In the previous two months I have received several emails from students applying for the Monbukagakusho scholarship in Jordan. Monbukagakusho is the scholarship gifted by the Japanese government to four or five Jordanian students every year to pursue their studies in Japan. Its the same scholarship that gave me a once in a life time chance of studying in Japan..
Given that being selected is hard due to the large number of application, students were asking for help and guidance about filling their application. I tried to help as much as I could wishing them all the best..
Unfortunately a while later I have received emails from the same students saying they were not selected. Some were mad, some were sad, some felt they were unlucky. Some were asking me if the selection is fair, or if there are other external factors affect the selection..
I couldnt answer by email due to lack of time, so I will answer all of them here.
I would definitely say yes, the selection is fair. There are certain criteria that they look for in your application or during the interview. They first scan your appliction and add the points you deserve on what you have written there, then you do an exam (or two, depends on the regulation that year), then an interview. On my year from 100s of students only 4 were selected and travelled together to Japan.
In your application the advice I can say is be as honest as possible. Do not exaggerate in your feelings toward your major nor toward Japan. Do not write poems, just write whats inside your head. Be direct, say I want the scholarship so I can do 1 2 3 in Japan or after the graduation. Be honest, ofcourse. If you have never learnt Japanese, say so. Describe the main idea of your field and show why its important to continue researching in such an area. One important advice is, stick to the rules and guidelines of the scholarship. Read them once, twice, ten times, until you memorize them and understand them all. Its essential that you submit an application restricted to the guidelines of the embassy.
Whats not to do?
Do not give your application to someone else to write it for you.
Do not exaggerate or lie to show yourself better than your real self.
Do not copy previous applications from people who already got the scholarship.
Do not ask people you know in important positions to help you win the scholarship (wasta!).
So whats next?
I can tell you that if you deserve the scholarship you will get it, at least eventually. Yes, if you fail you can apply again. Do not lose hope. Check your application and choose what you think is your weakest point, and work on improving yourself there. You still have a year to apply again so plenty of time to submit a better application.