Below is the general timeframe from departure until returning to your country after graduation.
To see the milestone for selection process, please check the website of each country.
Here are useful links to know the life and culture of Japan for Foreign Student
Claims Auditor, National Health Insurance Authority, Ghana
Masters Program: Graduate School of International Relations, International University of Japan, 2014-2016.
PhD Program: International Development Corporation, Hiroshima University, 2020-2023.
Career before JDS Program:
Prior to my joining the JDS Program, I had been with my organization for over 7 years, leading my team to perform Monitoring and Evaluation functions in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Our core duties were to provide technical support to all contracted healthcare providers in the region and ensure that they adhere to all standard protocols and guidelines. We collect, analyze data and make policy recommendations.
Academic life in Japan
My first impression when I arrived at International University of Japan (IUJ) for my masters program was that, there was a strong student support system and Professors were “unusually” friendly and easy going (in sharp contrast to what I am generally used to in my country). I had a similar impression when I arrived at Hiroshima University in October 2020 for my PhD Program. Well, I guess it’s a Japanese thing - a really good thing I must say. Today, I am pursuing my PhD program because of the strong foundation I received at IUJ under the JDS Program. There was a strong focus on understanding theory and its application to empirical research. Professors were more than willing and readily available to support students with their studies and research. The hands-on approach by many of the courses really strengthened my problem-diagnosis and problem-solving skills. For me, what I liked most about my academic life at IUJ was the fact that there was abundance of resources both at the library and online to support my studies and research (and it has been the same with my time so far at Hiroshima University). I must say it makes things much easier.
Life in Japan
Life in Japan has been a mixed feeling. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things, not only in Japan but across the world. I have not had the opportunity to explore Japan this time as I did during my masters program. My first time in Japan during my masters program was an eye opener. One immediately notices the orderly nature of things in Japan. One unique thing about Japanese people is discipline in everything including always keeping to time - people are always on time to meetings, and the trains and buses are always on time. It really makes life easy. I was quite surprised about how quickly I got to like the famous Japanese sushi once I mastered the courage to try it. I must say the Japanese people are very friendly, even though they may take time to open up to new people. Japan is a very safe place to live.
JDS provides a wonderful opportunity for young government employees to acquire new skills in Japan to contribute to the improvement of their agencies. One unique thing about JDS is that it offers one great opportunities to interact with Japanese companies and foster win-win relationships. Japan offers a friendly environment and a world class academic facilities for studies. Above all, the sense safety is virtually comparable to none.
Principal Secretary, Office of the Chief Ministers and Council of Ministers, Province No. 2, Janakpur, Nepal.
University: Meiji University, Graduate School of Governance Studies
Before the JDS progamme
I was leading one of the districts as Chief District Officer under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Nepal, before starting my study in Japan. Sindhupalchok, the district where I worked, was the most affected area by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. Though the primary responsibilities were to maintain peace and security, law and order, and coordinate all development activities by government organizations, non-government organizations and the local governments, carrying out rescue, providing relief and planning rehabilitation were the primary concerns after that deadly disaster hit the district.
Academic life as a JDS fellow
I studied in Meiji University under public policy theme and carried out research on “Capacity Development of Local Government Public Servants”. Being a high level bureaucrat with rich experiences of different agencies in the home country, I choose several courses related to my working area/job responsibilities and they were really exciting. Learning by experiences, interacting with local peoples and communities, analyzing success stories and organizing wide varieties of seminars, workshops and symposiums, practical knowledge, skills and experiences were achieved. And such events gave me immense opportunities to share my experiences and also shared information about my country, societies and cultures. Participating in “the best practice competition” in the municipality among cities was one of the most impressive program I have ever seen. Such program contributes to develop and promote new and creative initiations in the local governance.
Life in Japan
The life in Japan was really exhilarating. Highly developed cities with excellent infrastructure, reliable and punctual transportation, sophisticated technology, consumer-friendly market and healthy environment provided me unforgettable life memories. Wide varieties of delicious cousins, rich culture and disciplined, cooperative and supportive behavior of the Japanese people are also attracting people around the globe.
Returning back to own country
Nepal is just practicing federalism where the Local Governments are major units in governance. Providing effective, efficient, reliable and quality public services to the people, competent local government is an important element. Without capable human resources, municipalities cannot produce good results. Having good experiences of Japanese knowledge on the capacity development of the local employees, I feel more comfortable in designing capacity development programs, allocating resources and conducting programs. Being Principal Secretary of the Province 2 government, and chairing steering committee for the Local Development Training Center under the Province 2 government, I have an opportunity to implement appropriate plan, policy and programs for developing quality human resources at the Local Level. Japanese model of large room for office management, consumer-friendly infrastructure and process simplification with application of information technology are other major elements to referring for governance reform in Nepal. One of the proactive and creative initiations after coming back to Nepal is the application of “Model office concept” under the Department of Land Management and Archive. As this concept promotes consumer-friendly infrastructure with large room, develops capacity of the employees and uses applications/systems to simplify services and provide quality services. These improvements brought positive vibes in the journey of governance reform in Nepal.
The young and career oriented government officials who are willing to enrich their academic knowledge, skills and hands-on experiences with evidence of success in socio-economic development, cultural advancement, civilized society and governance, Japan is a good choice. A beautiful country with diverse academic excellences, paradise of opportunities to learn, share and experience of different social customs and traditions and disciplined and hardworking people, JDS is a good choice and Japan is a good destination for high quality education among others.