Ms. Chou Tsai-Lin, who was studying control systems in the mechanical field at Taiwan University, undertook the Panasonic Scholarship selection test in order to get into the type of research where she could tackle social issues in a more practical manner. As she looks back on her first year in Japan as a research student, she remembers being impressed that she could learn closely from world-famous researchers.
Ms. Chou Tsai-Lin: What was even more surprising was that the university instructors welcomed me, saying “we want to actively accept Panasonic Scholarship students.” This is thanks to the results delivered by earlier students in the program, partly due to the fact that the program provides tuition and living expenses for three years with no requirements for repayment or subsequent employment. This was highly regarded as the scholars could focus on study and research without having to work part-time to earn their living expenses.
Ms. Chou Tsai-Lin says that the scholarship provided not only financial support but also peace of mind. The staff at the Panasonic Scholarship office also gave her considerable support through frequent advice about daily life.
Ms. Chou Tsai-Lin: Since I used to live with my parents in Taiwan, it was my first time living alone as well as living overseas. I was very worried because I had just started to learn Japanese, but the people at the office took care of me as if I were their daughter or sister, and I felt safe as if my family was watching over me. To tell the truth, I failed the entrance examination for graduate school in the fall at the university where I was studying as a research student. I would lose my scholarship for the following years if I did not enter graduate school. I was very depressed when I reported the exam results to the office. But the deputy manager of the office at the time was very kind to me, and gave me advice for the next exam based on his experience watching many scholars. He casually but also frequently asked me how my Japanese study was going, and kept encouraging my willingness to learn. Thanks to that, I was able to pass the exam for the graduate school of the University of Tokyo.