The Choice — A Conference to Empower Japanese Women & Give Them More Choices!

In late November 2018, I had the great fortune to attend the 1st ever Choice Network Conference in Tokyo about women’s empowerment, personal branding, and entrepreneurship. For half a day, I listened to top women in various industries such as the Chief Editor of a popular women’s magazine — Oggi, a female founder of a Women’s Empowerment Consulting Company in Japan, the General Manager of LVMH Group, and the Founder of the Choice Network.

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Kyoto, Japan Versus San Francisco, California | What Are the Similarities and Differences?

As a San Francisco native and a student who has lived in Kyoto for 2.5 years, I’d say that I have a fair amount of experience to talk about the major differences and similarities between the two cities. After all, the minute you move to a new country, you almost immediately began to compare it with ‘home.’

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An Insider’s Look Into the English Programs at Kyoto University’s Economics Department — PART 2

Why Did I Chose the EA Program at Kyoto University Versus the English Management School's IPROMAC Program at Kyoto University?

After many conversations with my Professor, Chihiro Suematsu, and students who were part of the IPROMAC program at Kyoto University, I decided that the English EA Economics Program was the best for me, because of the ability to spend more time researching (with half the number of units necessary to graduate compared to the English Management School's IPROMAC Program), and the Masters Thesis requirement.

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An Insider’s Look Into the English Programs at Kyoto University’s Economics Department — PART 1

What is the Official Title of the Program?

The title of the program is extraordinarily long, so no one seems to use the official title. Instead, when we reference the program colloquially, we say we are part of the “EA Program.”

The official title is: "International Graduate Programme for East Asia Sustainable Economic Development Studies.”

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The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part 5

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 fifth and final article, learn more about Niyati’s unique vision for her career and the ‘why’ that drivers her.

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The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part 4

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 fourth article, learn more about Niyati’s papers, publications, and presentations.

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The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part 3

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 third article, learn more about Niyati’s first year in Japan in an intensive Japanese Language Program as part of the Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and the start of her career at Osaka University as a Mechanical Engineering major.

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The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part 2

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 second article, learn more about how Niyati transitioned from India to Japan, and some of the major challenges she had to overcome.

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The Tales of Niyati Rawal, a Japanese MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient from India — Part 1

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.

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Lincoln Waweru — A Kenyan’s Experience of Living in Japan (Part 3)

A jovial, kind-hearted, vibrant, and highly intelligent young man, Lincoln Waweru hails from Kenya. Relaxed, yet driven, Lincoln has the perfect personality for a challenging PhD research topic — the remediation and proper utilization of contaminated soils from an environmentally sustainable perspective at Kyoto University’s Global Environmental Studies Department. With plans to graduate in March 2020, Lincoln would love to work full-time in Japan or Kenya at potentially a university or a research company.

Needless to say, Lincoln has an important mission to fulfill in Japan, with his critical research topic that will help create a more environmentally sustainable future.

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Lincoln Waweru — A Kenyan’s Experience of Living in Japan (Part 2)

A jovial, kind-hearted, vibrant, and highly intelligent young man, Lincoln Waweru hails from Kenya. Relaxed, yet driven, Lincoln has the perfect personality for a challenging PhD research topic — the remediation and proper utilization of contaminated soils from an environmentally sustainable perspective at Kyoto University’s Global Environmental Studies Department. With plans to graduate in March 2020, Lincoln would love to work full-time in Japan or Kenya at potentially a university or a research company.

Needless to say, Lincoln has an important mission to fulfill in Japan, with his critical research topic that will help create a more environmentally sustainable future.

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Lincoln Waweru — A Kenyan with a Big Mission to Fulfill in Japan (Part 1)

A jovial, kind-hearted, vibrant, and highly intelligent young man, Lincoln Waweru hails from Kenya. Relaxed, yet driven, Lincoln has the perfect personality for a challenging PhD research topic — the remediation and proper utilization of contaminated soils from an environmentally sustainable perspective at Kyoto University’s Global Environmental Studies Department. With plans to graduate in March 2020, Lincoln would love to work full-time in Japan or Kenya at potentially a university or a research company.

Needless to say, Lincoln has an important mission to fulfill in Japan, with his critical research topic that will help create a more environmentally sustainable future.

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Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 3)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. For those who didn't read Part I about Karthik Rampalli's arrival in Japan, or his experiences at Tokyo Institute of Technology, check out this article. If you are interested in learning more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon, then read Part II.

Now get ready to learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan and the benefits that come from it, and his overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

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Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 2)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. For those who didn't already read Part I about Karthik Rampalli's arrival in Japan, or his experiences at Tokyo Institute of Technology, check out the first article in the 3-part series.

In Part III, you will learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan, the benefits that come from it, and Karthik's overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

Now let's learn more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon.

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Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part 1)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. In Part II to learn more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon.

Then in Part III, you will learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan and the benefits that come from it, and Karthik's overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

Now, let's get started on Karthik's experience of moving to Japan, diligently studying Japanese for 1 year of intensive studies, and obtaining acceptance into Tokyo Tech's Department of Information Engineering.

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Katrina Navallo — An Unexpected Love Story in Japan

When Katrina Navallo first arrived in Japan in April 2016 from the Philippines with a laundry list of tasks to accomplish, such as setting up a Japan Post Office bank account, moving into her new dorm room, and starting an Intensive Japanese Language program through the MEXT Scholarship program for 5 months at Kyoto University, she had no expectations of what was to come her way.

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Katrina Navallo — A Filipino Expat in Japan, Pursuing a Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University

With a wealth of diverse experiences ranging from consulting for the Asian Development Bank and Civika, a local NPO to working in the Asian Center at the University of the Philippines, Katrina Navallo was ready to embark on a fresh new challenge — one that would take her to Japan to research about migrant workers in the social sciences field at Kyoto University. But it wasn’t without challenges. In fact, she was initially rejected in her first attempt to earn the prestigious Monbukagakusho MEXT Scholarship. Through grit and determination, she studied how to earn the MEXT Scholarship, and crafted a winning application the following year.

After learning about her acceptance, Katrina took an enormous risk by packing her bags, saying 'goodbye' to loved ones, and moving to Japan with close to 0, Japanese language skills. All of this was done, to pursue her dream of earning a Ph.D. in the Graduate School of Asian and African Studies at Kyoto University, in a topic that she was truly passionate about.

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A Home Away From Home — Guest House Hachi In Kyoto

When I visited back in June of this year prior to their official launch in August 2017, I was fortunate enough to receive a sneak preview from one of the owners — Takuji — an extremely warm, friendly, and open-minded owner. With his business partners — Onur and Amelia, the trio collaborated and designed an immaculate guesthouse called Guest House Hachi with spectacular decor.

Pouring their hearts and souls into establishing the business, the trio often worked long hours and often into the middle of the night to launch this guest house in time for its grand opening this year. Not only did I witness the result of their combined efforts to transform a traditional town house (or 町家 / まちや)into an impeccably-designed guest house in Kyoto, but I also received such a warm welcome that I couldn’t wait to publish an Instagram story about it.

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