Japan Internship Program
Yesterday, I attended a seminar in Menara Welds regarding Japan Internship Program and thought of sharing this information to those who are interested in joining this program, putting a hold on the planned post of Kuching itinerary.
This internship program is organised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, partnering with Pasona, to attract young foreign talents (20 - 40 years old) from developing countries (OECD/DAC-listed countries) to internship in Japan for a period of 3 months.
Purpose of this program (taken from the website)
- To allow Japan to achieve greater internalisation
- To help small and medium firms for business development and expansion
- To change awareness through working with foreign talents
- To encourage cross-cultural communication
- To build networks and developing in-house system with overseas universities
Who can apply?
- Those who have the same goal as this program
- Citizens of OECD/DAC-listed countries
- Applicants aged 20 - 40 years old (as at 30 June 2017)
- Applicants who could submit a school or university enrollment certificate (aka offer letter) or graduation certificate AND a recommendation letter from university, or if you are currently a working adult, a recommendation letter from your company. (Apparently, they do accept academic transcript if you do not have a graduation certificate). These documents would be needed after you passed all your interviews.
- Proficiency in Japanese (N3 and above) OR proficiency in English (at least Business level would be good)
- Those who could complete the internship and preliminary training full-time at the host company
- Applicants must not have participated this program in 2016. Those who applied but failed to got in could still apply.
What makes this program attractive?
- All expenses from round trip air ticket, accommodation expenses, transportation expenses during internship, travel insurance and internship insurance are fully-subsidised by METI.
- A daily stipend of 4000 yen will be paid to all interns. This includes weekends and holidays. An international student who is currently studying in Japan, however, will not receive the stipend during weekends and holidays.
- May be able to participate in the management of the business as they are all small and medium-sized firms.
- Able to have a sneak peak of the working environment in Japan.
- Able to build a good rapport with other oversea companies, other than Japan, as some of the firms here aim to expand their business overseas.
- A chance to be offered an employment (permanent/contract) from the host company or maybe other companies, if you performed well.
April - June
Recruitment/ Briefing session. These are held in 7 countries: Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India, China, Malaysia, Japan.
Early May - 30th June
Application period. Apply through the website.
End of May - July
Selection period. Applicants' application will be screened and successful candidate will be called for the:
- first interview
- Done in person / skype
- Done in native language/ English/ Japanese
- End of May to Beginning of July
- second interview
- Done in person
- Done in English/ Japanese
- Done by a Japanese Officer
- 2-3 days within 12-19 July 2017
* For those eligible countries, you may do the first interview using Skype but must attend the second interview in the 7 countries stated above.
After interview are completed, do submit:
- the documents stated above
- documents required for visa
- medical questionnaires
July - August
Matching will be done based on your experience/ ability/ qualifications/ requests (eg preferred industry)/ conditions of applicants and the requirements set by the host companies.
Applicants are NOT ALLOWED to choose their host company or which prefectures to go. Same goes to host company, where they are NOT ALLOWED to choose the applicants. The matching would be done solely by the Program Office. About 90% of the successful interns are satisfied with the arrangement and would recommend this program to others. So, there is nothing to be worried about.
The Program Office will then notify the host companies and applicants of the result of matching. If both are satisfied with the agreement, then it is a successful match.
Suitability of acceptance for matched interns will be verified by the Screening Committee and the results would be out by August.
Acceptance and contract would be finalised.
Preparation of internship.
11/9 - 22/11
25/9 - 7/12
8/10 - 21/12
Applicants could choose their preferred internship period and they are to STRICTLY ADHERE to the internship period. As the round-trip fare are provided by METI, applicants could not go earlier or return any later than the specified date.
After the internship, interns would have to submit or present a report.
Example of Host company's industry
- Wholesale (retail)
- Academic Research/ Specialty/ Technical Service
Prefectures (I can't remember all)
Program Intake Success Rate in 2016 (Only Apply to Malaysia)
I thought this may help in determining the success rate of getting in the program, so I asked during the Q&A session. From what they said, about 100 applied, 22 got accepted and 7 got matched (these number they said was somewhat different from what is reported in the website, maybe it is not up to date). Apparently, this year, Pasona HR Malaysia planned to increase the matching rate by 4 - 7 person.
Oh, by the way, only 120 interns would be accepted for this year. Among them 40 interns would be from interns residing in Japan, and 80 would be opened to the OECD/DAC-listed countries.
What do I think about this Program?
It is definitely worth a try for those who dream of working in Japan or hesitate to work in Japan as it gives an insight to the working environment in Japan. If, during the internship, you find that Japan is a good place to work in, you may even drop your resumes into other companies in Japan (apparently, METI did not prohibit interns to do so), or even in other countries. Apparently some of the previous batches had done so and they were accepted into the company they applied to.
Also, it is definitely a good chance for those who could not speak Japanese but still want to work in Japan. Apparently, it is quite difficult for foreigners to work in Japan if they are not proficient in Japanese. This program creates an easier pathway. From what they told me in the 2016 batch, of 7, only 2 could speak Japanese.
Besides that, unlike other organisation where you have to pay for the application or matching fee, there is no such fee applied to this program. You have nothing to lose if you are unsuccessfully matched; and if you are successful, you do not even need to pay a single cent for the whole internship!
I would definitely apply for this program, but not this year, since I have applied for another. Maybe after I complete my ICAEW, it would be a good chance to venture out of Malaysia?? Hopefully by that time this program is still opened for registration.
So, what are you waiting for? Apply now to experience this once in a chance opportunity!! You only have one life.