Are you looking for scholarships in Japan for international students or do you consider Japan as the right place for your study abroad adventures?
This article suits you best because it discusses over twenty available scholarships in Japan and why international students consider it.
Why Study in Japan?
Japan is one of the best study abroad countries, rich in culture, history, unique artistic traditions, etc. It is also one of the world’s most literate and technically improved countries, it is an East Asian country made up of four primary islands and more than 6,800 others.
Studying in Japan is a whole new experience, a new world of media, new technologies, and pop culture will also open up to you. Japan is known worldwide for its traditional arts, including tea ceremonies, calligraphy, and flower arranging. The country has a legacy of distinctive gardens, sculpture, and poetry.
Interestingly, the Japanese government is keen to attract more international students, as a result, universities are focusing on making life easier for foreign students, from the application process all the way through to finding a job after graduation.
Does Japan give scholarships to international students?
Yes, they do, a wide variety of scholarship programs are available for international students wishing to study at Kyoto University in Japan. The selection processes are highly competitive, however, and in most cases, applications are accepted only after matriculation. It is therefore advisable that students secure sufficient financial resources before coming to Kyoto.
If you are wondering how to get a full scholarship to study in Japan, International students who have been accepted into a Japanese university under a student exchange agreement are eligible to apply for the Scholarship for Short-Term Study in Japan, administered by Japan Student Service Organization (JASSO). This scholarship consists of a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen, provided throughout the period of stay in Japan.
Applications should be made to Kyoto University through the student’s home institution, together with those for the exchange program itself. Direct applications from the students themselves, to either Kyoto University or JASSO, will not be accepted.
Admission requirements and how to apply to study in Japan
A student applying to universities in Japan either at the undergraduate or graduate level is required to take entrance examinations. The ‘Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)’ is a standardized test for foreign students, designed to test basic academic skills in areas of science, mathematics, etc.
In addition to the entrance examinations, applicants are likely to be asked to provide
- A valid passport, like a study permit or student visa
- Certificates showing that you completed 12 years of school in your home country or an International Baccalaureate diploma
- A financial statement that shows that you can pay all of your expenses while studying
- Japanese language skills (not technically a requirement, but you will struggle in university courses without a working knowledge of the language)
- Posses all academic transcripts
- Passport-sized photograph
- Attestation letter
- Study plan and letters of recommendation
- Passport or a valid ID
- Personal statement
- If you are applying to an English-taught program then you need to submit test scores of an English proficiency test such as the IELTS or TOEFL.
Once admitted, your university will help you obtain your student visa, mainly by providing you with a Certificate of Eligibility, which you will use to process your visa.
What is the Visa Requirement to Study in Japan?
International students intending to study for more than three months in Japan will apply for a student visa in Japan once the Certificate of Eligibility has been issued to you through your local Japanese embassy or consulate. Together with your original certificate of eligibility (and an additional photocopy), you will also need to provide a valid passport, a completed application form, and a recent passport-sized photograph.
If you want to work in Japan while studying, you’ll need to obtain ‘Permission to Engage in Activity Other than that Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted’, which you can apply for at an immigration bureau once you arrive in Japan. As a general rule, this permission will entitle you to work up to 28 hours a week during term time and eight hours a day during official holiday periods.
All applications are done online and also, remember to send in your application early so that it can be carefully reviewed by the admissions office.
Tuition Fees, Living Costs & Funding in Japan
Tuition fees in Japan are quite expensive, but when compared to other Western countries such as the USA or the UK, it still looks appealing, set aside a budget to pay between ¥535,800 and ¥1,725,966 (US$4,760-15,340) annually for tuition and the average cost of living budget 89,000 (US$790) per month, or $9,480 per year.
Tokyo is the most expensive place to live in Japan. Here, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) recommends a budget of approximately ¥102,000 (US$905) per month to cover rent, food, insurance, entertainment, and other living costs, which work out at $10,860 per year.
Now, let’s see the top 20+ Scholarships in Japan for International Students and pick schools to send your admission application.
Top 20+ Scholarships in Japan for International Students
Check out this list of partial and fully funded scholarships in Japan for International students and what makes each of them unique.
