Thursday, March 17, 2016

Moving to Japan

Since high school, I have always been interested in Japanese language and culture. At that time, I was into the 90s shoujo anime. Thanks to anime, I became interested in Japan. I wanted to learn the language to be able to watch the anime without sub and was very much interested to live in Japan as I wanted to experience things that I've seen in the anime. I think I watched the most anime in 1999, thanks to the influence of my group of anime loving friends.

After A levels, I thought of applying for the 2006 MEXT scholarship to further my studies in Japan. However, at that time, I didn't have any confidence in my Japanese language skills and I just couldn't imagine myself studying science or mathematics in Japanese. Plus I was worried that due to bad language skills, I would not be able to keep up in class. In the end, I gave up. Every single time I think back about it, I felt like kicking myself! I was young and have nothing to lose! It was really the best time to go to Japan! Even so, I did not regret my decision to pursue my degree locally as I was awarded full scholarship from my institution and led me to discover my passion in scientific research.

But my dream was not dead, 3 years after graduation and 1 year into my masters research, I decided to apply for the 2012 MEXT scholarship again, but this time for my PhD studies in Japan. Submitted my application forms, sat for 2 papers, went for an interview and was awarded the scholarship. However, due to various things that happened soon after, I wasn't able to continue with my masters research. In the end, I had to forego the scholarship.

Fast forward to 2015, I have finished my PhD research work and was writing up. While I was writing and especially after my submission, I really gave it a lot of thought. I want to live and work in Japan! At the same time, the thought of taking a gap year really starting growing in my head. After my PhD, I had about 2 months before my graduation and that was when I really began to applying for jobs in Japan. While I did get close to getting hired, the truth was that I didn't get hired in the end and it frustrates me that it was difficult for me to actually apply for jobs and compete with local candidates because I'm so far away. But I didn't give up. I have send out many applications and also received many rejections.

Back home, things were starting to work out for me in terms of career as I was being offered jobs. 

When you are an adult seeking for a job to make a living, it is tempting to pick the safer option. However, I've told myself before in 2015 that 2016 is the right time for me to move to Japan! 

Just when I was almost giving up hope, my job offer came! Without hesitation, I accepted it!

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