|Programs / Japan|
COMPETITIONS JOINTLY ADMINISTRED
I. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
1. GRADUATE AND POSTGRADUATE STUDIES
The Japanese Embassy in Sofia and the Foundation jointly select the candidates for the Monbusho Japanese state scholarships, which are awarded for graduate studies in all fields of knowledge. Of the total 50 contestants for 2001, 15 succeeded to the final round. Ten of them were approved for long-term specialization in Japan. The high level of the Bulgarian candidates was the reason for increasing the quota for Bulgaria.
The Foundation is grateful to say that Japan covers all expenses, including tuition fees, travel costs and medical insurance. In addition, each student is granted a monthly scholarship of about 1,500 USD by the receiving country. Together with the people who left in 2001, more than 90 young specialists were being trained under this program in Japan. There are Bulgarian scholarship graduates in the universities in Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Tsukuba, Fukuoka, etc. The funds attracted under this program amount to over 2 million NBL.
In 1996 for the first time, the Foundation ran a competition for students wishing to pursue the whole course of their higher education in Japan. Out of 68 candidates who entered the competition in 2001, seven will leave for Japan. With this, the number of Bulgarian students in Japan, sent through the Foundation, nears 45. Before they start their studies in different fields of knowledge, during their first year they learn Japanese, local history and geography, etc. in Tokyo or Osaka. Ms. Zlatina Hristova from Sliven is the only Bulgarian studying at the Medical University in Tokyo. For the first time in the history of the prestigious Tokai University Hitotsobashi there is more than one student from one nationality - these are six Bulgarians. We have Bulgarian students studying in Yokohama, Kobe, and Sapporo.
II. RHETORIC COMPETITION IN JAPANESE
The Foundation and the Embassy of Japan hold a rhetoric competition in Japanese. The competition is for the people learning Japanese in Sofia, Veliko Turnovo and Svishtov. The participants are divided into two age groups, according to the number of lessons they had attended. The winner's award is a visit to Japan as a guest to the Rose Festival of Fukuyama.
III. TEST FOR PROFICIENCY IN THE JAPANESE LANGUAGE
Since 1998, Bulgaria is the second country from Eastern Europe, after Hungary, where the "Test for proficiency in the Japanese language" is conducted. This exam is conducted each year in the first Sunday of the month of December from people for which it is not a native language. In the frames of these 3 years Sofia has shaped up as the center on the Balkans for conducting the exam. In December 2001, a total of 166 people (24 from Macedonia and 22 from Rumania) showed up at the test. Only the two applicants with the best results were awarded with a two-week trip in Japan.