Requirements to get a Scholarship to Study in Japan

Pursuing higher education in Japan is now made easier through College and Government scholarship programs. Whether you desire extra financial support or more spending allowance, learn now how to avail yourself of the programs to make the life of international students more manageable.

Studying abroad has been a dream for most students. You get to travel and see the world, experience new things and meet different types of people, all while getting a high-quality education from a prestigious school. 

Japan, as a leading nation in terms of advanced technology, engineering, and excellent research, has been attracting a lot of international students from all over the world. Renowned for its first-rate universities, welcoming environment, and rich cultural heritage, students find Japan to be a very pleasing study option. However, the truth is, it can be expensive. This is where scholarships come in handy.

Reasons why students should apply for scholarship programs

Financial Support 

Studying abroad is expensive, and entrance examination, admission and tuition fees cost a lot of money. However, scholarship programs provide financial support for students both currently studying and planning to study in Japan, a good opportunity for international students who want to study abroad. These scholarships can cover most if not all of your tuition for the duration of the program. 

Reduced Expenses

Aside from the university fees, scholarships can also help reduce expenses. This may include travel fare to and from Japan, which can also be quite expensive, living expenses, and other financial obligations. Lifting these expenses from their shoulders helps students to worry less and just focus on their studies.

Living Allowance

Fewer worries from school fees and other expenses can really help students to keep their focus on studying. But, wait. There’s more! Scholarship programs also provide a monthly living and spending allowance such as books, rent, utilities, food, and transportation - all for the welfare of the students. Monthly stipend is based on the type of scholarship you applied to. This arrangement enables students to still enjoy their student life and make the most of their stay in Japan.

Japan University and Government Scholarship programs 

There are four various types of scholarships that international students can avail in order to study in Japan. These are the MEXT Scholarships and JASSO Scholarships, both are under Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, and the different scholarships provided by local governments, international exchange organizations, and private foundations. 

Here are a few examples of scholarships available for international students:

  • DOCOMO International Student Scholarship (JEES Sponsor-Crowned Scholarship)

  • Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

  • Japan Foundation for UNU (JFUNU) Scholarship

  • Rotary Peace Fellowships

  • SATO YO International Scholarship Foundation Program at Kyushu University, 2019

Each scholarship has varied scope and qualifications. Learn more about these different scholarships by checking out JASSO’s website on this page.

How can you avail Japanese college scholarship programs?

No matter what type and level of scholarship you want to apply for, here are the two basic requirements you need in order to avail a Japanese college scholarship program:

  • A recommendation from the Japanese embassy or consulate-general.

To achieve this, you must go through the application process, which requires you to send a form to your local Japanese embassy. 

  • A recommendation from the Japanese university of your choice that accepts you

In order to receive this, you must try applying to different Japanese universities while noting the type of scholarship you’re applying for.

Up to what extent can the scholarship programs help?

It actually depends on the type and level of scholarship you are able to get. But, generally, scholarships may provide a round-trip air ticket, a monthly stipend for living expenses, and a discount or exemption for admission fees and tuition costs.

What are the requirements to get a scholarship?

The requirements needed may also vary depending on the scholarship you are applying for. However, the following are the basic requirements demanded by most scholarship programs:

  • Nationality

An applicant must bear the nationality of a country with which Japan has diplomatic relations. Those who have Japanese nationality at the time of application will be disqualified. 

  • Visa and Status of Residence

Applicants must obtain a Student Visa and resident status of “Student” during their stay in Japan.

  • Age Requirement

Applicants must be between 17 and 35 years old, depending on the type of scholarship.

  • Academic Background

Applicants must have completed either a 12-year school education, a school equivalent to an upper secondary school in Japan, or have a high school diploma, or college graduates with academic ability equal to that of a university graduate.

  • Japanese Language

Applicants are not required to have an advanced level of Japanese knowledge. However, they must be willing to learn Japanese and receive a university education in Japanese. 

Availing a government scholarship program process

1. Forms and requirements submission

The first step of the process is submission. Applicants must submit all application forms and requirements such as curriculum vitae, a school transcript of records, and photographs to the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC). The application will undergo a document screening by the Scholarship Committee.

If any of the application documents or materials are found to contain false information, the application will be rejected

1. Taking qualifying exams

After the document screening, JICC will notify the applicants who passed. They will then take qualifying exams that will serve as the second screening. 

Please note that the scholarship approval and the selection process for each type of scholarship students wish to apply to are different for each school.

1. Interview with the Scholarship Committee

JICC will notify the applicants who passed the qualifying exams. After this, they will proceed with an interview conducted by the JICC Scholarship Committee. 

Upon passing the interview, the applicants are now qualified for the government scholarship program.


Studying abroad and in countries like Japan has been the dream of most students all over the world. Who wouldn’t wish to travel and create memories in a foreign land, learn and interact with different people, and of course receive excellent training and education from a top-notch university? However, this could be very expensive. But worry no more, because Japan offers different types of scholarships that you can apply for. So, what are you waiting for? Apply for a scholarship now, make your dream come true, and study in Japan!

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