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University of Tokyo (PEAK)

nyankittynyankitty Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
I'm just curious about the PEAK program at the University of Tokyo. I know that this school is extremely competitive in Japan and extremely difficult to get into.

There isn't much information about this program because it is fairly new. The program only started around two years ago, so I don't know whether if it would be worth studying there, since there are also other Japanese Universities that have similar programs that have been around much longer.

I know that there are two programs: Japan in East Asia and Environmental Sciences. I would probably want more information on the Japan in East Asia, since that is what I am more interested in, but any information about this program would be helpful.


Replies to: University of Tokyo (PEAK)

  • SprintsSprints Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    I have two questions for you. Are you already fluent/native in Japanese, and why would a degree from the University of Tokyo help you professionally?

    Unless you are fluent/native in Japanese the classes you are able to take are extremely limited.

    If you plan to get a job in Japan or Asia immediately after graduation getting a degree from the University of Tokyo will definitely help, but I would highly recommend against getting a BA taught in English there. There's a reason why college life in East Asia is described as the "four years of spring vacation"--the quality of the classes (in both English and Japanese) is embarrassing low when compared to classes in the US. This is to compensate the amount of studying the students had to do in high school to get into university.

    Please check your inbox for more specifics on the quality of the University of Tokyo's Japanese language program, the PEAK classes and program in general. If you can't access the message box just let me know. :)
  • alcibiadealcibiade Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    I agree with Sprints about the quality of Japanese education. I lived near Todai 25 years ago, and was often there for my work as a science reporter. Its facilities were shabby, it had few resources for students, and the administration (like the entire society) was ingrown and appallingly parochial.

    Why do you want to study there?
  • nyankittynyankitty Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks for your replies. I am simply curious about the programs they have in Japan for English students. I most likely will not study abroad for undergrad and will probably will just go to a UC or CSU.
    I'm not even sure what I want to major in, but I definitely hope to spend some of my time in Japan.
  • alcibiadealcibiade Registered User Posts: 586 Member
    I like to encourage Americans to go abroad, but I must admit that I am rather critical of Japan.

    I lived there in 1990-91, almost 2 years. After initially liking it, I developed an extremely negative opinion of it. Of course, I discovered a lot and met my wife (a Brit) there, but came to despise the society and its weird limitations.

    Interestingly, I recently went back for the first time since we left and had a good time seeing old friends. If there is anything I can say about it, after 20 years of recession, it is that Japan was even more inwardly turned, in a way that it had accepted its obscurity. After all, I was there right at the the end of its heyday, when it was the epitome of success, etc. Now, the young hardly aspire to leave Japan, which they see as more congenial and convenient - it was quite different when I was there.
  • johnkuangyijohnkuangyi Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    I was just interviewed yesterday for this PEAK Program. Frankly speaking, the interview was not that smooth. Three out of five professors spoke English with strong Japanese accent. Fortunately I speak Japanese and was able to understand most of what they were saying. The questions were quite tough, mainly about international issues and history, because I applied for the Japan-in-East-Asia program. But I think I got them all.

    In order to get into the interview round, you must have a fairly high SATs(or IB or A-Level if you have it). Asian universities pay a lot of attention to scores, although personal statement also matters. Standardized score is the most important thing in applying to any Asian universities.

    Regarding the school's facilities, I think you all do not know the English program is in another campus. It's in Komaba, Meguro-ku and the facilities are quite good. There are lot of international students in this campus so you don't have to worry about student support.

    @nyankitty I see you have an interest in Japan since you wrote nyan in your name. Haha. If you want to find out more about this great program, go to the official website http://peak.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ .You can find the answers you need and if you can't, send an email to the admissions office, who can always answer your questions ASAP.

    btw, @nyankitty, are you American? I have an interest in Japan because I'm Chinese and Japan is simply a small sea away. Why are you interested in Japan? Are you Japanese-American?

    Good luck!
  • nyankittynyankitty Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Interesting. I do not really have a very high SAT score, but I have a pretty good GPA. I go to a very competitive school, so my SAT score looks pretty bad (actually it's just terrible). I really like Japanese culture and I have taken a great interest in Sino-Japanese relations because I am a Chinese American. I have joined so many extracurricular activities that are related to Japan like Japan Bowl, Japanese Honor Society, and the Reischauer Scholars Program, so I have a feeling that I should do something that will allow me to immerse myself into Japanese culture even more. Even though I have a vague idea of what to do, I do not know what type of major would be able to encompass that.

  • WiscogirlinTokyoWiscogirlinTokyo Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    I just saw this post now. I am currently studying at a uni in Japan. I would advise you that studying in Japan for 1 year is ideal. 4 years is too long lol. Well the thing is, Japan is a unique place. There is a lot that you can explore and people are quite interesting. For college life, there is a lot you can do as far as learning the language/ culture and having a college life (as long as you make Japanese returnee and foreign friends as well as Japanese). But, colleges do not have programs as developed as the U.S. A lot of english classes are taught by Japanese professors trying to speak english. Many good classes are in Japanese, which is unfortunate because I wasn't too fluent in Japanese when I started college here. So with the cultural differences and those kinds of classes, 4 years is too long, I tell ya. I know of many classmates who wanted to stay longer (one year study abroaders) and many who started hating and thought about transferring many times. But also I intern with post-graduate international students in the bio lab and people love Japan. So, it really depends on the person whether Japan suits him/her or not. Also, transferring from Japan back to the U.S. is not too difficult these days. you don't have to think you have to stay here (unless you go on a four year scholarship) so I would advise you to try!!!!!
    One great thing about risking living in Japan is, if you do actually like japan, Japan realllyyyyyy loves bilinguals. You will definitely be guaranteed with a job if you get your Japanese skills up :D I have many friends like that.
  • nyankittynyankitty Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thanks for the advice! @WiscogirlinTokyo‌
  • ClairolJuneelClairolJuneel Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Hi @johnkuangyi. Your story sounds interesting and I'd like to hear furthermore about the admission process beacuse I apply for PEAK program this year. Anyway, did the interview scary? How long it lasted? Did the interviewers Japanese, how many of them?
  • ClairolJuneelClairolJuneel Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    @johnkuangyi‌ for your information, i'd like to take environmetal sciences. Any idea what are the questions will be?
  • jjjp48jjjp48 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm applying for Japan in east Asia. What would there questions be like? Please give me an example. Thank you.
  • kiedoukiedou Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    edited August 2015
    Do admissions officers for the Japan East-Asia program only ask social science-based questions, or do they also ask science-mathematics-based questions? I'm not a very strong math-science student and I'm a bit concerned. On the web page, the sample questions under 'Chemistry' and 'maths' were not unsolvable but still concerning
  • nyankittynyankitty Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I actually have no idea what kind of questions are asked because I ended up not applying. I might be able to get some information from someone who got in to Todai as an international student, but thats only a maybe.
  • pllllleaseplllllease Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Hi! I am a freshman in Germany majoring in something similar to ecology. Since I want to get a job at international organizations later, I am thinking about getting masters in environmental policies or STEP. I went to schools in Korea and the states before. I am really interested in applying to PEAK program though, because PEAK's environmental sciences program seems to be way more interdisciplinary than what I am studying in Germany now. (+Honestly, I just like Japanese culture, too) But my question is more of a realistic concern.. about getting jobs and applying to grad schools. If I somehow get accepted and go to PEAK, then I will be two years older when I graduate compared to keep going to german college. Also, German program enables me to learn more in-depth knowledge and be really research-ready. I am wondering what employers or admission officers would think about PEAK program at U of Tokyo vs a german degree.
  • arimakishouarimakishou Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    so did you get accepted into todai?
This discussion has been closed.