PEAK Scholarship Program
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences
●Globalize the campus through exchanges and interactions between PEAK students and Japanese students
●Nurture outstanding students who will assume a leading role in Japan and around the world
Photograph (right) by Yushi Ozeki
What is PEAK?
PEAK (Programs in English at Komaba) is an English-language course established at the College of Arts and Sciences in October 2012, based on the concept of nurturing students with a global and pioneering spirit. PEAK is the first course of its kind at the University of Tokyo, where students can gain an undergraduate degree entirely through study in the English language. PEAK is generally intended for students who have completed their primary and secondary education in a language other than Japanese. The selection of students by the Admission Office (AO) is based on both document screening and an interview.
(For futher details, please refer to the website of the College of Arts and Sciences).
Necessity of the PEAK Scholarship Program
Before I received the information about the scholarship, my mother was still worried about how she would be able to support me financially. She did not want to stop me from going to Japan because it had been my dream since I was in middle school. I was planning to take up a part-time job so that I could decrease the pressure on my mother, but she was scared that if I did that, my grades might suffer. However, when I received the email about the scholarship, it was an instant yes. I knew I had nothing to worry about and I could study in Japan without burdening my mother. I think the most significant impact of the scholarship is that I can stay focused on my academics and put all my effort towards achieving my highest potential.
Even before sitting for my O and A level exams, I had a good idea of the high costs involved in attending the most prestigious and reputed universities in the world, but I hoped and believed that a miracle might come to me if I did really well academically. That miracle came when I not only got accepted at the University of Tokyo, but was offered a merit based scholarship, without which I would not have been able to study at the University of Tokyo. The scholarship gave me the opportunity to learn from the best. I can now work towards my long term goals and try to reach an influential position from which I can make decisions that will benefit society. Thanks to the scholarship’s support, I can put my attention and efforts solely towards my studies instead of thinking of tuition, living expenses, and such matters. Overall, I am grateful beyond words for the scholarship, which has given me the opportunity to study in Japan at a World Class University. But, being given such an immense gift, I believe I must work hard and someday give back by benefitting society and helping others reach for their dreams.
Joining the PEAK program at the University of Tokyo was a life changing decision for me. For the first time, I got to interact with many international as well as Japanese students on a day-to-day basis. The teachers and classroom environment here has been an interactive and enriching experience. The university’s dedicated staff have been extremely helpful in assisting international students. Registering our addresses, opening bank accounts, and getting our health insurance have all been arranged by the staff. There are also exciting trips planned every month for international students.
The scholarship covers my administration and tuition fee for the first semester and also provides a monthly stipend. The scholarship has helped me adjust to life in Japan. The price of everyday goods and food in Japan is considerably higher than that in my home country Malaysia. Having a scholarship helps to ease the financial burden on my family. It also provides comfort especially to my parents, knowing that I have enough money to spend for my day-to-day necessities.
Put simply, my scholarship has made it possible for me to study in Japan. Living overseas and studying at a prestigious university like the University of Tokyo would have been merely a dream had I not been fortunate enough to receive a MEXT scholarship. There are many great opportunities to study in my home country that would have been less financially demanding. However, my scholarship has given me peace of mind about studying at the University of Tokyo and has enabled me to venture into something new, challenge myself, and get involved in the many facets of university life.
My career goals are to work in international law, diplomacy, or public policy development. Coming to Japan and studying in the PEAK Program has given me the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest academics in Asia and meet like-minded individuals from around the world. In doing so, I am building solid, international networks that will carry on well into my professional career. The scholarship has been my key to a whole new range of possibilities – ones which I cannot wait to explore over the coming years.
The opportunity to encounter PEAK students with their diverse cultural backgrounds opened up a whole new world for me, as I had never travelled outside of Japan before. What is more, the experience of engaging in activities together with PEAK students for the university festival was extremely helpful in improving my communication skills, helping me to learn things I would never have experienced in a classroom environment. From now I hope to continue to build a large international circle of friends within the university and work to further build upon the leadership and other skills I have gained so I can put them into action in an international context.
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