Three Paths – Three Chances

So.

Its been awhile, minasan. A lot has happened since my last, silly post, and now.

I suppose some catching up is needed. My school contacted me to let me know that I might still be able to go through them and go to Kansai Gaidai but I won’t know until April 1st ish. One of the people infront of me canceled so I’m in better standing. So—path open again as a possibility! Which give us the final three!!

Final three, what? You ask. Well, says I, I have three schools/programs I will apply to (also known as Paths to Japan!).

The first of which I am on a waitlist for which is the above mentioned Kansai Gaidai through school. The second is direct enrolling at Akita International University in Akita.

The third is Seinan Gakuin in Fukuoka—another direct enroll.

I’m sure you have questions. Why do I need three? Well, none of these above options are a given. Both Akita and Seinan have an application period around February-March with results announced in April. Aaaand both schools give preference to kids from partnership foreign universities, ie: exchange students. Which I’m not because I’d be direct enrolling. They take small numbers of direct enrolls so both of these are up in the air. We’ve already been over the issue with Kansai Gaidai.  I figure if I apply to both Akita and Seinan while waiting for Kansai, I have to get into one of them, right? Right??!!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with all three schools and if I got into any of them it would make me happy. There is though, a few different ways to look at these schools: Financially, Maria’s Choice, Maria’s Parent’s choice.

Financially:

  1. Kansai Gaidai: This is a bit of a given. If I get into this program, I get about five thousand dollars from my school/Bright Futures/Florida Pre Paid. That is a lot of money. The only worrying detail is that for some reason whilst reading reviews on Kansai Gaidai, the majority of students s aid they spent over $100s a week on food and incedentals and travel on average. Most were around $200!! That is scary.
  2. Aktia International University: It is cheaper than Kansai and Seinan but lacks Kansai’s school scholarships. This is also kind of a lie though. It depends on what dorm I pick. The cheapest dorm is cheaper than Kansai and Seinan but if I do the next level dorm, it is more expensive than Seinan’s homestay.
  3. Seinan Gakuin: I have  different price points for this one, depending on what housing I get, like Akita. Its homestay option is very affordable but its dorm option isn’t bad either at all. Seinan also lets you have a part time job while enrolled. Actually… Akita and Seinan pretty much tie in this category.

Maria’s Choice:

  1. Akita International University: I kind of love what I’ve learned about Akita. The campus looks beautiful. Its surrounded by nature! They have a very mixed international community of students. You dorm with Japanese students. Aaand feedback I’ve gotten about it through reading reviews and peoples blogs as been great! I even asked Texan In Tokyo blogger Grace about it and she highly recommended it. Its nice to hear really good things about some place.
  2. Seinan Gakuin: It has an affordable homestay program which I would love but the dorms aren’t a bad option either here—you have your own room and share the common areas with Japanese students and foreign students. Its by the ocean and my Sensei’s trip in summer is going to be centered around this university and her sister works there if I’m not mistaken. She also recommends it.
  3. Kansai Gaidai: I don’t know how it ended up at #3 since it was my top choice for so long. I think part of it was, because of the waitlist, I really branched out and looked at a lot of different programs and different areas. Kansai is still a strong contender but it worries me that the foreign students seem so separated from Japanese students. I did a lot of research into the experience that people had while at this school and it seems that, while you made a ton of friends with other foreign kids, making Japanese friends was a bit difficult. I’m sure different people had different experiences but the idea of separated buildings for foreign students and Japanese is a bit iffy and I really don’t like that the dorms are just for foreign students. Buuut, it does have a homestay program which fixes that.

Maria’s Parents’ Choice:

  1. Kansai Gaidai: The money things is really important to my mothers and they also like the fact that my school and Kansai have a working relationship. It makes them feel a bit secure. Also… it is far away from the ocean.
  2. Akita International University: They know this is my first choice and are happy with what they know about it so far and like that it has just dorms (neither parent is hot on the idea of a homestay). It is also an okay distance from the ocean.
  3. Seinan Gakuin: Seinan is in last place here because  my one mother is super paranoid about me being to close to the ocean (I’m sure you’ve been wondering why that has been mentioned in the previous two). She heard about the typhoon that hit Japan a few weeks ago south of Tokyo and the damage and deaths just freaked her out. She doesn’t understand that typhoon’s are basically just like hurricanes. And I live in Florida!! South Florida! Hurricanes are like… a yearly thing!! Regardless of this fact, she does not like that Seinan is so close to the ocean. She is an irrational worrywort but I love her anyway.

So! There you have it! My three paths and the different ways of looking at them and weighing the options. I’ll find out in April whether I will be on any of these paths but I’m willing to wait. In the mean time, I will be amassing scholarships and saving money! Huzzah!

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