Study Abroad in Japan: Bridging Scholarships

The Bridging Project offers scholarships to American undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs in Japan. Funding from private foundations and major U.S. corporations, through donations to the nonprofit US-Japan Bridging Foundation, makes it possible to award about 100 scholarships each year to assist students with the travel and living expenses they will incur while studying abroad in Japan for a semester or an academic year. Applications are accepted twice a year for Bridging Scholarships.


Applications for scholarships for study abroad in Japan during Fall 2018 and academic year 2018-2019 must be submitted by April 11, 2018. Our online application form can be accessed by clicking the link below:

For directions on what is needed to apply, please scroll down to "INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICANTS" below. If you prefer to submit a paper application, you can download the fillable application form that is posted there.


Undergraduate students majoring in any field of study are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Japanese language study is not a prerequisite. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must be enrolled as undergraduates in a college or university in the United States before and during the time they are studying abroad. Their study in Japan must last for at least 3 months and must earn credit that will transfer to their home campus in the US.

Bridging Scholarship recipients receive a stipend of $2,500 (for students on semester-long programs) or $4,000 (for students on academic year programs). Students studying in Japan on summer programs are not eligible to apply.

Each scholarship recipient will be expected to send a brief report about his or her study in Japan to the AATJ office within 90 days of returning from abroad. These reports will be valuable both for students who plan to study abroad in Japan and for teachers and advisors who are helping students to select suitable programs of study.


Twenty-six students have been awarded Bridging Scholarships to study abroad in Japan during Spring 2018. The list of recipients, their home schools and destinations in Japan can be found HERE.

Eighty-eight students were awarded Bridging Scholarships to study abroad in Japan during Fall 2017 and academic year 2017-2018. The list of recipients, their home schools and destinations in Japan can be found HERE.


The Bridging Scholarship program is sponsored and funded by the US-Japan Bridging Foundation, through contributions from a number of corporations, private foundations, and individual donors.

Contributors to the 2017-2018 Bridging scholarships include Aflac Japan, AIG Holdings KK, Ronald and Maria Anderson, Bridging Scholars Alumni Scholarship Fund, Paul Clawson, Exxon Mobil G.K., the Freeman Foundation, Yoshiaki Fujiki, Robert Grondine Memorial Scholarship Fund, Ellen Hammond and Yasuo Ohdera, Chris Herbert, Harry and Yumiko Hill, Ichigo Asset Management, Amy Jackson, the Japan Foundation, Stephanie Klapper, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc., Patricia Maclachlan and Zoltan Barany, Deanna Marcum, Elliot Maxwell, E’Narda McCalister, Mission Value Partners, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Morgan Stanley Japan, Anne Nishimura Morse, Robert and Janette Noddin, Oak Lawn Marketing, ORIX Americas Miyauchi Charitable Foundation, T.J. Pempel, Susan Pharr and Robert Mitchell, Thierry Porté and Yasko Tashiro Porté, Bradley Ramos, the Roche Family Foundation, Leonard Schoppa, Megan Schufreider, David Sneider, George and Brad Takei, Temple University-Japan Campus, Toyota Motor North America, the U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI Initiative, the Ira Wolf Memorial Scholarship Fund, Adam Wolf, Jeanne, Eloise, Evan, Lyla, and Lacy Wolf.


Applications for study in Japan beginning in Fall 2018 should be submitted to AATJ by the deadline of April 11, 2018.

Please submit the following to the AATJ office, either by applying online at the link below or by using the application form that can be downloaded from this website (see below):

Whether submitted electronically on on paper, your application should include the following:

  1. An application form.
  2. A short essay (up to 500 words) introducing yourself, explaining your interest in study in Japan, and outlining what you hope to achieve by participating in a study abroad program.
  3. An official transcript from your college or university.
  4. A letter of recommendation from someone who knows you and is knowledgeable about your abilities and potential, preferably a professor or instructor in your major field. (This may either be submitted together with the application or mailed/emailed separately to the AATJ office; it must be received by the application deadline date in order for your application to be considered.)

    PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline is NOT a postmark deadline; your application materials should be received by that date, whether they are submitted online or in paper form.

Paper Scholarship Application Form

If you prefer not to apply for the scholarship online, the application is available as a Microsoft Word fillable form. You can download this form to your computer, fill it out on your computer, save it, print it, and mail it. Type the information in the shaded boxes (boxes will expand as you type); tab between boxes; click your mouse or type an "x" to fill in a Yes/No box.

Download the Microsoft Word Form.

Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2018
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2017
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2017
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2016
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2016
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2015
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2015
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2014
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2014
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2013
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2013
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2012
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2012
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2011
Bridging Scholarship Recipients 2010-2011 Academic Year
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2010
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Fall 2009
Bridging Scholarship Recipients Spring 2009

See where the Bridging Scholars are studying in Japan

For further information on the Bridging Scholarships or the application procedure please contact Susan Schmidt, Executive Director of the Bridging Project Clearinghouse, at the AATJ office:

Bridging Project Clearinghouse
American Association of Teachers of Japanese
Campus Box 366
1424 Broadway
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0366
Phone: 303-492-5487 Fax:303-492-5856