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Sep 5, 2010

Study Scholarships for Japanese Universities

This is a topic, which I am sure, has been buzzing around the minds of millions of people that are (or were) somehow attracted by Japan. I have noticed that most of the internationals who are starting to study Japanese are either anime fans or are amazed by the brand new technologies, which are being belched out of the country every year. If you have your own reason for studying Japanese or in a Japanese university, I would try to provide some interesting and vital information for you throughout this article. 

As you probably know, Japan is one of the top countries in the world both in terms of GDP per capita and average annual salary, which means respectively that the living costs are quite high. For some American, English or Australian students the university fees may be relatively low and affordable, but for about 90% of the world population they are too high to be beared. Here comes the help of the numerous scholarships provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Japan (MEXT).

There are 7 types of scholarships depending on what you would apply for. These are:
  1. Research Student - You must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (includes prospective graduates). Or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.
  2. Teacher Training Students - You must be under 35 years of age and a graduate of a college or teacher training college. You must have at least five years of active experience as a teacher in a primary, secondary or teacher training college in your country. (Please note that college and university teachers currently in active service are not considered for this scholarship). 
  3. Undergraduate University Student - You must be at least 17 and under 22 years of age and have completed 12 years of school education or have completed courses in a school comparable to a high school (includes prospective graduates). 
  4. Japanese Studies Student - Applicants must be from 18 to 30 years old. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time when they come to Japan and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time when they return to their home countries.
  5. College of Technology Students -  You must be at least 17 and under 22 years of age and have completed school education comparable to a high school (a minimum of 11 years beginning in primary school) education (includes prospective graduates). 
  6. Special Training College Students -  You must be at least 17 and under 22 years of age and have completed 12 years of schooling or have completed school education comparable to a Japanese high school (includes prospective graduates). 
  7. Youth Leaders' Programme (YLP) Students - Applicants must be young public administrators and so on, from Asian and other countries participating in the YLP who are expected to play active roles as future national leaders in their respective countries. The participants must be university or college graduates, who have at least 3-5 years' work experiences in public administration or enterprises and so on(*). The screening of the participants is based on recommendations of the recommending authorities.
    (*)There are five different YLP courses, each of which has different qualifications in work experience and affiliation, and the recommending authorities.  
The website Study in Japan provides in depth information for the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for application for any of the scholarships. The number of scholarships is limited, so it is not an easy goal but putting enough effort on achieving your dream everything is possible! I know a person who was accepted just after the third attempt, but for example my teacher in Japanese was chosen on his first try and was making a research for 2 years in Kobe University and Osaka University (this was back in the early 90s). However you must notice that in the last years the amount of money given per scholarship is decreasing, but I could assure you that even JPY125,000 is more than enough for you to live happily in Japan (of course this is not the case with Tokyo). 

I would highly recommend you consider carefully these sites before you take the decision to apply for some kind of study scholarship in Japan:
In case you have any concerns or you want to share something with me, you could always find me on Facebook, as Nyagoslav Jekov, or you could drop me an e-mail at nyagoslav.zhekov@gmail.com

Have fun and take care ;)

P.S. I just came back from visiting the Golden Pavilion!!! It was incredible I must admit!

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