Japan is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to technology and education. For that reason, the country is constantly attracting international students from all over the world. There are five categories of higher education institutions to which one can be admitted. They include undergraduate schools, graduate schools, professional training colleges, colleges of technology, and junior colleges. All of these learning institutions are open for both local and non-local students.

The tuition fee at most Japanese universities are comparatively lower than what’s charged in other developed countries like the U.K. What makes it even more affordable is the fact that there are several scholarships and tuition reduction programs. Are you looking to study in Japan but can’t afford the fees? Here are some of the most popular scholarships in Japan.

How Do I Save Up Money on Tuition Fees Payment?

The main and probably only way you can reduce your tuition fees if you have no scholarships or grants is to choose the right bank. Most traditional banks charge students exorbitant fees for overseas large bank transfers and extra fees for currency conversion which in turn is offered at the worst possible rates. Tuition fees at Japanese Universities can be paid in USD or Yen, and if you’re holding currencies at your home country, you might want to use Wise to pay for your tuition. Through Wise, you can get a Yen account in a matter of minutes that you can use to pay for tuition while you are in your home country and that you can keep using as your main account while you’re in Japan. It is noteworthy that while tuition fees can be paid in Yen or USD, other expenses can only be paid in yen, and a Wise multi-currency account will be most useful once you fully move to Japan. Make a Wise account now, and save up a lot on currency conversion while living abroad!

See Also: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Open a Wise Account for International Students

Best Scholarships in Japan for International Students

1. MEXT Scholarships

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition fee, accommodation, and allowances
  • Eligible Degree: Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD

MEXT is a fully-funded scholarship in Japan offered by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. This annual financial aid is geared towards helping international students struggling to meet the financial requirements of whichever program they’re studying. It’s available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in furthering their education at any Japanese university.

The relevant body announces the application process typically in April of every year. You are then expected to follow the guidelines posted on the official scholarship website. It’s worth noting that there are several MEXT scholarships with the most popular ones being Young Leader’s Program and the Japanese Government Scholarship.

2. Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) Scholarships

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Tuition fee
  • Eligible Degree: Bachelor, Master’s, Ph.D.

JEES offers a wide range of scholarships in Japan for international students, either based on their field of study or country of origin. The scholarships are available to students in all levels of studies, from junior colleges to doctorate degrees. The programs are provided in collaboration with private entities willing to support students in various fields.

There are five different categories of JEES scholarships that you can apply for depending on your eligibility. The most popular ones include nationality-specific, school-specific, and promotion of Japanese language learning. Other scholarships are Asian-specific and area of study-specific programs. You can check out each one of them on the official website page and select the ideal one for you.

3. Waseda University Japanese Government Scholarship

The government of Japan has selected various institutions within the country to support and enhance the International Priority Graduate Program (PGP). Waseda University is one of those institutions, and it offers a chance to every international student applying for a graduate program to access the scholarship program, which is part of the MEXT financial aid programs.

The Graduate School of Information, Production, and Systems (IPS) is responsible for the assessment of students. Anyone who applies for a program at IPS Waseda will be assessed, and if they pass the test, their details are forwarded to the Japanese Government. The selected students – usually about six – will then receive the award in accordance with the government’s plans and policies. Make sure to visit the official scholarship page for more information on this scholarship in Japan for international students.

4. Japan Foundation of UNU

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Waived tuition fee and up to $1100 in allowances
  • Eligible Degree: Ph.D.

Are you planning to study for a doctoral degree in Sustainability Science? As an international student, you have a chance of doing so in Japan with the tuition fee fully covered by the Japan Foundation of UNU (JFUNU). This is a non-application award, which means you are automatically considered a candidate when submitting your initial application for the course. If you are selected as a beneficiary, you’ll receive monthly allowances worth $145,000 on top of the waived tuition fee. These allowances, however, will only be valid for 36 months of your learning period.

To be eligible for this scholarship in Japan, you must first be from a developing country. The primary objective of the JFUNU awards is to target students from such nations and those who are struggling to meet the financial demands of their selected programs. You are, however, not eligible if you are pursuing a second Ph.D. in the same institution.

5. KUAS Undergrad Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Partial and full tuition fee exemption
  • Eligible Degree: Bachelor’s

The Kyoto University of Advanced Science is also offering institution-based scholarship programs to its undergraduate students. There are two main types of scholarship programs at the institution; KUAS-E and Super KUAS-E scholarships. Beneficiaries of the former receive admission and tuition fee reductions (100%, 50%, or 30%) depending on their academic performances. Those who qualify for the Super KUAS-E scholarship, will be exempted from paying admission fees and tuition fees. In addition, the students also receive $110,000 yearly for upkeep.

It is also worth noting that only those who enroll in the faculty of engineering are considered for this Japan scholarship for international students. Your performance must meet the minimum requirements, too, since all your academic documents will be used to assess your qualification. If you are selected, you will receive communication from the relevant body detailing the way forward. Do you want to learn more? Do not forget to visit the official scholarship page for all the information you need to know.

6. Yokohama National University Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: about 120,000 yen for undergraduate level and just less than 150,000 yen for graduate level
  • Eligible Degree: Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD

Yokohama National University is a private university located in Yokohama, Japan. It was founded in 1949 as a junior college and became a national university in 1951. It offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates through its 13 colleges and schools.

Yokohama National University Scholarship is an award program that supports international students. It is based on academic merit, personal achievement, and leadership qualities. It is awarded to students who have demonstrated their potential for success in academic studies.

