao students are eligible to apply for, however, it is very difficult to get a scholarship because huge numbers of Lao students from all over the country apply. “Therefore, the competition is very strong for a ministry scholarship,” Mr Soukmano said.

This was the first time that Mr Soukmano applied for a ministry scholarship, and first he had to take an English screening test examination, followed by an interview examination.

“I was proud of myself that this would be the first opportunity for me to pursue my Master's study in Japan which is one of the most developed countries in the world,” he said. “This would be a chance for me to develop my educational skills that I could apply not only to my career but also to my daily life.”

Studying in Japan is not only about the academic part of life. Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world but despite all the advances, their long-lasting culture and tradition still remain strong. Japanese people are polite and disciplined, and every foreign student would do well to learn this and to apply this behaviour back in their own countries. The education is varied and covers multiple fields of studies.

The most advanced and interesting field of study would be in the fields of Engineering and Economics. It is notable that many Lao students have successfully graduated from many of the top universities in Japan.

The MEXT scholarship regularly calls for applications every year in June, and applicants can submit their completed application forms at the Japan Embassy in Vientiane. The applicants are initially screened firstly by the relevant officers in the Japanese Embassy.

Applicants who have passed the initial screening are then called for an English examination to examine each individual's ability of academic English writing. Generally speaking, about 10 to 15 students would be selected after the English exam for the interview examination phase. The interview focuses on the study plan of each applicant so that they can evaluate the potential of the applicant for their future education opportunity in Japan.

Once the final list is made, awarded scholars have to find their designated universities and professors for their placements of preference. In addition, the applicants need to contact their own professors, as the documentation process has to be completed before they are allowed to start their terms as research students.

Consequently, once the students start their terms as research students, they need to have an entrance examination before they can actually start their degree at the university. Therefore, they would have to research more in order to pass the entrance examination for the designated graduate schools or faculties. Normally, it would take about 6 months to 1 year as a research student before actually starting the term as degree students.

In conclusion, the Japanese government has been providing educational scholarships to Laos every year for many years, and through these scholarships the human capital of Laos has increased. Once their studies have been completed, Lao students have to come back to Laos to be a part of developing the country.

Indeed, Mr Soukmano explains “After my graduation, I will definitely come back and contribute to developing the nation and be part of the people to create a better community as well as country”.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update August 19, 2017 )

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