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Japanese Government Scholarships for International Students

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, or MEXT (Monbukagakusho) of the Japanese Government has been offering scholarships to international students to study in Japan since 1954. To avail these scholarships, all the applications must be made through Japanese embassies or consulate-generals abroad or Japanese universities. International Students who receive Japanese Government Scholarships are not eligible for any other scholarships.

There are different types of scholarships being offered by the Japanese government-

Young Leadership Program Students (YLP): Students below the age of 40 are given this scholarship to study the following fields of study-Schools of Governments, Law, Local governance and Medical Administration, while students under the age of 35 are too awarded this scholarship but only for studying the Business Administration field.
The Under 40 scholarships is awarded to University or College graduates who possess practical work experience, and Under 35 YLP scholarship is presented to young public administrators who’ll play dynamic role in Asia and other nations. 
  • Monthly Stipend= ¥242,000.00 
  • Other Benefits: One-round trip ticket and tuition fee exemption of examination.
  • Duration: 1 year

Research Students (Graduate School and Research Students): Pupils below the age of 35 and who have at least 6 months of Japanese training are eligible for this scholarship. University or college graduates can apply for it.
  • Monthly Stipend: Non-degree students are given ¥143,000.00, Master’s course:  ¥144,000.00, and Doctoral course: ¥145,000.00

Teacher Training Students: Students below the age of 35 and who have at least 6 months of Japanese training are eligible for this scholarship. University or teacher training college graduates who possess at least 5 years of experience as primary or secondary school teacher, or staffs of educational administration services or teacher training services, are qualified to apply for it.
  • Monthly Stipend: Non-degree students are given ¥143,000.00, Master’s course:  ¥144,000.00, and Doctoral course: ¥145,000.00
  • Duration: 1.5 years

Undergraduate Students: Students between the ages 17 to 21, who have successfully completed their secondary school are eligible for this scholarship. This scholarship is provided in many areas of study, such as Social sciences and Humanities, Economics and Business Administration, Natural Sciences, Agricultural Studies, Veterinary sciences, hygienic studies, animal sciences, medicine and dentistry. Students should also have at least one year of Japanese language training certificate in order to get the scholarship.
  • Monthly Stipend: ¥117,000.00
  • Duration: 5 years (7 years: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, and Pharmaceutical Sciences of 6 year system)

College of Technology Students: Students between the ages 17 to 21, who have successfully completed their secondary school are eligible for this scholarship. This scholarship is majorly provided in engineering field of study- electrical and electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, materials engineering, information communications and network systems, Civil engineering and Architecture, Maritime engineering and so on. Students should also have at least one year of Japanese language training certificate in order to get the scholarship.
  • Monthly Stipend: ¥117,000.00
  • Duration: 4 years (4.5yrs- Marine engineering)

Specialized Training College Students: Students between the ages 17 to 21, who have successfully completed their secondary school are eligible for this scholarship. This scholarship is provided in the following field of study- Technology, Education and Welfare, Personal Care and Nutrition, Business, Culture and General Education, Fashion and Home Economics. Students should also have at least one year of Japanese language training certificate in order to receive the scholarship.
  • Monthly Stipend: ¥117,000.00
  • Duration:  3 years
Japanese Studies Students:  Students between the ages 18 to 29, who have successfully completed their undergraduate studies at foreign universities in the major field of study related to Japanese language or culture, are eligible for this scholarship. This scholarship is offered for the Japanese studies. 
  • Monthly Stipend: ¥117,000.00
  • Duration:  1 school year

Application Procedure

There are different modes of applying-

Japanese Embassy Recommendation- For students outside of Japan

University Recommendation- For students outside of Japan

Domestic Selection- For Students within Japan

Mode 1-Through Japanese Embassy

The applications for the scholarships must be made through Japanese embassies.
Screening Process:  The initial assessment is done on the basis of documents checking, a written test and an interview. Subjects of the written test vary depending upon the country/area, but usually consist of the following written tests-
  • Research Students:  Japanese, English
  • Teacher Training Students: Japanese, English
  • Specialized Training College Students: Mathematics, English, and Japanese
  • Undergraduate Students: Social Sciences and Humanities: Mathematics, English,  and Japanese
  • Natural Sciences: Mathematics, English, Japanese, Chemistry, one subject from Physics and Biology
  • College of Technology Students: Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry, Japanese, English
  • Japanese Studies Students: Japanese
The local Japanese embassies or consulates carry out their screening process on the basis of these test results, and then make their recommendations to the Japanese government-MEXT.
For Young Leaders Program, the selection is done through the Japanese Embassies in target countries upon the recommendation of recommending authorities. Initial selection is made through document review, interviews, essay composition, etc. The second selection is done by YLP Committee set in MEXT, and therefore the final decision is reached.
International Students should get in contact with the Japanese embassy or consulate general in their own country or region to know more about the application and selection procedure

Mode 2-Through Japanese Universities

The Japanese universities conduct the examinations of the international student candidates, and hence give recommendation to the MEXT. To know more about the procedure, contact your present school of registration.

Mode 3-Domestic Selection

This category includes privately financed students presently studying at Japanese universities. The 4th year students likely to proceed to regular Master's program student status, or Master's or Doctoral student’s supposed to remain as regular students for 1 year or more are qualified for domestic selection scholarships that starts in the month of April. The selection is done by the national, public and private Universities. To know more about the process, contact your present school of enrollment.
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