To apply for this Japan scholarship, you must submit an application form along with your resume and transcript of your academic record. You must also have a high school diploma or equivalent degree and score at least 80 points on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

7. ADB Japan Government Scholarship, University of Tokyo

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition and a monthly stipend
  • Eligible Degree: Masters

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is offering the ADB Japan Government Scholarship to students of Asian origin who wish to pursue a degree in engineering, economics, law, or finance at the University of Tokyo. It is open to students in particular from developing countries and can be used for a Master’s degree. It will cover tuition fees and a monthly stipend.

Applicants must also have a GPA between 3.5 and 4.5 out of 5, hold an undergraduate degree with honors, speak English fluently, and be under 40 years old at the time of allocation. They should also not hold another scholarship that covers tuition fees or other expenses.

The application process is quite detailed but can be done online. It would be best if you start by completing the online application form, which includes personal information, academic history, and contact details. You will also need to submit a cover letter outlining why you would like to study at the University of Tokyo and proof of your financial status. After this stage has been completed, applicants will be required to participate in an interview.

8. Hokkaido University Scholarship

Hokkaido University is a public research university in Sapporo, Japan. It was established in 1876 by the government of the former Hokkaido Prefecture and was one of the first universities in Japan. The university has 10 faculties with undergraduate programs and 13 graduate schools with doctoral programs, including a medical school and a law school. Over 35,000 students are enrolled there every year.

The university offers scholarships to international students who wish to study there. It covers tuition fees and living expenses, including accommodation. This award is open to students from all over the world, but it is specially designed for students from developing countries. It is available for two years, with the option to extend for an additional year.

9. Ritsumeikan University Scholarship

Ritsumeikan University Scholarship is a program offered by Ritsumeikan University to encourage international students to study at their college.

The university has been providing high-quality education for more than 100 years. It was founded in 1869 by Dr. Nitobe Inazo, the first prime minister of Japan. The university has the most significant number of alumni who have received Nobel Prizes and Academy Awards worldwide.

This scholarship program in Japan is designed for students interested in studying at Ritsumeikan University for undergraduate degrees or graduate degrees. It covers tuition fees, housing fees, monthly allowance, and other expenses during their study.

10. Asia Pacific University Scholarship Japan

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition and a monthly stipend
  • Eligible Degree: Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD

Asia Pacific University is a leading private university located in Tokyo, Japan. It is the first foreign-language university in the country to be accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). As a leading private university in Japan, it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and short-term courses to students worldwide.

The Asia Pacific University Scholarship Japan is a program for students who are studying in Japan. It covers all tuition fees, living expenses, and insurance costs, as well as the cost of textbooks. It is open in particular to applicants from developing countries.

You must complete an online application form to apply for the scholarship.

Two letters of recommendation are also required. Furthermore, you need to write a letter explaining why you would like to study at APU and what makes the university unique from other schools in Japan and abroad. The letter should be no longer than one page in length and should be sent via email as an attachment.

11. Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan Scholarship

The Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) is a public research university in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. It was established in 1881 as the first national engineering school in Japan. It has seven faculties with around 4,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan Scholarship is a new program by the university that offers scholarships to international students. It is designed to support students who have excellent academic records and are interested in studying in Japan. It aims to help talented students worldwide achieve their potential, contribute to society, and become global leaders.

This Japan scholarship covers tuition fees, medical insurance, accommodation, and living expenses. Students must participate in an orientation program at the university before receiving their scholarships.

12. Joint Japan World Bank Scholarship

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the World Bank jointly offer scholarships to outstanding students from developing countries. The Joint Japan World Bank Scholarship is intended to promote international understanding and exchange and is open to students from all disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who are preparing for careers in development studies or other fields.

Applicants should be nationals of developing countries and be enrolled in full-time graduate study at a university in Japan. In addition, they should have an outstanding academic record, with a GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 or equivalent, and demonstrate leadership potential as shown by extracurricular activities or employment experience.

13. University of Tokyo Amgen Scholars Program

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: Full tuition
  • Eligible Degree: Undergraduate

The Amgen Scholars Program is a research experience for students pursuing careers in biomedicine. It is designed to allow students to work with some of Japan’s leading scientists and researchers, and it gives them the chance to explore the field of biomedicine from a new perspective.

This scholarship in Japan includes short-term and long-term research projects that allow students to gain valuable skills and experience in various fields within biomedicine. The University of Tokyo Amgen Scholars Program is an excellent opportunity for students who want to gain practical skills, experience, and knowledge. At the same time, they explore an area of interest they may wish to pursue further in their future careers.

14. Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship

  • Scholarship Link
  • Scholarship Amount: 140,000 yen
  • Eligible Degree: Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD

The Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship Japan is a program that provides scholarships to students from countries without Rotary Clubs and those from countries where Rotary Clubs do not have the resources to provide financial assistance. The scholarship aims to enable young people committed to making a difference in their communities through public service and community leadership to pursue their studies at one of the partner universities in Japan.

Rotary International established this scholarship in honor of Dr. John W. Yoneyama, who was born in Japan but was reared in Hawaii by adoptive parents. Dr. Yoneyama, who died in 2002 at age 61, had a distinguished career as an educator and administrator in Hawaii and California before becoming executive director of Rotary International’s Vocational Service Division. He also served on several national commissions on education policy and vocational education.


I hope that this article on Japan scholarships was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Japan Scholarships Page! To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Courses for International Students

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