Scholarship in Japan for International Students

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Do you wish to study but you have limited financial capabilities? Do you want to get paid while studying? How about studying abroad? If you are positive in your answers to all of these questions, then you need to consider studying in Japan. Some people think that studying in Japan is expensive. But the truth is, compared to other popular and developed countries, studying in Japan is way more affordable.

Even if you are financially unstable, studying in Japan is still possible. There are scholarship programs in Japan that you can apply. What are these scholarship programs for international students like you? How to apply to these scholarships? What are the requirements to be able to apply?


Different Scholarship Programs in Japan

Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship Program

Since 1954, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) started inviting international students to study in Japan at its government’s expense. There are different types of scholarship to the Japanese government:

  1. Research student – an applicant must be a university or college graduate and should apply for the field of study he took at his previous university or any related field. He must take the Japanese and English examination to get a recommendation from the embassy and will be recommended to undergo 6 months of Japanese language training. But for those applicants who know the language are exempted to the training.
  2. Teacher training student – the applicant must be a university or college graduate and has more than 5 years of teaching experience in his home country.
  3. Undergraduate student – the applicant must have completed secondary school or educational course equivalent to it, take the Japanese, English, mathematics and science examinations to get the embassy’s recommendation. Students in the field of science are required to choose two of these subjects: chemistry, physics or biology. He may choose to take social science studies or natural science.
  4. Japanese studies student – the applicant should be an undergraduate university student, with Japanese language or Japanese culture major and is eligible to take Japanese studies.
  5. College of technology student – as a secondary school graduate, the applicant can take courses in the engineering field, like Mechanical Engineer, Information, Architecture, and others. He, too, must take Japanese, English, mathematics and physics or chemistry examinations, for the embassy’s recommendation.
  6. Special training college student – the applicant, who must be a secondary school graduate, may take courses in the field of technology, business, education, fashion, etc.
  7. Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) – Under MEXT, a program called the Young Leaders’ Program that aims to cultivate Asian leaders for the future, was created. The student must be a university or college graduate with public administration work experience. He will be eligible to take a course in Business Administration, Medical Administration, Law, and Local Governance.

How to Apply

Japanese Embassy or Consulate General – The applicant may contact the Japanese embassy or consulate general in his home country and will be required to take written test and face to face interview. But embassies’ procedure may differ from each other.

Japanese Universities – If under the inter-university exchange agreement, the student will be recommended by his home university before going to Japan or, while in Japan, a privately financed student will be selected based on his excellent performance. Students that are interested to apply should inquire from their school.

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization)

“Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students” 
JASSO offers Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students. This scholarship is for those foreign students who are already accepted by a university, graduate school, junior college, college of technology, or specialized training college in Japan that is chosen by the Japanese government. The student must apply to their school office, depending on their school’s rules, and ask for a recommendation to JASSO.

Student Exchange Support Program
JASSO also offers Student Exchange Support Program, a scholarship for qualified international students admitted by a Japanese school under a student exchange agreement between a Japanese school and his school at their home country, for a short term, that is from 8 days to 1 year. The student for this scholarship must excel in his chosen field and has maintained a good personal school record.

How to Apply

Interested students must apply through their school office and follow the procedure set by the school.

Local Governments and International Associations

The following lists are some local governments and international associations that offer scholarships in Japan. To know more about them or how to apply, you can visit their website indicated after each of them.
1. Hokkaido International Exchange & Cooperation Center – Foreign Student Scholarship
2. Kitami City – Scholarship for Foreign Students
3. Iwate International Association
4. Kawasaki International Association – Financial Assistance Program for Foreign Students
5. Kyoto City International Foundation

Private Foundations

There are private foundations that offer scholarships in Japan, too.

  1. The Asahi Glass Foundation
  2. The Asian Foundation for International Scholarship Interchange
  3. Friends of Asian Students (FAS) Scholarship for Privately Financed Asian Students
  4. Ichihara International Scholarship Foundation
  5. The Urakami Scholarship Foundation

Not all scholarships are available at your school or university. You can search for other scholarships that may be available for you by inquiring at your school’s office. There are universities that have Asian Studies Department office, international studies office or other offices to where you can inquire and ask about your Japanese scholarship options. Asking a question will never harm you, it is your way to success.

Requirements for Applying for a Scholarship

Different scholarship programs have different requirements. But the list below is the generic requirements that should be met by any applicant.

  1. Must have a recommendation by the school’s president or dean.
  2. Country of your nationality must have diplomatic relations with Japan.
  3. Must meet the academic requirements set by the program.
  4. Must be in good physical and mental health.
  5. Must be able to arrive in Japan before the designated schedule by the program.
  6. Must acquire Japan student visa. – Changing your Visa status upon arriving or while staying in Japan, from Student or College Student, will make your scholarship invalid. You can learn how to get a student Visa by clicking below.


Planning your finances and funding will make your study in Japan rewarding. Most scholarships cover only the education and living expenses of the student. That’s why you should not depend solely on your scholarship.

But with this in mind, be careful not to be scammed with false advertisements by some agents who promise high-paying jobs if you will apply through them. Remember, you are going to Japan to study, not to earn money.

But if you really need to get a part-time job while studying, learn more from Easy Guide to Get Part-time Jobs in Japan

FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan.

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    • Faizan ahamed

    Sir. I need to follow automobile engineering steady in japan.Basically I am a sri lankan. So please tell the easy way stady in japan

    • Shunya Kagawa

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    This is a very informative blog. I am placing this comment so I can go back in case I’ll need this for future reference.

    • Jahleen

    Thank you for your appreciation.

    • Shunya Kagawa

    Thank you 🙂

    • sally

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    • Shunya Kagawa

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    • Shunya Kagawa

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    • Anuska jayalath

    Dear sir iam looking scholarship forstudy in japan thank you

    • Nesah

    Sorry, but we don’t offer scholarships. Try to visit the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) website if you are looking for a scholarship program in Japan. Thank you for taking the time to read the article!

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