In his own words
by Frederick Mannella

I recently was informed that I had won a scholarship to Ritsumeikan University in Japan. The name of this university might sound familiar to some scholars for it is a major doorway for foreign graduate students who wish to pursue their research in the university's renowned state-of-the-art facilities.

Ritsumeikan University in Japan has many campuses throughout the islands, it has always been recognized as an innovative and modern university, its approach is one that can be shared by the global community, and it offers an internationalized education to its citizens, but also to people from abroad. The university that I was accepted into is a branch of the Ritsumeikan, it is called APU Ritsumeikan (Asia-Pacific university). It was created in 2000 and now holds more than 4500 students from all over the world. Its concept is much different from any other university in the world, however I will not dwell over this further; if you wish to find more information please do not hesitate to visit their website at: It should help you more thoroughly.

APU is not only a great university, it is an accessible university. Provided that you fill the basic requirements, you should technically be eligible for acceptance. They require no Japanese skills, only good English. It is also a portal to further studies in any major university in the ASEAN. It has great agreements and is intricately linked with the U.N. and many other major international organizations. I applied to this university based on the available scholarships that were awarded. It offers extensive scholarships prior to enrollment, but after registration as well.

I was accepted to APU and awarded a scholarship that covers my tuition fees, which are expensive given the international nature of the university. I will leave Canada in April 2006 and return in April 2009. My undergraduate program goes under the College of Asia-Pacific studies, specializing in International Governance. This program is practical as much as it is theoretical, in other words we will do lots of fieldwork merged with the basic theories of the program. I will live in Japan, study one of the most promising regions of the world, without having to worry about money too much, I could not ask for anything better!

After receiving my notice of acceptance, came the next step. I had to consider living expenses in Japan, which is rather important for it cost money to live abroad like this. I had to find other sustainable income. The first thing that popped into my head was the Canadian government, so I made several phone calls, checked some stuff over the internet and discovered that the federal government subsidized all its grants to the provinces. I next called the Quebec government and discovered something else; they offer huge amounts of loans and bursaries to students who wish to study abroad.

I am at that stage now, waiting for an answer from the government to know how much money they might be willing to give me.

The point is that everything is possible if you open your eyes, look stuff up and work hard to achieve your goals. The means are at your disposition, people are there to help you out, you simply have to ask yourself, "where is it that I want to go?"

Frederick Mannella