Why Not? (Part 2)

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Wednesday I mentioned some of the many options that hit the table when I felt my business plans threatened. Putting some of the reasons why I considered options and why I passed on them might help folks (or me) understand me. Today’s post is about looking for a scholarship to study Linguistics.

Perhaps my deepest need is to learn. (OK, perhaps my deepest need is to be loved, but the need to learn is right up there.) Since a very young age I was interested in learning. Sometimes this got me labelled as ‘gifted’, but often it got me labelled as ‘troublemaker’ or ‘distracted’. I’m not certain any of those titles are correct, but I have difficulties pursuing something when I feel like the learning opportunities have been exhausted.

Linguistics is an extremely deep field (perhaps bottomless) and can be practically applied to problems on a worldwide scale. Ever since I started college in 1983, I had thoughts about graduate school. Up to this point the engineer in me has kept me out of grad school because of a push for immediate practical application. For the most part this hasn’t prevented me from studying many fields of interest; however, it has kept me from completely focussed study.

One acquaintance in Tsu finished his Master’s in Linguistics last year and is working on his Doctorate now. Researching details of his scholarships from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (文部科学省), Monbu kagaku shou in Roman letters, seemed promising. Many generous scholarships are provided for undergraduate and graduate study. School expenses, living expenses, and some entertainment can easily be budgeted and some allowance is made for working outside of the research (i.e., teaching English on the side).

One more benefit of this would be gaining a credential that would allow me to teach at universities in Japan. But there is always a down side: in my case it was age limits. There are several scholarships with age limits around 20 and 25. I could only find three scholarships that would allow a 41 year old to apply and all of those were with special allowances made. Again the engineer in me pushed me toward starting the school now rather than digging into what kind of references I would need to get special permission. Also, the fields of study were limited on those scholarships.

If you are seriously interested in studying in Japan on a comfortable scholarship I recommend researching this option. I am too lazy today to track down the best links I found, but can do it another day if anyone is aiming for this. The best links were, of course, in Japanese, but it takes a lot of time to translate the details. The official ministry page which I linked above has good information, but you have to navigate a bit to find it. Here is a Google search on ‘monbukagakushou scholarship’, which looks like a lot of dated or anecdotal info, but it’s a start.

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