Yes, Japan is expensive. But the cost of study abroad need not be prohibitive. And there are sources of financial aid for overseas study.
The first place to check is your campus international programs or study-abroad office. If you go to Japan through your school's exchange program, your tuition at the overseas college or university you attend will usually be the same as a your tuition at home. If you receive financial aid, it should apply to your study abroad.
Many universities also have special scholarships for study abroad, using funds contributed by foundations, companies, or alumni groups. Ask your Japanese teacher or to the department of Japanese or Asian studies on your campus about these and other scholarships.
In addition to financial aid from your own college or university, there are independent sources of scholarships and grants for study abroad. Many universities and programs in Japan offer their own scholarships to overseas students. Check with the International office at your host school for information.
- Two Full Scholarships to Japan from AFS
AFS-USA is offering two full scholarships for American high school students to study in Japan for one year, beginning March 2012. Applicants should be highly motivated and interested in promoting international understanding. Applications due September 2011; for more information, visit
- Blakemore Asian Language Fellowships
Scholarships for advanced language training for students planning to pursue careers related to Asia.
- Contact: Griffith Way, Trustee
- Blakemore Foundation
- 1201 Third Avenue, 40th Floor
- Seattle, WA 98101-3099
- Tel: 206-583-8778
- Fax: 206-583-8500
- Website: http://www.blakemorefoundation.org
- Boren Undergraduate Scholarships
Government-funded scholarships for study in areas of the world outside western Europe, Canada, and Australia. Recipients are required to fulfill a service requirement by working in higher education or for the US government. Application available online. The national deadline for applications is usually in mid February. However, most campuses have a local representative to assist with the application process. Contact your university's study abroad office to find out if your campus has an earlier deadline.
- Contact: 1400 K St. NW Suite 650
- Washington, D.C. 20005
- Tel: 800-618-6737
- Fax: 202-326-7672
- Web site:http://www.borenawards.org/
- Bridging Scholarships for Study Abroad in Japan
Administered by the Association of Teachers of Japanese and funded by donations from American businesses and foundations, these scholarships offer stipends of $2,500 and $4,000 to American undergraduate students studying abroad in Japan on semester- or year-long programs. Applications are received twice a year, in April and October. Since 1999, more than 1,200 students have been funded for study in Japan.
- Contact: ATJ Bridging Project
- 366 UCB
- 1424 Broadway
- Boulder, CO 80309-0366
- Tel: 303-492-5487
- Fax: 303-492-5856
- Website: http://www.aatj.org/studyabroad/scholarships.html
- College Women's Association of Japan - Undergraduate Scholarships for Non-Japanese Women
For non-Japanese women studying Japanese language, humanities and liberal arts.
- Contact: CWAJ Scholarship NJW
- Lion's Garden Ikedayama #312
- 5-22-2 Higashi Gotanda
- Tokyo 141 JAPAN
- Critical Language Scholarships
The United States Department of State has added Japanese to the list of languages included in its Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program for overseas intensive summer language institutes in critical-need foreign languages. Critical Language Scholarships provide group-based summer intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks. Students may apply for one language, and will be placed at institute sites based on language evaluations after selection. Levels available for Japanese are Intermediate or advanced level. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. While there is no service requirement attached to CLS Program awards, participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Applicants must be US citizens, and must be enrolled in a US degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Website for information and applications: http://www.CLScholarship.org.
- Foundation for Asia Pacific Education
The Foundation for Asia Pacific Education is a non-profit organization located in Denver, Colorado, whose mission is to create global citizens and leaders by assisting students in achieving their personal and professional goals of obtaining cultural and academic experiences within the Asia Pacific region. The Foundation awards scholarships to help enable students to obtain an international experience in any of 32 countries of the Asia Pacific region. Students who are from underrepresented populations in international education are a priority. Applications for four different categories of scholarships are accepted three times a year (deadlines are December 31, April 30, and August 31); scholarships are in amounts ranging from $500 to $2,000. Applicants must be enrolled in a North American college or university where transfer credits from a program abroad will be applied to the degree being earned.
Website for information and application forms: www.asiapacificfoundation.org.
- Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA)
The Freeman-ASIA program provides financial support to American undergraduates with demonstrated financial need to study abroad for academic credit during the summer, semester or academic year in one of 15 countries/regions in East and Southeast Asia, including Japan. Award amounts vary from $3,000 - $7,000 depending on the length of study. The program's goal is to increase the number of Americans with first-hand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures. Upon their return to the U.S., students are required to promote study in Asia by sharing their experiences with peers on their home campuses and in their communities.
More information is available on the program website at www.iie.org/freeman-asia .
- Gilman International Scholarships for Undergraduate Study Abroad
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International
Education, this program enables students who have limited financial means
the opportunity to participate in study abroad opportunities worldwide. The
program provides awards of up to $5,000 for U.S. citizen undergraduate
students at two- and four-year institutions to pursue country-based semester
or academic-year long study opportunities abroad. To be eligible students
must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application and cannot
be studying abroad in a country currently under a U.S. Department of State
Travel Warning or in Cuba. For more information, full eligibility criteria,
application deadlines and the online application please access the Gilman
Program website at www.iie.org/gilman. Application Deadlines for 2013: Summer Programs (4 weeks or longer) - March 5; Fall
Term/Academic Year Programs - March 8; Spring Term Programs - October 15.
Information on deadlines and application forms are available at http://www.iie.org/gilman.
