IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP)
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:
- a four-week course in academic English (reading, writing, listening, and oral communication skills) and writing tutorial sessions during the subsequent four weeks;
- a four-week course in mathematics/computational courses for economics (including statistical software);
- a one-week course in introductory economics; and
- 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. Since the new academic year of the UTokyo commences on September 1, effective starting from AY2015-16, JISPA-UTokyo scholars are exempted from taking the courses of introductory economics and Japanese language so that they can enroll in the UTokyo on September 1.
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. It aims to develop leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills through social and cross-cultural communication activities.
Message from the Scholar:
Attending a summer intensive Orientation Program (OP) in IUJ was a great and beneficial opportunity. First of all, the OP offered me the essential academic skills and knowledge; for example, the academic English and mathematics skills that I am intensively applying right now in my master course. In addition, it provided me with a meaningful stage for culture sharing and exchange, where I had a good chance to introduce my country’s culture and learn about various cultures from other OP participants. More importantly, building a friendship network, both with Japanese and foreign students including my JISPA colleagues, was an unforgettable memory and experience. All in all, joining the OP has enabled me to improve myself professionally, gain new interesting experiences, and make new friends.
Ms. Sansany PHERMMASARNSACK
Bank of the Lao PDR