Road to Ritsumeikan -part 1-

A civilized and educated person won’t lay down on his homeland.
Leave your country and travel to another.
Travel, and you’ll find the replacement of friends and kins
Perservere; the sweets of life are felt after the the bitter of struggle

-Imam Syafi’i

Hello there, comrades! Sorry I’ve postponed this post for sooo long, but alhamdulillah Allah still bless me with enough time to finish this. In this post I would like to use English so that my friends in Japan could understand this too. Thus I’ll try to make it less complicated and more understandable. Kalo misal masih ada yang bingung dan benar-benar serius mau masuk Ritsumeikan (ingat yang benar-benar serius aja loh!) bisa email ke gilang.comrade@gmail.com dan akan dijawab jika ada waktu yah.

So previously, I wrote 4 posts about my experience in preparation for NYUAD’s admission process. (check these posts out!). Unlike NYUAD, my journey towards Ritsumeikan was kind of simple. I didn’t make any thorough research or such. Frankly speaking, how I knew Ritsumeikan in the first place, was quite a coincidence. So here’s the story!


November 2014,

I was still in the process of making essays for my NYUAD admission process. Making thoses essays really impose me a hectic life. Not to mention how NYUAD required us to provide detail documents –with some of them quite trivial, in my opinion.

Within those busy days, Ms. Rini told me that she wanted to make a small education fair in our school. She wanted to invite several Japanese universities to make booths and give presentations. Though the concept of the fair was quite small, she really tried to make it fruitful. Some of the invited universities that I remember are Tokyo International University, Shizuoka University, and of course…Ritsumeikan University.

 

Tokyo International University
Tokyo International University

 

Shizuoka University
Shizuoka University

 

Ritsumeikan University
Ritsumeikan University

Unfortunately, I got sick in the morning, right at the D-Day of the fair. I didn’t know what stroke me the previous night, but I just can’t force myself to attend; I needed a rest. So I gave myself a sleep, and the time I was awaken…It was already around 10.00 in the clock. I felt way better, though I still felt uncomfortable when I walked. Yet, I really felt guilty to be absent in the event. I mean, Bu Rini had prepared so hard for the event, and by not attending it, I think that I was becoming disrespectful for her efforts.

So, I tried to ignore my pain and took my leave to the venue, slowly on foot. When, I arrived on the venue, I was really disappointed: the event has finished, and the universities had started to pack their stuffs and close their booths. All universities, except one: Ritsumeikan University. So I approach the booth and I met the representative, her name is Miss Ade Mirzhanty. When I approached her, she also said that in a minute she’d be leaving. So she just gave me a brief explanation about the admission process and then provided me a brochure. Further inquiries can be sent to her email, she said.

At the end of the day, I started to research about this university. I wasn’t really familiar with the campus, because I didn’t know any alumni of IC that had already studied there. I did know the the name “Ritsumeikan” from APU (Asia Pasific University) which is under the Ritsumeikan Trust. Lots of our alumni went to APU, but none have I seen studying in Ritsumeikan University, the core campus of the Trust. That day, I wasn’t really serious in Ritsumeikan, because from the beginning, I wanted to be a student in NYUAD. I still have big hope to be accepted in NYUAD.

As time passed, I realized that to secure our future, we have to provide lots of plan. Though we have an idealistic target to reach, we still need to prepare a “backup reserve”, in case the worst scenario happens. I also noticed that acceptance rate in NYUAD was really low. Not more that 1 percent will be accepted; the chance is very risky. So after series of consideration, I started to become serious in undergoing Ritsumeikan’s admission process.

ayo Gilang harus semangatt!
ayo Gilang harus semangatt!

Ritsumeikan has many majors to offer. However, there are only 2 majors that are taught in Enlish for undergraduate students. They are CRPS (Community and Regional Policy Studies) under the College of Policy Science and GS (Global Studies) under the College of International Relations. Between both, GS was my choice for sure. When I review this major through its website and other sources, I found this major really appealing. The faculty GS came from a wide range of nation. Some of them even worked in the UN and other International Organizations. GS students also possess the opportunity to undergo exchange program to Ritsumeikan’s Global Partners (you can find the list here)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any senpai in Ritsumeikan (no IC alumni went there before), so I found hardship to know the real condition there. In that state of confusion, I read the brochure that Miss Ade Mirzhanty gave me. There, I found the anwer to my problem.

 

I don't what hit me, but something just told me to open the brochure really carefully
I don’t what hit me, but something just told me to open the brochure really carefully

 

 

I was reading lots of information, when....
I was reading lots of information, when….
...I found this page in the brochure. An Indonesian student in Ritsumeikan!
…I found this page in the brochure. AHA! An Indonesian student in Ritsumeikan!

