Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Japanese Government Scholarships for International Undergraduate Students

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The Government of Japan through MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) offers scholarships to international students who wish to study at Japanese universities as undergraduate students under the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Program.

The Eligibility for the Scholarship is explained below:
1) Nationality: Applicant must have the nationality of a country which has diplomatic relations with the Japanese government. This applies at such times to stateless persons, too. Applicant who has Japanese nationality at the time of application will not be eligible. Applicant screening will be made at the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General (hereinafter, referred to as “Japanese legation”) in the country of Applicant’s nationality (except where two or more countries are attended by the same Japanese legation).

(2) Age: Applicant must have been born between April 2, 1991 and April 1, 1996.

(3) Academic Background: Applicant must either have completed a 12-year regular course of school education or have graduated from a school equivalent to an upper secondary school in Japan. (Included is any Applicant who will satisfy the above qualifications by March, 2013.)

  Applicant who otherwise satisfies entrance eligibility for a Japanese university is also included
4) Japanese Language: The Applicant must be willing to learn the Japanese language and receive university education in it.

(5) Health: The Applicant must be physically and mentally healthy enough to pursue study at a university in Japan.
Applicant who otherwise satisfies entrance eligibility for a Japanese university is also included 

(6) Arrival in Japan: In principle, the selected Applicant must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan between the 1st and 7th of April 2013. Travel expenses will not be provided if the Applicant chooses to travel to Japan before this set period. If the Applicant is unable to travel to Japan within the dates set, the scholarship will be cancelled.In case where the student starts from the fall semester through direct placement (i.e English courses), the selected applicant must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan by the date specified by the university.

(7) Visa Requirement: Selected Applicants must obtain a College Student (ryuugaku 留学) visa prior to his arrival in Japan. Applicants who are already in Japan before the start of the scholarship period under a visa other than College Student are required to change it to College Student by the end of the month preceding the start of the scholarship. Applicants who change their resident status to any status other than “College Student” after their arrival in Japan will immediately lose their status as a Japanese government scholarship student.  

(8)Any applicant who meets any or all of the following conditions is not eligible. If identified after the start of the scholarship period, the applicant will be required to withdraw from the scholarship:
  • If Applicant is a service member or a civilian employee registered on the active military list at the time the scholarship period is due to begin.
  • If Applicant is a grantee of a scholarship from an organization(including a governmental organization of his/her own country) other than the Japanese government (MONBUKAGAKUSHO:MEXT);
  • If the applicant is a previous recipient of a Japanese government scholarship. Unless more than three years have passed since the first day of the month following the final payment of the previous scholarship, as of April 1, 2013(In case where the student starts from the fall semester, the month of entrance.); or
  •  If Applicant is, in principle, currently enrolled in a Japanese university with the resident status of “College Student,” or will be enrolled in a Japanese university as an other source or self- financed international student between the time of application for this scholarship in his/her country and the time the scholarship period is due to begin. This does not apply to current self- financed international students at Japanese universities who will complete their course of study and return to their country before the end of the current year. 
Those who wish to study in Japan as an undergraduate student must choose a field of major from the fields listed below. Applicants may enter a first, second, and third choice.

1) Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Social Sciences and Humanities - A: Laws, Politics, Pedagogy, Sociology, Literature, History, Japanese language, and others.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities - B: Economics, and Business Administration.
Note #1: Applicants who wish to major in the fields categorized as “others” may have difficulties in finding universities that can accept them.
Note #2: Major field content related to “Economics” and “Business Administration” of Humanities B is not included in “others.”

2) Natural Sciences
  • Natural Sciences - A: Science (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry), Electric and Electronic Studies (Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Information Engineering), Mechanical Studies (Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture), Civil Engineering and Architecture (Civil Engineering, Architecture, Environmental Engineering), Chemical Studies (Applied Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry, Textile Engineering), and other fields (Metallurgical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Maritime Engineering, Biotechnology).
  • Natural Sciences - B: Agricultural studies (Agriculture, Agricultural Chemistry, Agricultural Engineering, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, Forestry, Food Science, Fisheries), Hygienic studies (Pharmacy, Hygienics, Nursing), and Science (Biology).
  • Natural Sciences - C: Medicine, and Dentistry.
Note: An international student who intends to major in Natural Sciences and would like to choose more than one major is required to choose and select first-, second-, and third-choice subjects from the subjects in brackets from within the same course (i.e. Natural Sciences A, B or C). However, a student who selects Course C as his/her first choice may choose his/her second-choice subjects from Course B or C and third-choice subject from Course B because Course C offers only two subjects.

Number of awards
To date, some 83,000 students from approximately 160 countries and regions around the world have studied in Japan under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program established in 1954. As of May 1, 2009, there were 10,168 foreign students studying in Japan as Japanese government scholarship students.

