Study Abroad in Japan: How Can I Pay for Studying in Japan?

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 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. Talk to your Japanese teacher or to the department of Japanese or Asian studies on your campus; they will have information about these and other scholarships.

The Japanese university where you plan to study may be able to apply on your behalf for scholarships given in Japan by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and administered by the Association for International Education, Japan (AIEJ). Check with the school you will be attending; or look at the AIEJ's Web site for more information on these scholarships.

AATJ administers a program of scholarships for study in Japan, the Bridging Scholarships. Please see the Bridging Scholarships page for information and application forms.

In addition to financial aid from your own college or university, there are several sources of scholarships and grants for study abroad.

The US government funds several scholarships for undergraduate study abroad. The Benjamin Gilman Scholarships are for students who receive Pell Grants for students with limited financial resources; more information is at www.iie.org/Gilman . The NSEP Boren Scholarships focus on students studying the languages and areas considered critical to US national security. Recipients of Boren Scholarships are required to work, after graduation, for the government or in an educational institution for a period the same length of time their study abroad was funded. For further information, visit www.borenawards.org.

The Rotary Foundation's Educational Programs division sponsors more than 1,200 American students for study abroad each year through its Ambassadorial Scholarships program. Application, which must be through a local Rotary club, is open to any student who has completed two years of undergraduate study or the equivalent. More information is available at the Foundation's Web site, or contact the Foundation at1560 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201. The Foundation's e-mail address is pid@riorc.mhs.compuserve.com

The Matador Network's Financial Savvy site has a list of scholarships and fellowships for study an travel abroad. Another Web site with ideas is studyabroad.com.

The Itoh Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance for the study of the Japanese language and culture at universities in Japan by non-native speakers. The fund, established in 1994 by the founder of the Ito-Yokado chain of supermarkets, accepts applications from overseas students who have selected an institution in Japan at which to study. Information is available at the Foundation's Web site; application forms can also be obtained by writing to Itoh Scholarship Foundation, 3F, J.C. Building, 3-6-22 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105.

The Reitaku Foundation of America will offer two full-year undergraduate scholarships to American students to study at Reitaku University in Tokyo . The scholarships will cover round-trip economy airfare, tuition and housing at Reitaku University, and a monthly stipend for meals. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, be full-time regular students at an American university, and have studied Japanese for four semesters prior to their arrival in Japan. For application forms and more information on Reitaku University, contact the RFA Scholarship Committee, Reitaku Foundation of America, 5335 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Suite 900, Washington, DC 20015; tel (202)537-7423; fax (202) 537-7455; e-mail ricejp@erols.com.

Some enterprising students have partially financed study abroad by approaching local business groups, clubs, religious and campus organizations for support. In return, they may send regular reports from abroad or present talks or other programs after they return. It's important to remember that study abroad is an investment in your future--one in which others might be willing to participate.

For additional information and sources of scholarships, please see the Financial Aid for Study in Japan page on this Web site.