- Harry S. Truman Scholarship
Scholarships for international study for students who show great leadership ability, are interested in government and intend to go to graduate school.
- Contact: Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
- 712 Jackson Place NW
- Washington, DC 20006
- Tel: 202-395-4831
- Fax: 319-337-1204
- Website: http://www.truman.gov
- IES Achievement Scholarships
The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) Achievement Scholarship Program is open to students who will be studying on an IES program and have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or above. IES merit scholarships range from $500 to 50% off the IES program fee. Applications and application requirements can be found at http://www.iesabroad.org/info/finaid.html.
- Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowships
JSPS is an independent administrative institution, established for the purpose of contributing to the advancement of science in all fields of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. As a Japanese national core funding agency, JSPS carries out a variety of programs, including funding research, fostering researchers, and promoting international scientific cooperation. For more information on JSPS's activities and fellowship program, please visit
- Monbukagakusho Scholarships
The Japanese Government Ministry of Education and Science (Monbukagakusho) is offering four types of scholarships for the 2003 or 2004 academic year. The Monbukagakusho scholarships will enable foreign students from 110 countries to study and research a broad range of topics in Japan.
For applications and deadlines please contact the Consulate General of Japan nearest you.
(1) The Japanese Studies Scholarship is a one-year scholarship for university students who wish to pursue Japanese Studies. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students outside Japan at the time of applying and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time when they return to their home countries. Applicants must also be US nationals, over 18 and under 30 years of age as of September 1, 2003, specializing in a field related to the Japanese language or Japanese culture as either a major or minor. Applicants must also have a good knowledge of the Japanese language.
(2) The Research Student Scholarship is available to university or college graduates who have completed 16 years of education. The area of research must be related to the applicant's undergraduate major. Applicants must also be US nationals, be under 35 years of age as of April 1, 2004, and have a high-level of Japanese proficiency. Those applicants with less than a college-level of Japanese proficiency will be asked to participate in a six-month language course in Japan prior to research.
(3) The Senshu Gakko Scholarship is for students who wish to study at Japanese technical or professional schools beginning in the academic year 2004. The term of these scholarships is for three years, from April 2004 through March 2007. One year of Japanese language study is followed by two years of study in the chosen field. Applicants must be US nationals in good health, at least eighteen years and less than twenty-two years of age as of April 1, 2004, and must have completed a twelve year regular course of school training or equivalent before the term of the scholarship begins. Applicants must study the Japanese language and will receive technical training in Japanese. Fields of study available include, but are not limited to: Civil Engineering, Architecture, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunications, Nutrition, Infant Education, Secretarial Studies, Hotel Management, Tourism, Fashion/Dressmaking, Design, Photography.
(4) The scholarship for In-Service Training for Teachers is offered to teachers who wish to study at Japanese universities for professional improvement. Applicants must be under 35 years of age as of October 1, 2003, and be willing to study Japan from October 2003 to March 2005 at a university selected by the Monbukagakusho. In principle, applicants must be university or teacher training college graduates and must work as teachers in primary or secondary schools, or on the staff at teacher training institutions who have at least 5-years experience in their terms of service. University academic staff members are not eligible.
For information regarding the any of the four scholarships listed above, please contact the Consulate General of Japan nearest you.
- Reitaku Foundation of America
Two full scholarships to study for one year at Reitaku University near Tokyo.
- Contact: Reitaku Foundation of America
- 5335 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Suite 900
- Washington, DC 20005
- Tel: 202-537-7423
- Fax: 202-537-7455
- E-mail: email@example.com.
- The Rotary Foundation
Various scholarships for study in Japan at varying levels of language ability.
- Contact: Scholarships Program Supervisor
- The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International
- One Rotary Center
- 1560 Sherman Avenue
- Evanston, IL 60201
- Web site:http://rotary.org
- Sankei Grants for Non-Japanese Students
Scholarships for students of advanced level Japanese to study in Japan.
- Contact: The Sankei Shimbun
- Sankei Media Services
- 1-7-2, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku
- Tokyo 100-77 JAPAN
- Tel: 011-81-3-3275-8696
CIEE Travel Grants
Council International Study Programs awards Bowman Travel Grants to high school and undergraduate students participating in study, work, and volunteer programs in non-traditional destinations (including Japan). Applicants must fulfill at least one of the following eligibility criteria:
--be participating in a program sponsored by Council;
--be enrolled at, or participating in a program sponsored by, a Council member institution or an institution that has been appointed as an Official International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Issuing Office.
Awards will be made in the form of a voucher, to be exchanged at Council Travel for round-trip air travel to the program destination.
Other scholarships offered by Council for its own study programs include:
--Bailey Scholarships, awarded to participants in Council's Study Center or University Direct Enrollment programs. Applicant must be self-identified as a member of an under-represented group in study abroad.
--International Study Program Scholarships. These awards are funded by the International Study Programs Division of Council and are awarded on the basis of need and merit. Applicant must be planning to participate in a Council Study Center program AND be enrolled at a Academic Consortium member school to qualify.
For information on any of these awards, contact Janet Grunwald at Council ISP at 212-822-2686, or 1-800-40 STUDY, x2686.
For complete information and applications, visit Council's web site, http://www.ciee.org/study/scholarships/index.htm. You may also request scholarship information from Council by calling 1-800-40STUDY Specific questions regarding the Bowman Grant should be addressed to Janet Grunwald at 212-822-2686.
Other Sources of Information
International Education Financial Aid
Guide to Internships for College Students
International Education Finance Corporation