Getting Scholarships in Japan: Easier than you think! : May it be an undergraduate degree, masters degree, or even a Phd, Japan offers many opportunities for people from all over the world to get their education in the land of the rising sun. Who knows, you might be eligible!

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How to get a scholarship in Japan

Japan is not only known as a mecca for different subcultures, but also for it’s uncomparable technological advancements and it’s high regard for education. Unbeknownst to most people, Japan has an almost abundant supply of scholarships available to people from all over the world.

They openly welcome foreigners into their country to not only learn for the sake of academics, but to learn one of their many treasures; their language. Although intimidating, applying for scholarships in Japan are actually achievable. As long as you adhere to the academic, age, financial requirements, getting a scholarship can be as simple as breathing(maybe..?)! You can find a few examples of scholarship programs for international students below.

Scholarships in Japan


MEXT Scholarships

The MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology) scholarship has been around since 1954 and  is one of the most sought after and well known scholarship in Japan. There is a huge threshold for international students they take in and they even pay for Japanese language lessons for up to a month depending on scholarship they’d be in. There are 7 types of Mext scholarships namely the Young Leaders Program, Research students, Teacher training students, Undergraduate students, College of technology students, Specialized training students, and Japanese studies students. Each type has a different type of criteria and coverage. They welcome students from all over the world and is usually affiliated with the best schools in Japan.


Type of scholarshipGovernment run
AmountTuition and other fees Monthly stipend of 117,000-242,000 yen per month depending on the type of scholarshipAirfare included
Fields of studyPlease refer to the link below for the list of available courses
Course LevelUndergraduate,  Graduate, Post graduate, Research students
Target groupNationals of countries which have diplomatic relations with the Japanese government
Requirements(will vary depending on scholarship program)Applicants who have completed 12 years of schooling in countries other than JapanApplicants who have completed their studies at a school equivalent to a Japanese upper secondary school in countries other than JapanApplicants must be willing to learn JapaneseApplicants must submit a health certificate in the prescribed format signed by a physicianApplicant which is eligible for a student visaApplicant must meet age requirement for the scholarship program they are applying for
Admission timelineCan be applied to before entering Japan or during stay in Japan as a student
Application process
More information

JASSO Scholarship

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) was founded on 2004 by integrating scholarship and loan programs provided by the Japan Scholarship Foundation;  the Center for Domestic and Foreign Students; the International Students Institute; the support programs for international students provided by the Association of International Education, Japan; the Kansai International Students Institute and the scholarship programs for international students and the student support programs provided by the government.

JASSO offers a Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for privately-Financed International Students, meaning, this is a scholarship for students who are already enrolled or accepted into a University/graduate school/junior college/specialized training college/ college of technology/university preparatory course/ Japanese Language school.


Type of scholarshipIndependent Institution
Amount48,000 yen a month for graduate/undergraduate students30,000 yen a month for Japanese language students
Fields of studyApplies to any course 
Course LevelUndergraduate,  Graduate, Post graduate, Research students, Junior College, Specialized training, University preparatory
Target groupInternational students in Japan
Requirements(will vary depending on scholarship program)Applicant must have a valid Japanese student visaApplicant must must not be receiving the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship or any Foreign Government ScholarshipApplicant must have a GPA of 2.30 or more at a graduate or undergraduate level or the Japanese language institute in the academic year previous to the year of applicationIf the student has a financial supporter in Japan, his/her annual income must be less than 5 million yenAllowance (excluding enrollment fee, tuition fee, etc.) received by the candidate must not exceed an average of 90,000 yen per month.Applicants who adhere to JASSO’s language requirements (JLPT N2/200 points in the EJU/ CEFR B2)
Admission timelineLate March Notice of invitation of applications (JASSO to Institutions)Mid-May Last date for recommendations (Institutions to JASSO)Mid-June Notice of selection results (JASSO to Institutions)Mid-July First transfer of scholarship (For April to June)
Application process
More information

Local Governments/Local International Associations Scholarships

Local Governments in Japan also offer their own scholarship programs for eligible international students in their area. The following is a list of the local government scholarships that offer these scholarships.

  1. Hokkaido International Exchange & Cooperation Center – Foreign Student Scholarship
  2. Kitami City – Scholarship for Foreign Students
  3. Iwate International Association
  4. Kawasaki International Association – Financial Assistance Program for Foreign Students
  5. Kyoto City International Foundation
  6. Iwate International Association
  7. Ohtawara-city Board of Education#
  8. Shinjuku-ku Foreign Student Scholarship#
  9. Toyama International Exchange Scholarship
    10, Ishikawa Prefectural Scholarship for privately financed foreign students
  10. Education board of Fukuroi City
  11. Mie Prefectural scholarship for Foreign Students
  12. Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization
  13. Hyogo Scholarship for privately financed students
  14. Kobe international students scholarship
  15. Hamada international association international students scholarship programs
  16. Kurashiki City Financial aid for privately financed students
  17. Nankoku City scholarship
  18. Fukuoka international exchange foundation foreign student scholarship
  19. Nagasaki international association scholarships for private students
  20. Satsumasendai City scholarship for foreign students
  21. Oita-ken foreign student scholarship

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