His name is Abiyan and from what I read, it seems that he studied CRPS, not GS. Though I won’t be attending CRPS, it’s not a wrong thing to ask several questions to him, right? So, I search his name in FB while hoping that luck is in my side. And yes, his account exist! So we started to conversate.

Cukup beruntung untuk bisa mendapatkan orang Indonesia di Ritsumeikan. Namun beliau berada dalam jurusan CRPS (Kebijakan Publik) bukan GS (Hubungan Internasional). Sehingga beliau merujuk saya kepada temannya yang berada pada jurusan GS.
Cukup beruntung untuk bisa mendapatkan orang Indonesia di Ritsumeikan. Namun beliau berada dalam jurusan CRPS (Kebijakan Publik) bukan GS (Hubungan Internasional). Sehingga beliau merujuk saya kepada temannya yang berada pada jurusan GS.

Maka dari informasi Ka Biyan, saya pun mencoba mengobrol dengan Ka Lombardo, siswa GS. Selama mengobrol, beliau memberikan banyak informasi dan beliau sendiri pun jauh dari kesan kaku. Maka saya merasa lebih leluasa untuk bertanya-tanya.

Ka Lombardo
Ka Lombardo Osel Goantara, siswa GS asal Indonesia
Berbicara tentang prospek beasiswa
Berbicara tentang prospek beasiswa
Pada saat itu kebetulan beliau sedang mau pulang ke Indonesia, tapi saya tidak bisa bertemu dia karena lagi di asrama T_T
Pada saat itu kebetulan beliau sedang mau pulang ke Indonesia, tapi saya tidak bisa bertemu dia karena lagi di asrama T_T

From the above conversation, now I understand that Ritsumeikan University might be titled the best university to study International Relation in Japan. Kak Lombardo told me that lots of Japanese who want to pursue IR career, struggle hardly to enter Ritsumeikan. After enough chit-chat, I was convince enough to continue my struggle, knowing that this path is not the weong choice. Later on, I review on the campus’ website to see the requirements that I should fulfill before applying. So here are the requirements:

  1. Academic Report (Translated to English)
  2. TOEFL (min. 71) or IELTS (min 5.5) score
  3. Letter of Reference. It’s just a sort of recommendation made by your teacher to support your application. At that time, I asked Miss Putri to write that for me. And she did fulfilled my request marvelously.
  4. Identities (Passport, ID Photographs, etc.)
  5. 3 Personal and Academic Essays

So I gathered all the documents that’s required (most of them has been ready, cause I’ve collected it before thanks to NYUAD admission), did all the necessary test (only IELTS actually), requested letter of reference and completed the application form. Oh and not to forget mentioning the three essays I had to write:

First essay’s prompt:

Reason(s) why you want to study in Global Studies Major in Ritsumeikan University

Second essay’s prompt:

Write about a past experience that you are proud of and how you intend to apply this experience in Global Studies Major at Ritsumeikan University

Third essay’s prompt:

The World Bank (2013), as indicated in the quote below, observes that Sub-Saharan Africa has made great strides in generating economic growth and reducing poverty between 1999 and 2010. There is an argument, however, that economic growth, although necessary, is not sufficient in itself to meet the challenges of poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries.

Discuss the reasons and factors why this argument can be raised.

The first and second essay was kinda essay for to work on. However, the third essay is an execption. I have to work harder because I wasn’t only required to deliberate my ideas but also support it with real life facts. The ability to think critically and realistically is highly demanded. So I raised 3 specific key issues in regard to the topic which are infrastructure, urbanization and good governance and how it correlate with Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth.  I needed 3 weeks to formulate the third essay, and i t was a great relieve that I can finish it on time.

Kantor Sumitmas di Jl. Sudirman, tempat perwakilan Ritsumeikan membuka kantor
Gedung Sumitmas di Jl. Sudirman, tempat perwakilan Ritsumeikan membuka kantor. Dari sinilah saya mengirim dokumen saya ke International Admission Office of Ritsumeikan University

After I finished all of my essays and completed the necessary form, I went to Bu Ade Mirzhanty (Ritsumeikan’s Representative) in Summitmas Office, Jalan Sudirman. She helped me to pack my documents and after that we sent it to the International Admission Office of Ritsumeikan University through DHL I just need to wait the invitation for interview on March 2015, if my application was worthy enough to pass. As for now, I rewarded myself a nice rest.

to be continued…

 

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