Scholarship for International Students Studying in Japan 2024

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Wondering how to study in Japan without breaking the bank? Scholarships for international students make this dream possible. With various options covering tuition, living expenses, and even travel, finding the right scholarship can significantly reduce your costs.


Finding Scholarships for Study in Japan

Exploring the opportunity to study in Japan opens the door to a wealth of scholarship options aimed at international students, making the dream of studying in Japan an affordable reality. With hundreds of scholarships available, the key to unlocking these opportunities lies in diligent research and understanding the application timeline—whether to apply before setting foot in Japan or after arrival. Scholarships vary widely in terms of what they cover; fully funded scholarships often include round-trip airfare, a monthly living stipend, and complete tuition fees, while others may focus solely on providing a living allowance or offer tuition fee discounts periodically.

Eligibility criteria differ, but for simplicity, we can categorize scholarships based on visa requirements—some are accessible to applicants abroad, allowing for a worry-free transition to Japan with financial support fully arranged in advance. These opportunities are predominantly offered by the Japanese government, private foundations, and occasionally, local governments, albeit with high competition due to limited availability. For those who find themselves in Japan without a scholarship, there’s no need for concern; over 100 organizations offer scholarships that include monthly stipends and tuition reductions, ensuring ample support for your educational journey. For your scholarship search based on specific categories, you may consult this website for your research.

Type of Scholarship for International Students

Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarships

The Monbukagakusho scholarships, funded by the Japanese government, cover a wide array of expenses including round-trip airfare, living expenses, admission fees, and tuition. With less than 5% of international students being awarded, applicants need a recommendation from either a Japanese embassy or a university. Additionally, the Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship offers a monthly stipend of up to JPY 48,000 for privately financed international students, with a smaller JPY 30,000 stipend for Japanese language school students. This scholarship emphasizes academic excellence and less than 3% of international students receive it.

JASSO Scholarships

The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) provides scholarships for privately financed international students and participants in the Student Exchange Support Program. These scholarships are designed to facilitate academic and cultural exchange, with applications processed through educational institutions in Japan. The scholarships include monthly stipends, though specific amounts may vary based on the program.

Student Exchange Support Program

This competitive scholarship program supports students engaged in short-term study in Japan from institutions with Japanese exchange agreements, offering a monthly stipend of JPY 80,000. Available to less than 4% of all international exchange students, it’s aimed at enhancing international academic collaboration.

Local Governments and International Exchange Organizations Scholarships

Supported by local governments and international exchange bodies, these scholarships provide monthly financial assistance to international students. The amount typically ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands of Japanese Yen, depending on the specific scholarship. Available to students both before and after arriving in Japan, these scholarships have residence or school location restrictions.

Private Scholarship Foundations

Private companies and foundations offer scholarships to students who meet specific criteria, such as attending certain schools, studying particular subjects, or coming from specific countries. These scholarships usually require the recipient to be in Japan and offer various stipends to support students’ studies and living expenses.

School Scholarships and Tuition Fee Reductions

Offering flexibility for international students planning to or currently studying in Japan, these scholarships can include tuition fee reductions and direct financial support. They are tailored to help students at different stages of their education journey, with specific amounts varying by institution but designed to alleviate the financial challenges of studying abroad.

Other List of Scholarships

  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
    Aimed at undergraduates receiving Federal Pell Grants, the Gilman Scholarship supports short-term studies as brief as two or three weeks. Focused on enhancing language skills and cultural understanding, it’s part of a U.S. Department of State initiative to broaden study abroad access. Annually, over 2,900 scholarships up to $5,000 each are awarded. Deadlines and application cycles vary, making it essential to check their website for the latest information.
  • Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship Program
    Sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council, this scholarship offers up to $25,000 for undergraduate and graduate students planning to study in Japan for up to a year. Targeting first-time travelers and first-generation college students, it’s part of an effort to foster leadership and cultural exchange. Offered annually, details on eligibility and applications are updated regularly on their website.
  • USAC / University Studies Abroad Consortium Scholarships
    USAC provides a rich database of scholarships for those interested in studying in Japan, focusing on connecting students with meaningful travel and study experiences. The scholarship amounts vary, and there’s a range of options without strict program restrictions. Check their website for the latest application periods and specific opportunities tied to your institution.
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship
    This specialized fellowship is for students worldwide interested in peace studies and includes comprehensive financial support covering tuition, airfare, and living expenses. Each year, 100 scholarships are divided evenly between graduate and certificate students, with detailed guidelines available online for those looking to apply.
  • Japan Foundation Fellowship Program
    Tailored for scholars focusing on Japanese studies, this program supports research in social sciences or humanities. It’s ideal for honors-level undergraduates and graduate/post-graduate researchers, with a keen interest in arts, cultural exchange, and language education. The specifics of the scholarship vary annually, so it’s best to consult their website for current details.
  • TEAN Scholarships from The Education Abroad Network
    TEAN offers a broad range of scholarships for studying in Japan, from need-based to merit-based awards. There’s even a full-ride option for the program of your choice. Scholarships start at $250 for supplemental support, with applications due at various times throughout the year.
  • Fund for Education Abroad Foundation for Global Scholars Scholarship
    Focused on supporting underrepresented students, including minority, community college, and first-generation college students, this scholarship offers awards from $1,250 to $10,000. It’s available for study programs lasting at least four weeks, with an annual application process.
  • Freeman-ASIA Award from the Freeman Foundation
    Designed for students in two-year or four-year programs, this scholarship caters to those with financial need studying in East or Southeast Asia. Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000, covering airfare, books, and transportation. Applications must be submitted through your home institution, with annual offerings.
  • Tanaka + Green Scholarship
    Launched by the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., this scholarship supports students with a connection to Japanese studies, language classes, or society membership, prioritizing residents of D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Offering up to $5,000 for an academic year, it’s announced annually in early spring.
  • The Bridging Scholarship
    For undergraduates unsure of their study abroad program in Japan, this scholarship offers $2,500 for a semester and $4,500 for a year. Open to students in all fields provided they earn college credit for their courses, it requires a post-study report. Offered twice a year, with specific deadlines varying.


Studying in Japan is within reach thanks to a diverse range of scholarships. Whether you’re applying from your home country or within Japan, there’s financial aid available to help cover tuition, living costs, and more. Start your scholarship search early, focusing on both government and private offerings, to unlock a world of educational opportunities in Japan without the financial strain.

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