In Japan, foreign students can obtain scholarships from various organizations. These are programs that support foreign students who wish to pursue their studies at universities in the country.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind about scholarships in Japan: they are intended to provide financial support. This means that they are only meant to supplement your living expenses. Also, they cannot cover all of your study expenses as an international student in Japan.
Read also our article on the cost of living and studying in Japan.
Do you want to study in Japan and need to think about the best plan to partially finance your studies and living expenses? Here is our guide to the best scholarships you can apply for in Japan.
MEXT Scholarship from the Government of Japan
The Japanese government scholarship program (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) is certainly the most popular scholarship program in Japan.
What is the MEXT scholarship in Japan?
The scholarship is awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). It is a fully funded scholarship. In other words, a student who receives this scholarship receives round-trip airfare to Japan, as well as living expenses. In addition, students are commonly exempt from paying admission and tuition fees. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must have a recommendation from a Japanese embassy or university in Japan.
The amount of the scholarship ranges from ¥143,000 to ¥145,000 per month for research and teacher education students. Undergraduate students, students in colleges of specialized training, students in Japanese studies, and those enrolled in colleges of technology will receive ¥117,000 per month.
Who is eligible for MEXT scholarships in Japan?
All students who wish to study at Japanese universities can apply. The requirement is to obtain a recommendation from the Japanese Embassy in their home country. With a university recommendation, however, undergraduate students and teacher-training students are not eligible for this scholarship. They must apply using an embassy recommendation.
Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarships
JASSO is an independent administrative institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (Monbukagakusho) of Japan. The organization provides two types of scholarships to international students. They can be obtained through any participating school in Japan.
Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship
These scholarships are for international students who have access to private funding for living expenses in Japan. The recipient receives a monthly stipend of ¥48,000. Students at Japanese language schools receive ¥30,000 per month.
In order to be eligible for this scholarship, international students must achieve excellent results in the Japanese University Entrance Examination for International Students (EJU). They must then specify in their EJU application whether they wish to apply for this scholarship.
Student Exchange Support Grant Program
It is intended for students who need funding for short-term studies in Japan. It is a monthly amount of ¥80,000 for the duration of the student’s stay in the country. The application can be made directly by the applicant’s home institution to the university in Japan. You can commonly apply via the JASSO platform.
Scholarships offered by local governments & international exchange organizations
Unlike Jasso and MEXT scholarships, these scholarships are offered by local government organizations or other exchange organizations in the area of the student’s university. The amount of funding ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands of yen per month. In addition, students who have already received one of these scholarships are not eligible for other scholarships.
Private Foundation Scholarships in Japan
This is a scholarship program for students from certain schools who are studying in specific fields of specialization. Sometimes even for students from certain countries. They are numerous and depend on the foundations that offer them.
In most cases, the students have a study or research objective that reflects the ideals and goals of the organization providing the funding. In addition, scholarships range from ¥30,000 to ¥180,000 per month. They are usually for one or two students per academic year.
Criteria for obtaining a scholarship in Japan
- Your accredited academic score must be 2.30 or higher in your last two years of study.
- You can provide three letters of recommendation from former teachers at the school where you graduated. This is for students who are applying for a Bachelor’s degree or who are applying after successfully completing their first year of college.
- Your home country has diplomatic relations with Japan.
- You are under the age of 35.
- You must have been a very good student at the academic level prior to the one for which you are applying for a scholarship.
- Your physical and mental health allows you to succeed in the academic level for which you are applying. It goes without saying that you cannot have any life-threatening health problems.
Conditions for applying for a scholarship from your home country
- You must be able to travel to Japan before the start date of your studies.
- You must have a student visa granted by the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country before applying for a scholarship.