1. Memo from the Professor
My dear International Students and Researchers,
We have just started our annual Career Plan Survey for all the international researchers and students. Please visit the following site to inform I-HoP your career plan and your preference/interest in our graduate career support programs. We have been incorporating many requests/ideas to improve our services by using the feedback given by this survey.
As a part of the questionnaire, we ask if you are interested in having a career counseling with me. If your answer is “Yes” or “Maybe”, we will contact you later if you leave us with your email address. Feel free to use our service. It is all free and your privacy will be protected. If you have not yet thought about your future career, that is fine. I will work with you how you pursue your career. Talking with a third person, who is not a family member, relatives, friends, classmates, or anyone close to you, on your career plan is similar to talking to yourself with emphasis on what is most important for your career decision.
2. Why do you want to learn Japanese?
Hokkaido University accepts and encourages international students who do not have Japanese language proficiency to study or conduct research at our graduate schools only by using English. You will make presentation at conferences and workshops in English, and submit your paper in English to the international scientific journals. Your daily study and research activities in your labs do not require Japanese communication skills for most of the time. Thus, you will not recognize the need for learning Japanese as long as your objective is earning the PhD degree and advance your career after graduation at a country where you do not need Japanese. The annual career survey which was mentioned in the previous section reveals that more than half of the international students wish to stay in Japan after graduation to pursue their academic or business career.
Even though you can survive without using Japanese while you are studying in our beautiful campus, you need to communicate with people outside our campus primarily in Japanese. This is true especially if you wish to work for a company in Japan, and it is beneficial to have Japanese language proficiency even when you are looking for academic posts in Japan. Most Japanese companies require N1 or N2 level of JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) at a time of job application for all the international students. I-HoP has been communicating with Japanese industry in the past 4 years that they should open the door for students with N3 level proficiency if they have PhD.
For the academic posts in Japan, the most comprehensive database for all the Japanese research institutions including university positions is JREC-IN (https://jrecin.jst.go.jp/) where you can search open positions in Japanese or in English. If you can read Japanese and conduct the job search in Japanese, you will find 5 to 10 times more positions than in English.
Hokkaido University provides Japanese language classes with multiple proficiency levels, however, these are for intensive learning which mandates daily attendance that may cause conflict with your research activities. I-HoP, therefore, is providing the following two alternative methods to improve your Japanese proficiency while minimizing impact to your daily research:
i.E-learning Japanese (ALC NetAcademy 2)
Application to August 1, 2018 ~ July 31, 2019 session is in progress. Please visit:
ii.Japanese communication skills test by phone (JSST)
This oral Japanese communication test by using your own telephone is conducted every three months. You are encouraged to take this opportunity, which is no cost to you, to monitor the progress of your listening, grammatical and speaking skills of Japanese by taking the test repeatedly. JSST level 7 will be sufficient for job application of PhD students.
3. Self-Learning Japanese for the first time
The Japanese learning program mentioned in the previous section is good for students who have basic Japanese skills (like N5).
For the first time learners, the following free Japanese e-learning service which is supported by the Japan Foundation may be helpful.
The Japan Foundation was established in October 1972 as a special legal entity supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In October 2003, it was reorganized as an independent administrative institution.
4. PhD Lunch Talk in Japanese/Chinese (July 18)
Registration is open now for lunch talk by Hokudai alumnus from China in Japanese. Although the speaker, Dr. Tao, is famous public speaker having his local FM radio programs and gives speech on diet and health-management in many seminars, it is rare to talk about his experience as a foreign student at Hokkaido University and starting his own clinic in Sapporo. Please use the following link to register:
5. Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai for September
If you are interested in working for Japanese companies but do not have N1 or N2 level Japanese proficiency, try “Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai” by I-HoP for making contact with companies which is interested in hiring PhD students, by using English. For the details, please visit the following site. If you want to know more about this event, feel free to make an appointment for career counseling by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Short-Cut Akai Ito Kai:
List of the companies coming to the next Akai Ito Kai on September 20:
6. Symposium in English – August 7 at Akira Suzuki Hall
Professor Hiroshi Ishii, Hokkaido University alumnus and Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab., Tangible Medial Group Director will give his special lecture entitled “TRANSFORM: Envisioning the Future” on Tuesday, August 7 at Akira Suzuki Hall. This symposium is open to public and no registration is needed. If your time allows, please come and join:
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Time: see the following agenda
Venue: Akira Suzuki Hall, Frontier Research in Applied Science Building
8:40 – 9:00Opening Remarks
9:00 – 10:00Special Lecture 1 by Prof. Lei Xing (Stanford)
10:00 – 11:00Special Lecture 2 by Prof. Hitoshi Ishii (MIT)
11:15 – 12:15Special Lecture 3 by Prof. Satoshi Maeda (HU)
12:15 – 13:00Panel Discussion
Other lectures by two Hokkaido University lecturers will follow in the afternoon.