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Make your dream to study abroad in Japan come true! Scholarships for foreign students

There are a lot of bills to pay when you’re just starting out your new student life, from matriculation fees and class fees to your housing contract and preparing items for your home. When you need to do all of this in another country, you’ll also be paying for your trip over, as well as other administrative fees. In Japan, public and private institutions offer a variety of scholarships for international students so that future students do not have to give up on studying abroad for financial reasons.

In this article, Kobe Study Abroad will take a look at some of the scholarships available to international students considering studying abroad here.

On this page of the Kobe Study Abroad website you can find an overview, but there are generally five categories of scholarship available to international students who want to study in Kobe.

・MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Scholarships
・Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for Short-term Study in Japan) from JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization)
・MEXT’s International Student Promotion Program
・Scholarships from local governments & international exchange organizations
・Individual school scholarships, course fee reduction programs

Read on, and we’ll explain the characteristics of each!

1. MEXT Scholarships
This scholarship is offered with public funds by the Japanese government. Two types are available: submission via recommendation from diplomatic missions around the world to MEXT, and submission via recommendation from a Japanese university. The amount of money provided will depend on the recommendation method and type, but MEXT will cover your matriculation fee and class fees, and you’ll receive a monthly allowance of around 100,000 yen, so the majority of your study abroad fees should be covered. According to a 2020 report, out of 279,597 international students from countries around the world, 8,791 were government-funded. If you want to know more information about how to apply, please ask at the Japanese Embassy (or Consulate, depending on the country) in your country, or inquire with the Japanese school at which you’d like to study.

2. Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for Short-term Study in Japan) from JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) (English site is here)
This scholarship is available to students attending a university or school that has an exchange agreement with a Japanese school, and who, for financial reasons, are unable to attend a program of a year or less at their own expense. Recipients will be given a monthly stipend of 80,000 yen from a period of between 8 days and 12 months. This scholarship can only be applied for after arriving in Japan, and requires that you be enrolled in a host university or school that has entered a student exchange agreement.

3. MEXT’s International Student Promotion Program
This program provides an incentive grant to international students studying at Japanese educational institutions who have trouble continuing their studies due to financial reasons. Students studying at Japanese language institutions will receive 30,000 yen a month, and students studying in universities and other institutions will receive 48,000 yen a month, for either six months or a year. Before coming to Japan, you can be selected as a reservation holder, and after coming to Japan, you can apply through your school. The number of applicants a school can recommend may vary by school, so it’s possible that you may not be able to apply with some schools. There are also some additonal requirements based on academics and other qualifications.

4. Scholarships from local governments & international exchange organizations
Applicants for the Kobe International Scholarship (Kobe/Sugawara Scholarship), offered by the Kobe International Community Center, must have a student visa, attend a university or graduate school in Kobe City (3rd year or above for undergraduate students), and must not be receiving any other scholarships. In principle, the scholarship is for one year, with 80,000 yen per month, offered to 30 individuals. The acceptance rate is about 1 in 3.

Kobe Student Youth Center
This scholarship is offered to between 4 and 10 international students studying at schools in Hyogo Prefecture, and provides them with 50,000 yen per month. The scholarship is limited to students from Asia, and does not require reimbursement. Candidates can submit their applications through their schools, after which they will be chosen via lottery.

5. Individual school scholarships, course fee reduction programs
Requirements and details for scholarships and fee reduction programs offered by individual schools will vary by school. For example, information on Kobe University scholarships is available here, but as you can see, the eligibility and support varies. Please contact the school where you want you want to study to ask about this kind of program.

Scholarship information is also liable to change from year to year. We recommend carefully checking the details.
(Information from Study in Japan)