- Government of Japan (MEXT) Scholarships for Research Students
- University of Tokyo Scholarships for International Students
- Africa London Nagasaki (ALN) Scholarship for African Scientists
- Rotary Peace Fellowship for Masters and Professional Programs
- Rotary Yoneyama Foundation Scholarships for International Students
- University of Tokyo Global Science Course Scholarship for Transfer Students
- Keio University Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Masters Students in Developing Countries
- ABE Initiative Masters Scholarship + Internship Program for African Students
- United Nations – Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Program for Developing Countries
- Japan Africa Dream Scholarship Programme for African Students
- Joint Japan World Bank Group Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Students in Developing Countries
- Yokohama National University Masters in Infrastructure Management (IMP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
- Japan-WCO International Scholarships for Young Customs Officials
- Japan Foundation United Nations University (JFUNU) Scholarships for Ph.D. Students from Developing Countries
- United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme for Developing Countries
- Kochi University of Technology (KUT) Special Scholarship Program SSP for Doctoral International Students
- KUT Japan Doctoral Scholarship Program for International Engineering Students
- JAUW International Fellowship Program for Women Leaders
- Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) Research Fellowship for Natural Science, Engineering, and Medicine
- Japan Student Services Organization (JSSO) Follow-up Research Fellowship for Students from Developing Countries
- JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for International Students
- The University of Tsukuba Program in Economic Policy (PEP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
1. Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships for Research Students (fully funded)
The Japanese Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) Scholarships is the first on our list, although this list is in no particular ranking order, but because MEXT Scholarship 2022-2023 is a fully-funded scholarship for international students. This scholarship is available for undergraduate, Master, Ph.D., and training studies. MEXT scholarship will cover tuition fees, accommodation, monthly living allowance, and round airfare travel expenses from your country to Japan.
It is considered one of the top Scholarships in Japan for International Students, visit the link to start your application.
2. University of Tokyo Fellowship Scholarships for International Students
The University of Tokyo provides scholarships in Japan for International that cover school expense exemptions, emergency loans, and student discounts.
This scholarship helps to financially support Self-Supported International Students with outstanding academic performances and to increase the number of students from abroad, visit the official link to start your application.
3. Africa London Nagasaki (ALN) Scholarship for African Scientists
Candidates who wish to undertake an MSc in a subject relevant to the control of infectious disease in Africa at either the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki, Japan, or at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), London, UK can be beneficiaries of this award.
Candidates offered a course at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki will be required to reside in Japan for the duration of the course.
4. Rotary Peace Fellowship for Masters and Professional Programs
The Rotary Peace Fellowship is designed for professionals with work experience in international relations or peace and conflict prevention and resolution. In just over a decade, the Rotary Peace Centers have trained more than 900 fellows for careers in peacebuilding. Fellows are committed to community and international service and the pursuit of peace.
5. Rotary Yoneyama Foundation Scholarships for International Students
The Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation awards scholarships to overseas students who aspire to study or conduct research in Japanese universities or graduate schools. Its scholarship fund is supported by the contributions of Rotarians throughout Japan. The Foundation is Japan’s largest private scholarship organization, both in terms of program scale and number of scholarships awarded, one of the charitable scholarships in Japan for International students
6. University of Tokyo Global Science Course Scholarship for Transfer Students
The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) is happy to invite applicants to submit applications for its Global Science Course for Transfer Students to be considered for a scholarship. We advise applicants to hurry and apply for this program as soon as possible.
UTokyo’s global science scholarships for transfer students offer scholarships in Japan for international students to help the students offset part of the cost of studying the Global Science Course at the university. The scholarship does not only provide monetary awards to students but also other complementary educational support.
7. Keio University Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Masters Students in Developing Countries
Keio University is a leading private university in Japan, and partners with the Joint Japan /World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP). Established in 1996, the Graduate School of Business and Commerce of Keio University has been training promising tax personnel in the field of tax policy and administration and also issuing scholarships in Japan for International students with its Master’s Degree Program in Taxation Policy and Management.
9. ABE Initiative Masters Scholarship + Internship Program for African Students
The ABE Initiative master’s degree and internship program to provide scholarships in Japan for International students especially supporting young persons who have the potential to contribute to the development of industries in Africa.
