Vulcanus in Japan is a well-known programme among engineers and scientists interested about Japan, is the best university scholarship since it began in 1997. It is a program where Japanese companies seek university students of the EU in the fields of engineering and science by offering an internship in their company and a Japanese language course, all handled by the “Centre for Industrial Cooperation EU-Japan”. The internship last a full year, beginning in September and ending on the next August.
Every year in about November the programm is open to apply for a position, with a deadline until early January. Positions are very hard to get and limited; over 1,000 requests from all over Europe, with just some 150 shortlisted of all the applicants, resulting in 10-46 participants depending on the year.
All the documents that have to be sent must be in perfect English, even original documents are requested to have a translation:
- Application Form: Comes in English and must be completed according to the instructions shown in the same document.
- Curriculum Vitae: I suggest an EuroPass CV, but if you have artistic and design skills, nothing keeps you from improving your own.
- Cover letter: Vital part according to most applicants, and selected students, it has to convey to the person reading it your personality, to know you and your motivations. Follow the formal structure and be concise with your words, you have to convince them to choose you (It is advisable to add your reasons for choosing Japan and Vulcanus, and what would make you a good candidate. All this, in perfect English. )
- Letters of Recommendation: Until 2012-2013 there was no limit to the recommendations to send, but now is strongly advised to send 1 at most. (I’ve seen previously people sending 9 letters, now seeking for a more even process for all)
- Transcript of records: Do not fool yourself, your records have a certain weight, but in the end are part of a “whole” along with the other documents, it is understood that no academic degree is easy, but a higher-average result is desirable.
- Rating system of your university: You have to ask the International Relations Office of your university.
- Medical certificate: Specifying that you do not have any illness that can hinder your participation in Vulcanus.
The international profile of the student, and other scholarships or intern periods, are very very valuable regarding your selection chance.
Without forgetting to mention that a good level of English is required (although no language certificates are requested), and willingness and enthusiasm for learning Japanese language.
If, like many others, you too are looking for a great experience in Vulcanus, feel free to stop by his official website, and by the unofficial forum that take in every year applicants.