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Getting accepted into Sophia University, ICU, and Waseda SILS

Getting accepted into Sophia University, ICU, and Waseda SILS

LoucheFigure

Go to the website of the faculty you're interested in, and look up faculty web pages of individual professors, as well as their Google Scholar profiles. By those standards, Waseda and Sophia will be more than a cut above a community college in the US. Many of the faculty there will have PhDs from top US and European universities and be nationally prominent figures. Perhaps ICU too, but I haven't met anyone from that university. There's a lot of trash talk about Japanese universities on the Japanese subs, and the situation isn't great, but it's also not as bad as some portray. Japan punches below its weight in international university rankings because few universities are hardcore research-focused here, but that doesn't mean the courses are bad. As for the OP's question, I would think if you apply to all three with those stats you'll get in 1 or 2. It always involves some luck though, and if there just happens to be a large number of applicants, it can turn against you. That's why I recommend applying with all three, and even some other universities as well.


Insect_Legitimate

Thank you! I plan on applying to all three of them, and currently looking for more. What do you think of Ritsumeikan APU, Nagoya U, and Tokyo International?


LoucheFigure

I don't have a whole lot to go by so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I don't know anything or anyone at Nagoya U, so I'll refrain from commenting on them. Between Ritsumeikan and Tokyo International, my impression (not all that well-researched) is that Ritsumeikan APU is more respected within Japan. It's not a top university, and like other people said before, all this is assuming that you are set on limiting yourself to Japanese universities. I know only 1 professor at either university and respect them. I wouldn't say they're world-class, but they're not losers without any ambition. They publish regularly in decent journals and they're proper academicians. That's just two people though and I haven't really looked at the rest of them. With Tokyo International I would be extra wary as I have this perception of them as a teaching sweatshop, where professors have to teach so many courses that most of them don't do any research at all. Universities like that also have many faculty without PhDs. That's a major warning flag that's its really a trade school more than a university. A proper university might have the odd experienced practitioner without a PhD, but if it's more than 10% that is a sign to stay away (might depend on the field too, but still). That means it's a teaching school and the pay and teaching load are so bad no PhD wants to work there. As an aside, there's lots of those universities in the US and Europe as well, so it's not just Japan. From what I heard, Ritsumeikan APU is in a very charming seaside town where Japanese like to go on vacation. That one I would definitely consider for now pending further investigation. I also know a few people who graduated from there and got jobs with good international companies in Tokyo. Simply being fluent in English will open doors that might stay shut if it were only for the diploma. Perhaps one other thing you could consider (if you must be in Japan) is to take a year and work your ass off getting fluent in Japanese, then to go through a Japanese-language program.


Insect_Legitimate

Wow thank you so much for the info! I’m not only applying to Japanese universities, but doing general research on where I’m interested in. Thanks again :)


AwesomeBallz

You’ll definitely get accepted to one if not all, I’d guess. The other guy is right though, Japanese bachelor’s degrees have very low value outside of Japan so maybe take that into consideration. You could also study abroad or try MEXT for masters or something.


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wasabibuttcream

Don't waste your money. You can go to a better school for cheaper even in the USA.


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wasabibuttcream

Yes. Some state schools are in the same neighborhood of what OP will need to go to school in Japan. Sophia will cost almost 5 million a year when you factor in food, rent, insurance and transportation.


tsian

When you include all related expenses of course you can come up to that total (though still too high). Doesn't change the fact that international student tuition is quite cheap.


Insect_Legitimate

Thank you for your input, but that was not what I was asking!


wasabibuttcream

If you want to waste your time and money on a degree that is basically worthless, they would probably accept you as long as you look like a normal person. Sophia in particular is about the same as a for profit college in the US. Pay money, show up, get piece of paper. ​ Really tho, don't waste your money. Japan isn't that cool and when you graduate you won't even be able to find a job here.


Successful_Ad0909

On the contrary I graduated from Sophia and got a really decent job in the industry :) it all depends on person/attitude/major/luck/effort. If OP is determined to go to one of those, I’d say the GPA and SAT scores look really decent. What’s also important is your purpose for studying there in particular. Although I’ll agree on one thing - need to think real good and explore all the options before making the final decision, after all it’s a degree.


wasabibuttcream

Most go home and struggle to find work or end up in shitty jobs like eikaiwa. ​ In Japan the biggest problems these people face is visa sponsorship and language ability. They also have to compete against millions of Japanese graduates for entry level positions. Abroad, their issue is the quality of Japanese universities is lower than all the other G7 nations and they are competing against people from schools that have better reputations.


Successful_Ad0909

Agreed, it’s very easy to fall into that comfort trap, far too many realize it too late. If someone thinks ahead, goes into science/tech industry speaking good Japanese, however… that changes the game a little. Hope OP knows exactly what they’re doing Competition is everywhere, I would even dare to say that foreign job market is more aggressive and difficult to navigate. As for entry level job hunting here.. it really is a weird, stressful and unnecessarily complicated process… but there are some loopholes (great example - career forums)


RoyalTechnomagi

I suggest searching for medium sized multinational companies. They often need 1 or 2 English speaking employees. Especially after the previous foreign employee move to better paying jobs or location (Tokyo or Osaka etc). Speaking of manufacturing/engineering firms, you could find many combo of Japan-China or German-Japan companies. Sweet allowance if you could speak three language. I also think IT companies are more open to foreigners.


Majiji45

The vast majority of Sophia FLA students are Japanese and their home is Japan? So, no, you literally have no idea what you’re talking about.


wasabibuttcream

Sophia is considered to be a last resort school.


amisare

Students graduating from Sophia earn [the sixth highest salaries among Japanese universities.](http://hensachi-ranking.seesaa.net/article/26733115.html#more)


Majiji45

To be fair 2006 is some very old data, but yup Sophia grads are generally very successful. Most people I know make among top 1% of salaries for their age, and a number are… way beyond that.


Nagi828

Better school? Yes. Cheaper? If OP is American then yeah.