This program offers opportunities for young South African men and women to study master’s courses in Japanese universities as international students (hereafter referred to as participants) and experience internships at Japanese enterprises.
Eligibility: Applicants must:
- Be citizens of eligible African countries
- Be less than 40 (as of 1 April 2022)
- Have some work experience
- Have good health condition, both physically and mentally, to complete the program
- Bachelor’s degree (B-Tech included) with honors or equivalent to NQF8 or above
- A minimum average of 65% score in academic transcript Have a good understanding of the ABE
- Initiative’s objectives
- Have adequate English skills in both written and oral communication
- Eligible Countries: South Africa
To be Taken at (Country): Japan
Number of Awards: Not specified
How to Apply:
Application Form (ABE・SDGs) (Excel/146KB)
Annex1_Current and Previous Work Experience (Word/19.2KB)
Annex2_Career Plan after Graduation (Word/20.0KB)
Annex3_Research Plan (Word/20.8KB)
Application Form cover (PDF/264KB)
Download the documents, Complete the form, Email marked PDF files of application documents (Less than 4MB in a mail), and submit the original documents to the following address:
Japan International Cooperation Agency
JICA South Africa Office
Lord Charles Office Block, Building B, 1st Floor 337
Brooklyn Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria 0081
P.O.Box 14068, Hatfield, 0028
Republic of South Africa
- No late application will be accepted.
It is important to go through all application requirements on the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.
Visit Award Webpage for Details
9. United Nations – Nippon Foundation of Japan Fellowship Program for Developing Countries
From the name, we can see that the objective of the fellowship is to provide opportunities for developing countries to advance education and research in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea, and related disciplines including marine science in support of management frameworks, to Government officials and other mid-level professionals from developing States, so that they may obtain the necessary knowledge to assist their countries to formulate comprehensive ocean policy and to implement the legal regime set out in UNCLOS and related instruments.
If you are an environmentalist or have interested in marine-related courses, check out these types of scholarships in Japan for International students like you.
10. Japan Africa Dream Scholarship Program for African Students
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Programs are scholarships in Japan for International students who are interested in the energy sector through skills development for sustainable development.
This scholarship is funded by the Government of Japan, it provides two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in priority development areas on the continent and abroad (including in Japan).
11. Joint Japan World Bank Group Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Students in Developing Countries
The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is a scholarship in Japan for International students open to men and women from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master degree program in a development-related topic.
JJWBGSP offers scholarships in Japan for International students providing over 200 programs related to development and about 14 partner programs at universities in the USA, Africa, and Japan in key areas of development, including economic policy management, tax policy, and infrastructure management.
12. Yokohama National University Masters in Infrastructure Management (IMP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
Yokohama National University provides scholarships in Japan for International students with a grant funded by the Government of Japan and administered by the World Bank under the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP).
This scholarship seeks prospective students for the Master’s Degree Program in Infrastructure Management (IMP).
In applying for admission to the program, applicants should note that the IMP is oriented toward training government officials with present or future management responsibility and an academic background in the field of engineering. Women are encouraged to apply.
13. Japan-WCO International Scholarships for Young Customs Officials
The Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) in Tokyo, Japan issues scholarships in Japan for International students in Custom related fields in Strategic Management and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), this human Resource Development Program (Scholarship Program) provides Custom-officials from developing countries with an opportunity to pursue Master’s level studies and training from the school.
14. Japan Foundation United Nations University (JFUNU) Scholarships for Ph.D. Students from Developing Countries
This program offers scholarships in Japan for International students in the aspect of pressing global issues of sustainability, climate change, development, peace-building, and human rights through an innovative interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
If you are interested in Nature, the environment, peacekeeping, etc, check out this program, it is intended for recent graduates, professionals, and practitioners, offering the unique opportunity to study at a global university within the framework of the United Nations.
15. United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Program for Developing Countries
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Government of Japan in cooperation with the Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech) have established a United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme to issue scholarships in Japan for international students interested in carrying out research on Nano-Satellite Technologies for nationals of developing countries or non-space-faring nations.
