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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, mathematics/introductory econometrics, introductory economics, 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 a selected university in Japan.

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 JISPA incoming scholars are requested to participate in the OP. Scholars from countries where the official language is English or those with high English proficiency 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 selected university 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 SweI have to say the Orientation Program (OP) was the excellent initiative. It truly gave me a ready-to-study momentum and an authentic experience that got me well-prepared for both my upcoming one-year academic journey and social undertakings in Tokyo. Every feature of the whole course—English, mathematics, economics, and econometrics was well-designed. Their combined attributes equipped me with solid ground, enabling me to have faster catch-up during my actual study; otherwise, I might have faced a tough time. Specifically, the academic English component featured a critical as well as logical way of writing style that is deemed necessary for conducting my policy paper; mathematics proved useful in a sense that it gave me an analytical framework of economic thinking and computation; economics accommodated me with fundamental economic thoughts; and I got a much clearer understanding of quantitative research techniques in the econometrics class.

Even more to say, I got a chance to build networking with my JISPA peers, who are government officials and central bankers with years of practical experience from many Asian countries. At the same time, there were times of joyful interactions with Japanese students experienced in a variety of skills as we jointly attend the English course. Besides, I managed to learn and understand many aspects of Japanese culture, including a week of Japanese classes.

My final message is that OP was quite beneficial and meaningful for me, and the next participants should take the fullest benefit from it. I am thankful to the Government of Japan and IMF for having me a part of JISPA and making me experienced with such a wonderful academic journey in Japan.

Mr. Chantha Mengly
GRIPs 2016-2017
Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia