Monday, February 3, 2014

It's about The Dream to Study in Tokyo

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
- Eleanor Roosevelt -

Since I was a high school student, I had a dream to study and live in Japan. I know that Japan is leading the development of science and technology nowadays, especially in Asia. For a computer science student, pursuing a graduate degree in Japan become one of the best achievement in life. However, I realize the struggling to make it true is not that so easy. I am a dreamer, and honestly I know how to obtain it. I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Yeah, I have to do many things to bring me closer to the dream; Study in Japan, the land of sakura leaves, the land of sunrise.

The story was begun on August 2013, I accidentally read an information in facebook, actually the guy who share the information was my lecturer in undergraduate school. He was studying in Japan for his Doctoral. The information was about a scholarship and graduate school enrollment for international student in Tokyo Institute of Technology. The name of this program was International Graduate Program (A) / IGP (A). If I were a traveler who lost in the outlandish desert, this information definitely was like fresh water in the center of the desert. OK, I am a bit overwhelmed. You guys can get the information about the program the this bellow


Whooaa... I was excited that time. I promised myself to apply to this program. I searched as many as information about it; the procedure, the dateline, and the chance to be accepted to this program. The more I know, the more curious I am. 


The program itself required prospective students to receive an acceptance letter first from a professor in the department they want to enroll before applying to the program. I started from preparing the documents for application and sending email to some professors in Department of Computer Science. I made a list of professors based on the priority which matched with my interest. First, I sent email to Prof. AF (for some reasons, I just make an initial for his name) about the chance to be his student, then he answered on next day. "What a surprise. He replied me only in a day??", I didn't believe it. He asked me to prepare a research proposal and send it together with a paper that I submitted to an Indonesian national conference and an abstract of my bachelor thesis as soon as possible. I wrote my research proposal related to Natural Language Processing and Recommendation System in a week. After I finished it, I sent it to Prof. AF. Again, He replied only in a day. I felt ashamed because he replied my email faster than what I did. 

In his email, Prof. AF said that he was interested to my proposal and he wanted to listen it in the presentation style. It would be held via Skype soon. Anyway, there is a thing that made me afraid was he asked about the statistics that show the quality of my university. It's important for him to persuade me as a candidate of IGP(A) in TiTech. I was totally panic since I know my university is not a reputable university (even) in Indonesia and the ranking in the world university ranking is extremely bad if i compare to TiTech. I actually don't know this situation can be a huge consideration for him accepting me as a student. Honestly, I felt jealous with you guys who have opportunities to study in UI, ITB, UGM and many best universities in Java land. You must be very intelligent and happy

Presentation Day 1

Before the presentation day, I prepared all materials, especially the research proposal, and the environment which I used for the presentation. I was nervous because it was my really first presentation with a Japanese Professor, and it was held on Skype. I didn't know how to settle my self during the presentation. And the day has came... I was in the office that time, and I begged my friends to keep silent during the presentation. After that, Prof. AF call me on Skype, then I answered him carefully.

"Hello, Teguh. Nice to meet you", he greeted me friendly. I thought he must be a kind person.

Still in the nervous phase and can't escape from this trap, I answered "Nice to meet you to Prof", trying to smile but I was failed, even precisely plain and without any expression :|

"You can start your presentation whenever you ready, Teguh", he kindly persuaded me to begin it.

And the presentation begun...


At the first 10 minutes, it run very well until the internet connection disturbed our meeting. Skype stopped suddenly, then of course I was extremely afraid to this situation. Since that time Prof. AF and I got enormous obstacle for continuing our meeting; lack of sound quality and bad video quality. We tried to force stop the video and connected it again, but still it didn't help much. I sent email to Pro.AF as quickly as possible after this accident, apologizing for what happened to my internet connection. Alhamdulillah, he could understand it, fiuh... I breathed deeply. Actually, on that time he could stop my presentation whenever he wanted to, yet he gave me another chance to present my proposal on the next day because of this first 10-minutes spent only for my paper presentation. I need more time to exhibit the research proposal in more details. Deep inside of my heart, I immensely desired to make it as the best presentation ever. I got many surprises since I met Prof. AF through Skype. The other thing that made me surprised was he apologized for this inconvenience because he thought it might come from his environment. I was shocked, what a wonderful-heart person he is. Until now, I amaze with Prof. AF personality, it makes me become more interested to study under his supervision. I feel like wanna scream and say "Please accept me as your student, AF-sensei...!!!!"

Presentation Day 2

Second day presentation was held on next day, because I was lack of time so I didn't prepare anything instead the environment for presentation. I hoped today presentation would be run smoothly, and I could enchant Prof. AF with my research. Then he will accept my as a student without any consideration. What a nice plan, isn't it?

It was very important day for me, because it would be the day that determine whether I passed the interview section or not. Again, I was extremely nervous that day. In this presentation, I explained the whole things about the proposal and the aims of my research. But, one thing that I couldn't explain was the distinction and the differences of this research with the previous research. Ouch...!!! I screamed loudly in my heart because I couldn't define the prominent thing in a research, the soul of a research itself. That was made me like a boxer who was got a deathly jab from a professional boxer. I was K.O that time. Due to this situation, Prof. AF suggested me to modify my research paper and sent it to him soon. I accepted his suggestion and started to do it with my best effort. A couple weeks later, I sent him the proposal and he told me to wait until he informed me the result. I always pray for the best result which I obtained on the next few weeks.

November 21, 2013, I received an email from Prof. AF. He declared to accept me as his student if I would be passed the exam from TiTech and he told me to sent all the required documents directly to Tokyo before the dateline. After that, I prepared all the documents and a week later, I sent it to Tokyo with hope I will be accepted as a student in Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Two months have passed away, I haven't received anything from either Prof. AF or TiTech. I was really afraid that I couldn't pass the document screening. My thought had a reason because usually a prospective student would have an interview from some professors in the laboratory they enroll as the last examination to be accepted in university. In my case, I haven't obtained anything. So, I sent email to Prof. AF telling about my condition and asking everything that I really want to know from him. I hope he will reply my question to make sure I am succeed or not.

For me it doesn't matter if I am succeed or not in this time, because the important thing is I will always continue to do best efforts to study abroad, especially in Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan :D

Updates (March 30, 2014):
I received a letter from the graduate school that I could not pass the entrance examination. Soon, I sent an email to Prof. AF to appreciate him after giving me this such an opportunity to achieve my goal. 

1 comments:

miwwa said... Reply To This Comment

A big dream followed by a big effort.. great job guw!!

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