Many Arab students dream of completing their university studies in the United States or Europe, as these universities share the first positions in the world rankings of universities, and offer high possibilities and opportunities in the field of scientific research.
But what about studying in Japan, a country that many call the other planet, why has it recently attracted many Arab students? Is it because of the scholarships provided by the Japanese government, or because the level of universities there is sought after and the scientific climate encourages research and innovation?
In short, what are the advantages of studying in Japan and what are the disadvantages?
To answer these and other questions, Al Jazeera Net spoke to a few Arab researchers who went through the experience of studying in Japan, where some of them preferred to stay, while others preferred to go through a different experience outside. Japan to go.
Prestigious university scholarships and a debatable scientific level
University scholarships are considered as one of the keys to traveling for Arab students to study in Japan. To attract foreign students, the Japanese government has instituted good scholarships, some of which cover the full cost, especially government scholarships, which seems to be the main reason why Arab students choose Japan to study.
Egyptian researcher Mohamed Abdel Quddous, a doctoral student in nanotechnology at Toyohashi University of Technology, who won an award given to foreign students by the Japanese government, emailed Al Jazeera Net in a statement. said that “the Japanese government prestige grants and the best of them is the government grant called MEXT, and therefore it is This is one of the main reasons why Arab students choose Japan to study, and it is one of the positive aspects of study in this country. ”
Regarding the scientific level of Japanese universities, Muhammad says: “The educational performance there is not good, due to the language barrier. Therefore, the student must first learn the Japanese language and reach a good level so that he can continue diligently to “The scientific level of Japanese universities is also not high compared to universities.” American or European, and the evidence is that the number of Nobel Prize winners, for example, is very small compared to America and Europe, and therefore studying in America or Europe would be better. ”
The Algerian Dr. Abdelkader Nasr El-Din Belkacem is one of the Arab researchers who studied in Japan after obtaining a full-fledged scholarship for 4 years from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, simply known as “JICA”, where he holds a PhD in a multidisciplinary field – the brain-computer interface of the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Dr. Abdel Qader said in an email to Al-Jazeera Net that “the quality of the level of theoretical and applied education in Japan is unmistakable compared to the universities of the world … I studied and worked in two universities among the top 100 universities in the world (Tokyo Institute of Technology and Osaka University) that salute rigor and discipline at work.When you are looking for a job in America or Europe, it is enough honor and reputation for you to study or worked Japan, a country in which competition is very fierce for foreigners to prove their existence and enforce themselves.
What the Saudi dr. Regarding Anas Muhammad Malih, a professor at Akita University in Japan who specializes in nanotechnology, he said in a statement to Al Jazeera Net by e-mail that many Japanese students see the university, especially at the undergraduate level, as’ a temporary period in preparation for entering the hard labor market in Japan for it. You will find that most of them are not interested in getting full marks in the subjects but in getting the number of hours required to graduate from the university.
“For this reason, the level of Japanese students is often average, and it can be a shock to some foreign students who have the perception that the Japanese are better in science, but some of them are not, and for this reason I advise foreign students should choose their friendship carefully as there are excellent students, ”he added.
He pointed out that “there are many Arabs who could innovate in Japanese universities. For example, I was able to lead a Japanese scientific research team and became a chief engineer in a Japanese company in the titanium industry, and all this would not have happened. if I could not understand the culture of Japanese society. ” and adapted to it.
Japanese language..the biggest obstacle
Dr. Anas Muhammad Malih says that language is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving a great educational achievement in Japan. He added: “The Japanese language is a major obstacle for many who have studied in Japan, especially at the bachelor’s level. Most Japanese universities study in the Japanese language, especially the bachelor’s phase.” It even includes medical specialties, and since the labor market in Japan prefers Japanese speakers, the student has to master it and put a lot of effort into learning it, and this can be at the expense of proficiency in the English language because he may have to focus on Japanese and neglect English, which is not desirable. “
In turn, dr. Abdel Qader that “the Japanese language is an obstacle to study, even outside the university if you live in small inner cities. As far as universities and big cities are concerned, foreigners often do not have to learn the Japanese language except for the love of the discover community from within and get involved. ” “.
As for Dr Muhammad, he tells his story with the Japanese language, which seems more complex, and said: “On the first day of the study, I discovered that some professors and staff and a very limited number of students speak English. , and the rest speak only Japanese.In a good gesture and to support foreign students, I appointed The university every foreign student has a Japanese student to help him perform some necessary tasks, such as’ to open a bank account, but it is a pity to me that the student who was chosen to help me was very weak in English, which caused a lot of problems, and it is surprising that our supervisor recommended this student to speak English. improve and practice it with me. “
Dr. Muhammad added, “I decided at the time to learn the Japanese language, and I actually took intensive lessons for 6 months, after which I could understand a lot in the laboratory, because all the devices are Japanese made and use only a little Japanese. programming language. “
Japanese society and the problem of integration
Dr. Abdul Qader says that the well-known phrase “Japanese society is a closed society” can be considered a stereotype in our time, as the Japanese, especially the young people, have become open to all cultures despite their adherence to their originality. , and this combination makes it a welcoming country for foreigners.
Dr. Abdel Qader explained that “the difference in the culture and behavior of the Japanese of the world does not at all make it an obstacle to foreigners’ involvement with them, and it can not be said that it negatively affects the lives of students and researchers. outside the university, but on the contrary, the foreigner is very welcomed and spoiled in the Japanese street, and wherever he goes. Everyone comes to his aid when he asks for it. elderly people, and that’s what I can sometimes see as an obstacle when you visit inner cities and you do not speak Japanese. “
In turn, dr. Anas that the problem of integration with Japanese society is related to the Japanese language and the extent of its proficiency because it will allow the foreign student to understand the Japanese culture and integrate into the society. He added: “The Japanese, in my opinion, are still a closed people to other cultures and sometimes do not accept them, so they do not give everything they have to the foreign student, and you rarely get Japanese professors who are open “with foreign students. There is also a negative among some Japanese, which is isolation, so they understand A good Japanese culture is one of the most important steps to overcome some of the trauma in Japan.”
What dr. As for Muhammad, he went further and said: “The Japanese are a very shy people, and their society is closed to itself, even between them and some of them, they are not social … and the Japanese individual is very sensitive, the first mistake is the last, which means handling them carefully so that you do not lose their friendship. “
Exceptional rigor and discipline
“If you are not a person who dedicates science and work, Japan is not a suitable environment for you. Boredom in Japan is not in the dictionary of young active people because they always have something to do and know how to spend their time with them. the beauty of nature in Japan and the diversity of individual and group leisure activities. Always There’s time for karaoke or sports, enjoy Japanese tea and sakura picnics with classmates or work. “
Our interviewer added, “The Japanese are not looking for more smart students than they are looking for students who work hard for long hours. Therefore, try to sanctify science and work … Japan is only a transit point for the world , so seize the opportunity to learn and experience Japanese culture before you leave. “
In turn, dr. Anas said: “I think the foreign student will find working hours stressful, especially in engineering disciplines, because they have a system similar to or stricter than that of Japanese companies, where the student’s presence is in front of the professor in the research laboratory. and he must return home after him, with working hours reaching 12 hours in the laboratory.
In turn, Drs. Muhammad, “The Japanese only know work, and they do not appreciate any circumstances. I feel like they are without any human feelings or emotion, even their smiles seem artificial and unreal imposed by the rules on them. From work.”