Pre-Arrival FAQs• Accommodation
A: We will finalize the allocation of rooms in TIEC in the second half of August and you will be notified by then. If your application is successful, you'll be able to move in from October 1.
A: No, Room change within TIEC (eg from Single to Couple Room) during the academic year is not possible.
A: If a room allocated to GRIPS is vacant for more than 40 days we will loose that room from the next year, and we can thus not afford and allow students to move out of TIEC halfway during the academic year.
A: No, see the answer to the previous question. If you are planning to have your family join you at some stage during your studies, your options are either to apply for Couple or Family accommodation in TIEC from the beginning, or to opt for accommodation outside TIEC from your arrival in Japan.
A: No, Couple Rooms are for students with accompanying spouse only. TIEC does not allow you to have children stay with you in a Couple Room - no matter how small they are.
A: No, it is strictly prohibited for more than one person to occupy a Single Room in TIEC. If your family visits you for a short period, you will have to find accommodation for them elsewhere.
A: The number of Family and Couple Rooms allocated to GRIPS in TIEC is extremely limited and if your family is planning to visit you for less than three months you are not eligible to apply for a Family or Couple Room. You can apply for a Single Room and find additional accommodation for your family when they come and visit you in Japan. Even if you are to stay with your family elsewhere, you will have to pay the rent for TIEC. Alternatively, you may opt for accommodation outside TIEC throughout your stay in Japan where you can have your family stay with you.
A: Housing in downtown Tokyo is expensive so most of our students not staying in TIEC find accommodation in the suburbs of Tokyo (Saitama, Chiba etc.). If you need our assistance in finding alternative accommodation, we can help you make arrangements for one of the large public housing complexes in Saitama. Of course, you are more than welcome to find accommodation yourself but GRIPS will only be able to assist you with the above public housing arrangement.• Accompanying Family
A: Until you have arrived in Japan and until you have enrolled as a student at GRIPS, there is no formal relationship between GRIPS and yourself. Therefore, as a rule - not ours, but the Japanese Ministry of Justice's - there is nothing we can do in terms of issuing supporting documents for a proper one-year dependent visa for your family.
So even if you have been allocated a Couple or Family Room, GRIPS can assist you with inviting your family (spouse and children) only after your arrival in Japan. The Student Office will start assisting students with obtaining family visa from the second week of October, 2011.
A: No, we very much discourage you to do this since, in principle, a tourist visa is non-extendable nor can it be converted into a long-term visa. This means your family would have to leave Japan after 3 months. Secondly, if on a tourist visa, your family would not able to enroll in any medical health insurance program in Japan which, with health care being prohibitively expensive, would put you into very big trouble if your children or spouse would need medical attention.
A: Procedures differ from country to country so you are advised to contact the Japanese embassy in your country and ask what documents you need to submit to obtain visa for your family members.
In most cases your family will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility in Japan for which you may need to bring to Japan your Marriage Certificate in the case of spouse, Birth Certificates in the case of children and a copy of the passports of your accompanying family members. Please note all documents in foreign languages must be translated in Japanese. Only officially authorized translations are accepted and must be submitted together with a copy of the documents in the original language (students from China also need an authorized copy of the original document). The Japanese Embassy in your country can probably take care of translating and/or authorizing translations but please ask them for further advice on this matter. If you do not bring authorized Japanese translations of the required documents it may considerably slowdown the visa application process.
A: No, the Couple and Family accommodation in TIEC is for students with accompanying spouse and children only. If you are allocated a Couple or Family Room in TIEC, you need to provide evidence of the relationship with your family members who are intending to accompany you well before arrival in Japan (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificates). GRIPS can provide family visa support only to your spouse and children.
A: Yes, the Student Office can assist you in finding schools in the area you are going to stay. Unfortunately, space cannot be reserved or guaranteed. Schools admit children in April, but you must apply several months before admittance. You can start the application procedures only you are registered in Japan.
There are two types of pre-school education/childcare: "hoiku-en (nursery school)" and "yochi-en (kindergarten)". Eligibility requirements for "hoiku-en" are more severe since they are intended for preschoolers to the age of six whose guardians are unable to take care of them because of work/study, health problems, or responsibilities to sick or elderly family members. To be eligible for "yochi-en", it is not necessary for both parents to have full time jobs or be full time students.
Elementary school is considered compulsory education, so public schools are required to admit any registered child. All public school classes are conducted in Japanese and, in general, there is no special support for foreign children. Obviously, older children will have difficulty keeping up with the work in advanced classes.
A: For public kindergartens (yochi-en), the one-time admission fee is currently 2,000 yen while you have to pay a monthly fee of 6,500 yen. In addition, there are some other costs and miscellaneous fees. The cost of "hoiku-en" depends on your income in the previous year. You will need to submit proof of your previous year's income. Elementary school provides textbooks, but you must pay for other expenses such as gym clothes and shoes (around 10,000 yen per year) and a lunch fee (around 5,000 yen per month). Depending on your income, you may qualify for a partial subsidy from city hall.
A: International schools in Tokyo are outrageously expensive. It may cost up to around 30.000 USD a year to send your child to an international school so this is not an option for those who have to support their families on scholarships.
A: In principle yes, but only with the permission from the immigration authorities. Working without permission is illegal and can get you and your spouse into serious trouble. To get permission, your spouse has to apply for it at the Immigration Office before taking up any job.• Health Insurance
A: No, GRIPS requires international students and their dependents, to enroll in the Japanese National Health Insurance (NHI) system for the duration of their studies, from the time of arrival in Japan. Membership of a health insurance scheme in your home country does not exempt you from having to enroll in the NHI. However, some students who are covered by their government's health insurance schemes may be exempted from the NHI requirement. Please consult with the Student Office.
A: Formalities are carried out by the municipal office of the region in which you live. The GRIPS Student Office will help you with signing up for the National Health Insurance System immediately after your arrival in Japan.
A: You will have to make monthly (or 6-monthly, depending on where you live) payments of the insurance premium. Upon joining the National Health Insurance System you will receive a National Health Insurance Certificate. If you show your certificate at the reception desk when you receive medical treatment, you will need to pay only 30% of the incurred medical costs.• Living Expenses/Financial Matters
A: Of course, expenditures will differ from person to person so the following is just a rough estimate of monthly living expenses for a single person in Tokyo.
|What||How Much (yen/per month)|
|Accommodation rent||35,000 ~ 60,000|
|Insurance (health, accident, property)||2,000|
|Books and study materials||5,000|
|Leisure & hobbies||20,000|
|Total||152,000 ∼ 177,000|
A: You are advised to bring at least 100,000 Japanese Yen or its equivalent in US Dollars (currently about USD 1000) for your immediate expenses (taxi, hotel, initial living expenses etc.). For those students receiving a scholarship through GRIPS, please be informed that you will not receive your first stipend until the second half of October?• Curriculum, Academic Resources, Graduation Requirements
A: GRIPS provides laptop computers to all students in the Master's programs except those in the JLC and EDM program. The laptops are institute property and are loaned out at no cost for the duration of your studies at GRIPS.
The laptops can be used both on and off-campus. The GRIPS campus is equipped with wireless local area network so students can access the Internet anywhere on campus.
A: Information about the curriculum and graduation requirements for each program can be found at the Master's Programs page GRIPS website and the GRIPS Bulletin For more detailed information on individual courses, reading materials etc., please check the online GRIPS syllabus at the GRIPS website.
A: We're working on it. Information will become available sometime soon.
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