The Program issues scholarships in Japan for International students and will provide extensive research opportunities in Nano-satellite systems through the use of the Nano-satellite development and testing facilities available at Kyutech.
16. Kochi University of Technology (KUT) Special Scholarship Program SSP for Doctoral International Students
The Kochi University of Technology issues scholarships in Japan for International students in order to support the advanced research of the university by enlisting the help of highly capable students especially students from foreign countries.
The Special Scholarship Program (SSP) was established in 2003 every year in April and October; the university enrolls selected doctoral students for specific research projects. Students in this field of study can apply; Doctoral Program (3 years), Department of Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering
Through these scholarships in Japan for international students, KUT wishes to expand and deepen international ties with academic and educational institutions all over the world.
How to Apply
- Choose one research project from the SSP Research Project List(Click here)
- Send a completed Online Pre-Application Request to the leader of your preferred project via KUT Online Pre-Application Request Form (KUT Online Pre-Application Request Form is here) and obtain the leader’s permission to apply for that SSP project. Only one pre-application request should be sent to the leader of a project during a given enrollment period. Please note that a project leader may not contact you in the case where your pre-application request is rejected.
- When you obtain the permission of the project leader, complete all required documents and submit them to KUT by post. The documents must reach KUT by the deadline.
All inquiries and application documents must be addressed to:
International Relations Section
Kochi University of Technology
Tosayamada, Kami City
Kochi 782-8502, JAPAN
For more details, click here
17. KUT Japan Doctoral Scholarship Program for International Engineering Students
The Special Scholarship Program (SSP) was established in 2003 in order to support the advanced research of Kochi University of Technology by enlisting scholarships in Japan for international students with the help of highly capable students especially students from foreign countries. Every year in April and October, the university enrolls selected doctoral students for specific research projects. The students pursue the doctoral course in English (excluding Japanese students) while at the same time assisting their host professor as a research assistant (RA).
How to apply
Follow the above instructions for Kochi University and select the research program you are interested in.
18. JAUW International Fellowship Program for Women Leaders
The Japanese Association of University Women (JAUW) International Fellowship Program offers scholarships in Japan for International students to Women from any part of the world to carry out research or advance study in Japan.
This program is to offer core funding to financially help you come and stay in Japan when you have found that it is preferable or very important for you to stay in Japan to further pursue your ongoing study/research.
19. Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) Research Fellowship for Natural Science, Engineering and Medicine
These scholarships in Japan for International students are research-based, and the Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) is on the lookout for students interested in fields like natural science, engineering, and medicine are given first priority.
The concept of the founder is “Towards A Greater Understanding of Japan and a Lasting World Peace”, The institution has started the Research Fellowship Program. Candidates are free to select host institutions (university research laboratories, national research institutions, or the corresponding facilities of private industry)
20. Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Follow-up Research Fellowship for Students from Developing Countries
The Japan Student Services Organization provides scholarships in Japan for international students through Follow-up Research fellowships for former international students to researchers who have previously come to study in Japan from a developing country, region, etc.
The aim of the fellowships is to give an opportunity to researchers to conduct short-term research with academic advisors at universities (except junior colleges) in Japan. Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) is an independent administrative institution established under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology.
21. JSPS–UNU Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for International Students
This is a research-based organization that provides scholarships in Japan for International students, Jointly organized by the United Nations University and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the program is designed to provide promising, highly qualified, young researchers with the opportunity to conduct advanced research relevant to the main focus areas of the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS, Tokyo) in cooperation with host researchers at Japanese universities and research institutions.
22. The University of Tsukuba Program in Economic Policy (PEP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
The University of Tsukuba offers scholarships in Japan for International students to apply for Programs in Economic and Public Policy (PEPP) studies in the University through the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) of the World Bank.
The objective of the Program in Economic Policy (PEP) is to provide, within the time frame, training, and the necessary skills for the conception, design, and implementation of development policies. Our focus is on International Development with a trans-disciplinary approach to the economic and social problems of developing countries and former socialist countries.
This brings an end to the post on the top 20+ scholarships in Japan for international students, there are actually more scholarships in Japan, this post helps you select over twenty of them and we will update the list.
Finally, you can apply to as many as possible and ensure to send in your applications early.