My New Life

It’s hard to believe, but I am currently writing from my bedroom in Nagoya.

As far as clichés go, time has flown by like a blink of an eye. My adventures so far has been … life changing. How do I even begin? 

I have experienced so much in the past two months, from my first flight to running into a sumo wrestler in Tokyo. That’s a story for another day, but in the mean time I want to talk about my life right now.

Currently I’m studying at NUCB. It’s a beautiful campus about an hour away from my home in Nagoya.

The subjects I’m studying varies from economics, communication, organisation development to language studies. It’s a bit overwhelming juggling ten subjects but my classmates make it enjoyable.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking. It can be a challenge finding vegetarian food here, so I eat many of my meals at home. Currently my favourite recipe is kinpira; my knife skills has improved immensely since moving to Japan.

I live in a shared house with seven other girls. Four of my housemates are Japanese and the other girls are from France, Belarus, and Morocco.

Last weekend we organised a movie night at home. We watched My Neighbour Totoro and From Up on Poppy Hill whilst eating pizza. That was a lot of fun!

There is two more months left before I have to go home, I’m going to miss this.

Here goes nothing

In a matter of hours, I will be boarding the plane to a new adventure.

It’s the first time I’m flying by myself. If I’m trying to describe my state of mine, it is that this whole experience feels surreal.

After sitting down and chatting with my friends the past week, I’ve come to realise that I have been working towards this trip of a lifetime for over a year now.

I can’t believe it is finally happening:

I’m finally going to Japan and I’m staying there for four months.

But first, a quick holiday to Taipei! I need a break from all this planning.

Getting A Japanese Visa

After much delay, I took the plunge yesterday night and bought my plane ticket.

It may not a big deal for seasoned travellers but I felt overwhelmed. This the first time I’m travelling alone and honestly, I’m not used to making these type of decisions on my own.

Another reason which caused the delay was because of my visa.

It’s a known fact that having visa is as important as purchasing a plane ticket. Each country has its own rules when granting visas to foreigners.

These rules are changes frequently and as such, my university was reluctant to offer advice with this part of the application process.

For this reason, I want to share my experiences of getting a student visa in Japan. Perhaps another applicant will find this post useful.

Well, my journey started when I sent my application form to my host university in December 2014. They included a Certificate of Eligibility form. Any foreigners intending to stay in Japan are required to fill this, the exception being temporary visitors of course.

This form required me to state my intention for visiting Japan. In addition, prove I have sufficient funds for the duration of my stay.

I had a little trouble explaining my method of payment in Japan. Even though I have a financial supporter, I’m financially prepared to pay for most things myself.

My coordinator and I managed to sort it out in the end; we wanted to make sure it was perfect before sending it off. From there, my host university filed my CoE to the Immigrations Office in Nagoya.

It was approved and sent off to my university at the beginning of February. After picking it up, I handed in my visa application to the Consulate-General of Japan in Melbourne.

My host university warned me that it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive my passport back. I was a little concerned because I intend to travel beforehand.

Thankfully they were really efficient; I only waited one week for my visa to be ready. Above all, it was free of charge!

With my visa sorted and my tickets purchased, my application process to study abroad is finally. Now the real fun begins…