Application, or fabrication…

1 04 2010

At last the next set of papers to fill has arrived, in the form of userID and password to grant me access to the online application system which Kansai Gaidai has running. Though everything you fill in online gets printed out and sent by hand anyway, so I’m guessing the “online system” was created as a method of being able to read people’s applications better more than anything else. Looking at all these sort of application questions again, I see how rediculously subjective these questions are. From “how often do you consume alcohol?” to ‘are you interested in the exchange program for language and/or cultural reasons?’ It’s certainly an open opportunity to lie about your position, and one would only hope this would be corrected by the letter of recommendations from tutors, but one has to wonder if they themselves want to be brutally honest, or be nice and try get you a position to study abroad (considering they were nice enough from the start to take the time to write a letter about you for your application). So application or fabrication? Well I know which I’m choosing, I want them to accept ME to study over their, not some ideal student that I managed to write down on paper. Besides, I’m a hopeless liar as is..



Then again on a seperate pattern of thought, lying would eventually catch up with the person as they go through various testing and so on by outside sources who, one would hope, would be less willing to lie for them. I only think of all this anyway because I hear stories of people travelling over their for no other reasons other than to be able to party it up in a new country like an extended holiday with a bit of study on the side. I’ve met with these sort of people, and it really makes you wonder how they can get there (to Japan) to study, when their mindset is ‘like that’.

And now back to the starting point of this post; I have now begun my application to Kansai Gaidai. It is a little less work in terms of writing on my end but it certainly will be bothersome to collect all the necessary items for the application in the 2 weeks i have left to do so (we only were given a little over 2 weeks to do this anyway…). So looks like I’ll be running around frantically getting past tutors to write letters of recommendation, getting my Japanese teacher to fill out a form of recommendation (in Japanese), getting passport size ID photos (apparently these are not so cheap? considering I need 10 or 11 I believe…), having a physical exam (健康診断) and so on. All this in the name of showing my ‘fitness’ to be able to cope with exchange. One would only hope these long lists of requirements would deter those with the wrong reasons (I know, I always go back to this…but the thought does frustrate me…).

Anyway, point of reflection for me for now seems to be:

As much as I do think an experience like this would transcend ‘a language learning curve’ and go beyond that, I still am stuck on this one point; will my language skill be enough to get me involved from the start? Because as much as I study, learn outside of my current courses and take part in the consumption of Japanese popular culture for both entertainment and learning purposes…I still feel insufficient in terms of skill in so many ways. Fortunately having some friends who I can use plain form with and have them correct me and teach me new things has made the process of learning a little easier, but none the less it still seems like it is a long way to go…’Dear Fluency, I know you’re out there somewhere, I just haven’t found you yet…or is your existence merely a subjective figment of my own imagination?’





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