In Japan, many scholarships have been provided for international students from various organizations.
However, the qualifications and amounts greatly differ among them. Most of the scholarships are intended for international students studying at universities and colleges in Japan.
Scholarships, where you can apply from abroad before coming to Japan, are very few.
A scholarship cannot maintain your life as an international student in Japan; it can only serve as a supplement for expenses. Please understand contents of scholarship systems, and consider a reasonable plan for studying in Japan.
Scholarships for International Students in Japan
1. Scholarships offered by the government of Japan (Monbukagakusho)
A round-trip air ticket and living expenses are provided, and admission fees and tuition costs are waived. A recommendation from a Japanese embassy or a University in Japan is required. The recipient may not receive any other scholarships. Less than 5% of all international exchange students receive these scholarships (as of May 1, 2015).
Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship
2. Scholarships offered by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), an independent administrative institution established under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (Monbukagakusho), offers two types of scholarships: the “Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students” and the “Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for short-term Study in Japan)”. Applications for these scholarships are collected through all participating schools in Japan.
Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students
International students whose living expenses are privately financed are provided with a monthly stipend of 48,000 yen (30,000 yen for students at Japanese language schools). Restrictions may apply according to students’ academic records as well as institutional financing conditions. Students with excellent results on the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU) may participate in an advance reservation program. Less than 3% of all international exchange students receive these scholarships (as of June 15, 2015).
Scholarship for Privately-Financed Students
Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for short-term Study in Japan)
These scholarships are awarded for international students enrolled at institutions of higher education in other countries that have cooperative agreements for student exchange with Japanese universities or other organizations, and who are participating in study programs that are more than 8 days and less than 1 year in duration. A monthly stipend of 80,000 yen is awarded. A number of students equivalent to less than 4% of all international exchange students receive these scholarships (as of September 1, 2015).
Scholarship for Short-term Study in Japan
3. Scholarships offered by Local Governments and International Exchange Organizations
These scholarships are provided by Japan’s local government bodies and related international exchange organizations. There are restrictions on the place of student residence or the location of the school to enroll in. Almost all scholarships award monthly amounts of a few thousand yen or a few ten-thousands of yen, and in most cases, the recipient may not receive any other scholarships.
4. Scholarships offered by Private Scholarship Foundations
These scholarships are provided by privately-held companies or private foundations. These scholarships reflect the purposes and qualities of the businesses and organizations, and they may be intended for students studying at specific schools, for students studying in specific areas of specialization, or for students from specific countries. Please be aware that students who do not meet these conditions will not qualify for these scholarships. In most cases, the recipient may not receive any other scholarships.