The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part I

Niyati Rawal is one of the most inspiring and intelligent young women that I know. Not only did she move to Japan at the age of 19 to spend one year studying Japanese intensively before pursuing a Mechanical Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering degree at Osaka University, but she also published articles and conducted presentations about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Needless to say, Niyati is a high achieving, intriguing, and most importantly, warm-hearted person with a bright future.

In this first article, learn about Niyati’s application process for the Japanese MEXT Scholarship for the Undergraduate Program in India.


The Process of Applying to the Japanese MEXT Scholarship Program for the Undergraduate Program in India

While Niyati was in high school in India, she developed a strong passion for robotics. And since Japan was one of the most advanced nations in terms of robotic technology, she decided to research programs in Japan. Unfortunately, she was a bit disheartened when she learned how expensive it would be to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Japan.

Fortunately, through a friend, she learned about the Japanese MEXT Scholarship Program right before graduating and decided to apply. But little did she know that the entire application process would take over a year — from the time of application to the time of acceptance or rejection.

 Source:  Sony

Source: Sony

Besides the Japanese MEXT Scholarship Program, Niyati applied for a few other programs at the same time, so she felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of work that she had to do. But she kept up the work. And in particular, the Japanese MEXT Scholarship Program application was full of detailed, minute work. For example, I recall having to make sure my photos that I attached to my application were exactly 3.5 x 4.5 cm, as nothing less and nothing more, was acceptable.

Luckily, the entire process was worthwhile for both Niyati and I, as were accepted as MEXT Scholars. Unlike Niyati, I applied for the MEXT Research Scholarship that could evolve into a Masters Degree Scholarship as well as a PhD Scholarship. In Niyati’s case, she applied and received the Japanese MEXT Scholarship Program for Undergraduate Students, which is a more rigorous process, since the students are much younger, and generally need to speak Japanese.

From the time of application to the time of receiving the acceptance year, one year had passed. So at the age of 19 in 2013, Niyati Rawal arrived in Japan, ready to launch her studies. In the next article, learn more about Niyati’s experience of transitioning from India to Japan, as well as some of the challenges she had to overcome.