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 should be submitted by April 11, 2018. The procedure for submiting materials on paper is described below; we are also preparing an online application procedure for Fall 2018 scholarships, which will be available in early 2018. Please watch this space for details.


The deadline for submitting applications for Spring 2018 scholarships has passed. Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection by the end of November 2017.


Eighty-eight students have been 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, Estee Lauder K.K., 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, the Japan Foundation, Stephanie Klapper, Lockheed Martin Global, Inc., Patricia Maclachlan and Zoltan Barany, Deanna Marcum, E’Narda McCalister, Mission Value Partners, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Morgan Stanley Japan, Anne Nishimura Morse, Robert and Janette Noddin, Oak Lawn Marketing, ORIX USA Corporation, 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, Kevin Sollomich, Lance Sweatt, George and Brad Takei, Temple University-Japan Campus, Toyota Motor North America, the U.S.-Japan Council TOMODACHI Initiative, and the Ira Wolf Memorial Scholarship Fund (Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky and Edward B. Cohen, Amy Berger and Glen Nager, Lawrence Bruser, Paula and Pablo Collins, Wendy Cutler, Mary Davidson and Matthew J. Seiden, William Farrell, Matthew Goodman, Carl Green, Larry Greenwood, Amy Jackson, Charles D. and Seiko Lake II, Edward Lincoln, Elliot Maxwell, Vice President Walter Mondale, Robert (Skipp) Orr, Christopher Padilla, Amy Porges, Barbara Pryor, Andy Saidel, Richard and Debra Samuels, Jacob Schlesinger, Marjorie Searing, Ambassador Ira and Nancy Shapiro, Laurie Sherman, Jim Southwick, Bruce Stokes, Brian Toohey, Chairman Irving Williamson, Patrick Windham and Arati Prabhakar, Adam Wolf; Jeanne, Eloise, Evan, Lyla, and Lacy Wolf).


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.


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:

  1. An application form can be downloaded from this website (see below). A printed application can be requested from the AATJ office by phone, fax, or e-mail.
  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 (three copies).
  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 separately to the AATJ office; please note that it must be received by the application deadline date in order for your application to be considered.) Faxed or e-mailed letters will not be accepted.

    PLEASE NOTE: An application deadline is NOT a postmark deadline; your application materials should be received by that date.

Bridging Scholarship Application Form

The application is available on the website in two formats:

• Application in Microsoft Word 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.

• Application in PDF format. You can download this form to your computer, print it, fill it in and mail it.

Download the PDF scholarship application.

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