2. Japan universities like those universities in Europe and Australia offer research-focused doctoral degrees that can be completed in 3 years; unlike in US universities where it takes approximately 5 years.
3. From my e-mail conversations with Prof. Jin Yoshimura, I felt that he is a nice person and I can learn many things from him. He studied in State University of New York and worked at Duke University, Imperial College, Binghamton University and University of British Columbia, hence, I know that I will not have problems with english communication. He also published books and several papers in top journals, and he is well known in Japan because of his research about periodical cicadas.
4. Shizuoka University is a national university so quality of education is assured. Moreover, Shizuoka University is located at the center of Japan (near Toyota and Nagoya, between Tokyo and Osaka-Kyoto) where Mt. Fuji is located. Shizuoka prefecture is a beautiful and prosperous place. International companies also have headquarters in Shizuoka, such as Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawai and Roland (I was able to visit the headquarters of Suzuki and Yamaha). Professors in Shizuoka University collaborate with the industry (e.g., Sony, Mitsubishi, Hamamatsu Photonics, etc.). The founder of Honda and the father of Japanese television are two of the famous personalities from Shizuoka University.
5. I am a scholar of the Japanese Governement so I do not worry with my finances.
6. I chose to study in Japan because it is near Philippines. My plan is to visit Philippines often because I easilly get homesickness. My family and friends can also easily visit me in Japan.
7. I love Japanese culture (food, anime, work habits, etc.). I want to learn Japanese discipline. I want to experience how to live in a first-world country with four seasons and high technologies. I want to learn their language and culture. I want to know how they managed to rise up quickly from defeat during World War 2 and became a world economic power (an economic miracle).
8. I decided to study abroad for experience and avoid in-breeding in UP.
9. Studies in Shizuoka University use local, Asian and international perspectives. I want to emphasize the "local" and "Asian" perspectives while maintaining global point of view --- because I want to serve my country, the Philippines, which is located in the ASEAN region.
10. In my laboratory in Shizuoka University, I have full freedom, that is why I can also attend schools and conferences in other countries. My laboratory also provides me all necessary equipment and funding for research.
11. I am also not the only Filipino in Yoshimura laboratory so I know I will not feel alone. There are many foreign students in Shizuoka University.
Pictures of my stay in Japan: