I am currently a top master’s student at one of the Middle Eastern universities and due to lack of research facilities in my country, I am going to Japan to join a research project this summer for three months at the University of Tokyo. Deep inside, I want to continue my master’s and PhD there, directly after the project ends and I am planning to work very hard to prove my eligibility for the opportunity.

But I don't know how applicable this is and how this would happen. I would like to ask if somebody had a similar experience and also if I should ask the professor directly at the end of the project.

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    Why don't you ask your supervisor at Todai instead? You will be much better off doing that than asking strangers on the Internet. – xuq01 May 26 '18 at 1:32
  • It depends on your field, too... – xuq01 May 26 '18 at 1:33
  • Asking for similar experience is very much like a poll and not likely to get you any answer for such a specific situation. Rather focus on a specific choice you have to make, e.g., how and when to act. – Wrzlprmft May 26 '18 at 7:47
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    Also, do I understand correctly that you wish to seamlessly continue in Tokyo after the project? (I am asking because you are suggesting to take steps at the end of the project and I cannot imagine any procedure being that fast.) – Wrzlprmft May 26 '18 at 7:52

It's impossible to answer definitely without (a) knowing the exact way that you will be studying in Japan for 3 months and (b) the thoughts that the people you will study with both have now and will have at the end of your 3 months.

With that being said, I want to suggest two reasons to not get your hopes up.

  1. you state that you will be at the University of Tokyo. This university has the highest prestige ranking in Japan so there are many Japanese people that want to study there or go there to continue graduate school. This means that they have a harder time playing fast and loose and admissions are competitive (some Japanese universities have rather non-competitive graduate admissions).

  2. many funding sources that would bring you for three months have an expectation that you go back to your own institution after that. Some may have terms that prohibit staying (if the idea was to stick around immediately) or terms that prevent receiving further funding to study in Japan (most everything here is run by MEXT so the same people would know).

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