Monday, February 13, 2012

Choosing the study place

Choosing the place of study will be the first question that I want to answer.

My husband and I were always asked why we chose Japan. In order to answer that, we listed out several items that were our concern before choosing our study place. The list is divided related to our life and career. In the first part I will answer based on life

  1. Monetary – of course this is the main thing. Who can deny this? Both of us were very fortunate to be able to hold 2 scholarships at one time. Alhamdulillah. It really means a lot to both of us. For us to get the scholarships was part of the hardships that we went through before coming to Japan. But I will tell about that later. On another hand, there were few restrictions before we managed to sign the agreement. We were given limit to places that we can go. Since the scholarship had to cover 2 person expenses, our employer make it clear to us that we can only choose between going to a. Japan b. United States. Before applying for the scholarships, I actually was given admissions to a university in UK and New Zealand (I don’t have to mention it here). But since our employer told us that if we both wanted the scholarship at the same time, we have to let go the UK and NZ choices. The reason? Too many graduates from the mentioned countries and higher cost of living (don’t comment on this – simply out of my jurisdiction).
  2. Living cost – since we can only choose to either go to Japan or US, we discussed about the expenses that will be used during our study. Of course Japan is higher in living cost compared to US, but bear in mind indirect cost that should be taken into account for example Health Insurance/ Health Care. Since we are going to bring our children with us, we have to consider the children expenses. I may not know how much does it cost in the US, but in Japan, children are given top priority in health care. In Japan, we are classified as non-income group (based on the Japan government policy) since we only carried scholarships as our expenses and we don’t work here. So, under this non-income group, we can get very good quality of health care with minimum payment. For a family of four like us, it costs about 4,800yen (around RM200) per month for insurance. This insurance cover 80% of our children health care cost for every visit to doctor (eg – 1 visit cost us around 200-400yen for children, around 1000yen for adult). This is considered really cheap and we can still get good services.
  3.  Housing and households – this is quite interesting. For those who consider coming to Japan, please take note where will you be living. Of course living in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto will cost more than living in Kyushu or Hokkaido or Okinawa. The difference is so wide that you can even save the money to buy a car (hahaha) or get a very big house. Our current house rent is about 80,000yen (RM2400) per month where else some friends in Kyushu can get a good house for less than 10,000yen per month. Even groceries cost are different between big cities and less crowded cities. It’s like living in Kuala Lumpur or Terengganu (I bet most of the readers come from Malaysia :P)
To be continued…


Magnetic Island Artist Edward Blum. said...

I wish you well with your study's, I saw your blog on bloger. I am interested in Japanese culture. So I thought I would look. I saw the Imperial Palace on your other blog, WOW. I wish you well and happiness for your family. Greetings from Australia and good will.

mast@work said...

Dear Magnetic Island Artist Edward Blum,

tq for stopping by at my blog. Japan is definitely a country full of culture. I love Japan and I can say this is my second home. Thank you for your wish and I hope you'll have great life too :)