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IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP)

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Orientation Program

The JISPA offers the Orientation Program (OP) to newly accepted scholars under the partnership track. The OP aims to ensure that scholars entering the JISPA are well prepared to commence their master’s programs in economics at the partnership universities and to adjust to life in Japan through intensive courses in English, math/computational skills, and Japanese. This program is held from mid-July to late-September (2.5 months), prior to commencing studies at the partnership universities. The OP is conducted at the International University of Japan (IUJ) in Niigata prefecture.

The OP comprises:

  1. a four-week course in academic English (reading, writing, listening, and oral communication skills) and writing tutorial sessions during the subsequent four weeks;
  2. a four-week course in mathematics for economics and introductory econometrics (including statistical software);
  3. a one-week course in introductory economics; and
  4. a one-week course in the Japanese language (including lectures on cross-cultural understanding and field visits).

All of JISPA incoming scholars are requested to participate in the OP. Scholars from countries where the official language is English are exempted from taking the English component, but are requested to participate in the remaining components of the OP.

In addition to the courses mentioned above, the IMF staff will offer lectures on the IMF to introduce its role and functions, as well as contributions made by the Japanese Government to the IMF. Some extracurricular activities are organized by the IUJ to facilitate interaction among the OP participants. The OP aims to develop leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills through social and cross-cultural communication activities.

Message from the Scholar:

Ms. Ni Lar SweWith great disbelief, I finally landed at International University of Japan (IUJ) in early July 2015 to participate in the “Orientation Program (OP)” before proceeding to the formal course work for my studies. The OP was very useful for me as it is designed to provide the essential knowledge and skills that I needed to acquire before joining my two-year Master’s program and to adjust myself to a different social and academic environment prior to my studies. During the OP, among various subjects, computer skills, mathematics for economics, statistics, econometrics and economics were highly useful for me as they are applicable for my research and master courses. Moreover, by attending the Intensive English Program (IEP) which offers the English component of the OP, I had a chance not only to learn academic writing skills, which will be very helpful for my thesis writing, but also to meet and make new friends with my fellow JISPA scholars as well as with other Japanese friends who came from different social and career backgrounds. In addition, the Japanese language and cross-culture course allowed me not only to learn Japanese language and culture, which are obviously useful for my long term stay in Japan, but also to exchange views and ideas with fellow students and professors from many different countries. To sum up, my participation in the OP provided me with valuable opportunities and good experiences, which helped to improve my academic ability and to extend my network with JISPA colleagues and professors.

Ms. Ni Lar Swe
IUJ 2015-2017
Central Bank of Myanmar