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I want to use the job search support program to find work in Kobe

Kobe International University Faculty of Economics
Nguyen Thi Thao Linh
Vietnam (3 years since coming to Japan)

Please tell us about your studies until this point.

After I graduated from my high school in Vietnam, I studied at my current university for four years. Then, in the fall of 2021 I joined Kobe International University’s Pre-sessional Course (Kokusai Bekka) as a Japanese language research student. After about a year of Japanese language study, I went to continue my studies in the Faculty of Economics in the same university as a third year student. Now I’m taking part in the International Student Employment Promotion Education Program, and am looking for a job.

Why did you want to study abroad in Japan?

I’ve had a great impression of Japan since I was in middle school. The reason for this is that Vietnam receives a variety of support from the Japanese government, so I felt that Japan was an important economic partner for Vietnam. That was the reason I studied in the Japanese language department in university.
But the truth is, I actually wasn’t planning to study abroad in Japan from the start. COVID started to spread in my fourth year of university, and my job search in Vietnam didn’t go well. That was what caused me to start considering study abroad in Japan.

Why did you choose to study about in Kobe?

I actually didn’t consider studying anywhere other than Kobe. Kobe has the ocean, it has mountains, and it also seemed to me to be conveniently located in just the right spot, so that’s where I wanted to go from the very beginning. Since actually coming here, my experience living as an international student has been great.

I’d love to find work in Kobe as well, and I’d love to live in Kobe forever. It’s not as busy as Tokyo, but it’s also not as quiet as the countryside. There are plenty of companies, and I don’t think I’ll have any difficulties finding work here.

What is the Pre-sessional Course (Kokusai Bekka)? What do you study?

There are about 60 international students in the Pre-sessional Course, mostly from partner universities in China and Vietnam. Students can study Japanese language from beginner to advanced level over the course of one year (or a year and a half in the case of longer programs). In addition to Japanese language classes, there are also educational training programs, training in traditional Japanese culture like tea ceremony and calligraphy, and opportunities for exchange between undergraduate students and Japanese students.

The majority of the international students who enter this Pre-Sessional Course go on to study in other courses in Kobe International University. For the students that did continue their studies, many of my friends went on to study in graduate school. Kobe International University has no graduate school, so many of my friends went to nearby Kobe University, Osaka University, or other famous universities and graduate schools to study economics or tourism.

Please tell us about the International Student Employment Promotion Education Program, which you participated in.

The International Student Employment Promotion Education Program offers Japanese language studies, career education, and internships to international students: it’s a job-hunting support program. In this program, student can get N1 certification and learn business-level Japanese. Plus, through company visits, job interview sessions, and internships, students can gain a deep understanding of Japanese corporate culture and smoothly prepare for the job hunt. Participants also receive a monthly scholarship of up to 48,000 yen.。

I got N1 before participating in the program, so I’m currently in the program to prepare to apply for internships. I’m hoping to do an internship at a finance-related company, like a bank.

◎Learn more in this article about Kobe International University: Helping you realize your dreams! Kobe International University’s unique support for international students

How do you think you benefited from participating in this program?

Before participating in the program, I worked as many shifts as possible at my part-time job to try to cover as much of my own living expenses as possible, but now that I’m receiving a scholarship, I’m able to reduce my part-time work hours and focus on my studies and job hunt.

What do you like about Kobe International University?

The thing I like most is that they don’t leave students to fend for themselves. I’m currently preparing for my job search, and it’s an easy time to feel anxious. But I’ve gotten so much support from the teachers in the career center, and they’ve given me so much information. I’m thankful that I can face graduation without any worries.

When it comes to my favorite place at university, I personally like the cafeteria study room. I love that I can study looking out over the ocean after I eat. It’s a relaxing place and I can focus on studying.

What do you do on your days off from school?

I usually go to a language exchange club about once a month to interact with locals. Other than that, I spend most of my time just relaxing at home. Recently, however, I’ve got really into kimonos, and I go to a kimono dressing class about once a week. I am thinking of going out in a kimono on my days off.


Throughout her time at Kobe International University, Linh has challenged herself in an interdisciplinary environment. She is grateful for the support and rich curriculum provided by the university and has high hopes for the future. We look forward to seeing how her study abroad experience will impact her growth and career.