Sponsorship duration
Scholarship awards will be tenable for five years from April 2012 to March 2017, including one-year preparatory education in the Japanese language and other subjects due to be provided upon arrival in Japan. For scholarship grantees majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or a six-year course in pharmacy, the term of scholarship will be seven years until March 2019.
  • Note 1: The preparatory education requirement can be waived for grantees who have sufficient knowledge of the Japanese language to pursue their study or who wish to enter a university which demands no Japanese language ability (via direct placement). In this case, the awards will be tenable for four years (or for six years for those majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or in a six-year course in pharmacy). If a grantee graduates earlier or withdraws from his/her undergraduate course for early college entrance, the awards will be tenable until his/her graduation or withdrawal.
  • Note 2: The term of scholarship in case of direct placement will start from the time of entrance to the university, taking into account the circumstances of the accepting university.
  • Note 3: In regard to six-year majors in Pharmacy, the student must undergo the common examinations (CBT= Computer-based Testing, OSCE= Objective Structured Clinical Examination) implemented prior to practical training. In cases when it is impossible to fulfill the set standards necessary for practical training, the scholarship may be cancelled.
  • Note 4: If a grantee graduates from an undergraduate course and is admitted to a master's course at a graduate school during the term of his/her scholarship, he/she may have the term extended upon successful examination by MEXT provided that he/she has outstanding academic achievement that meets certain criteria. The scholarship will be discontinued if approval is not granted. 
Scholarship Benefits
1) Allowance: Under the fiscal 2012 budget each grantee will be provided monthly with 117,000 yen. (an additional monthly stipend of 2,000 or 3,000 yen may be provided to those undertaking study or research in specially designated regions.) (However, this will be subject to change, depending upon the annual budget for each year). The scholarship will not be paid to a grantee who takes a leave of absence or is long absent from the assigned university or the preparatory Japanese-teaching institution.

The scholarship will be cancelled for a grantee in the following cases. Furthermore, if scholarship payments were made during the period the following cases applied, the grantee may be ordered to return scholarship payments received during that period:
  • If any of his/her application documents is found to be falsely stated;
  • If he/she is in breach of his/her pledge made to the Minister of MONBUKAGAKUSHO(MEXT);
  • If he/she is subjected to disciplinary action such as expulsion or removal from register by his/her university or the preparatory Japanese-teaching institution;
  • If it becomes definitive that the grantee will not be able to graduate(or complete his/her course) within the standard course term because of his/her poor academic achievement or suspension;
  • If his/her resident status of “College Student” as provided for in Paragraph 1-4 of Appendix to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act changes to any other status;
  • If he/she is provided with another scholarship(except for a scholarship designated for research expenses); or
  • If he/she proceeds to a higher level of education without receiving approval for an extension of the term of the scholarship. 
(2) Traveling Costs:
  • Transportation to Japan: Each grantee will be provided, according to his/her itinerary and route as designated by MEXT, with an economy class air ticket from the international airport closest to his/her place of residence to Narita International Airport (or following the itinerary normally used by the university where the grantee is placed). Expenses such as inland transportation from his/her place of residence to the nearest international airport, airport tax, airport usage charges, special taxes on overseas travel and travel expenses within Japan will be borne by the grantee (the place of residence of the grantee shall in principle be the address stated in the application form). Air travel from a country other than the grantee’s nationality will not be covered, nor travel to Japan before April 1, 2013.
  • Transportation from Japan: A grantee who returns to his/her home country within the last month of scholarship payment will be provided, upon application, with an economy class air ticket for a flight from Narita International Airport (or following the itinerary normally used by the university where the grantee is placed) to the international airport closest to his/her place of return.
Note: Insurance premiums for travel to/from Japan shall be borne by the grantee. The airport the grantee departs from or returns to must be an airport of the country of his/her nationality.

3) School Fees: Fees for entrance examinations, matriculation and tuition at universities will be paid by the Japanese government.

  • During the period of preparatory education,scholarship recipients can reside in the residential accommodations of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies or Osaka University,where these foreign exchange students are enrolled.
  • Residence halls for international students established by national universities
    At present, the national universities have residence halls available for international students. Grantees enrolled at national universities where such facilities are available may reside, if they so desire, at these residence halls under prescribed conditions. However, these facilities may not be able to accommodate all the students who wish to live there.
  • Private-run boarding houses or apartments.
    Grantees who do not live in any of the above facilities will have to live in a dormitory of the university or in private-run boarding houses or apartments introduced by the university. Please keep in mind that it is very difficult to secure family housing. A married grantee is advised therefore to first come to Japan alone, secure a boarding house for his/her family, and then bring in his/her spouse and children.
Method of Application
In cooperation with the governments of the applicants’ countries the Japanese legation (Japanese embassy or Consulate general, depending on the country) will perform primary screening of applicants by means of submitted application documents, interviews and academic examinations.

Applicants must submit the following documents to the Japanese legation by the required date. The submitted documents will not be returned:

(1) [1]Application (by the prescribed forms) 
(2) [4]Application (Attachment) (prescribed form for applicants for direct placement)
(3) Photographs (4.5 x 3.5 cm, Upper body, Full-faced, Uncapped) taken within the past 6 months(name and nationality should be written on the reverse;photo to be pasted onto the application documents. Digital photographs also acceptable) 
(4) [2]Academic transcript for the past 3 years
(5) [3]-1 Recommendation from the principal or the adviser of the last school attended
(6) [3]-2 Graduation certificate of the last school attended (or certificate of expected graduation for an applicant due to graduate)
(7) [3]-3 Certificate of passage of university entrance qualification examination (if applicable)
(8) [5]Certificate of enrollment (for an applicant currently enrolled in a university)
(9) [6]Medical certificate (on the prescribed form) 

  • These documents must be written in Japanese or English. A document written in any other language must be attached with an English or Japanese translation.
  • For items (6) and (7) above, a photocopy of the graduation certificate and/or the qualification certificate will do, provided that the copy is attested by the relevant school or examining organization.
  • An application will not be examined unless all the documents mentioned above are fully and correctly completed. For applicants with (7) Certificate of passage of university entrance qualification examination, this document may be submitted in place of documents (4), (5) and (6).
  • Number the documents([1] through [6])in the right upper corner.
Scholarship application deadline varies per country; but application period is generally around March-May of each year

If you have any question about the matters set forth/not set forth herein, inquire at the Japanese legation, and follow their instructions, if any are given. Please find the contact details of the Japanese embassies/consulates in your country.
Fore information about the scholarship, follow this LINK

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