Japanese Government (MEXT) Undergraduate Scholarships in Japanese Studies

The application window for the 2019 MEXT Undergraduate Japanese Studies Scholarship Programme is now closed. The application window for 2020 scholarship is expected to open in December 2019.


Table of Contents


General Outline

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) offers scholarships to UK undergraduates who wish to pursue Japanese Studies in Japan for one year as part of their degree.

Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old, UK nationals, and registered as full-time students both when they leave for Japan and when they return to the UK. Successful candidates are expected to have a level of Japanese ability equivalent to JLPT N2.

The scholarship is tenable for one year at a university decided by the Japanese Education Ministry, Monbukagakusho (MEXT). However, candidates can state their preference from a selection of universities in their application.

Students will take courses in the Japanese language and participate in all aspects of university life – attending lectures, joining sports clubs, etc. The programme offers an excellent opportunity for participants to integrate fully into the Japanese community as well as to secure a solid knowledge of the Japanese language and culture.

The Japanese Government provides living expenses, university fees and return air fare.
NOTE: If you are not a UK citizen but wish to apply for a MEXT Scholarship, please contact the Embassy of Japan in your own country.

All enquiries should be directed to:
MEXT Undergraduate Japanese Studies Scholarship
Japan Information and Cultural Centre
Embassy of Japan
101-104 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7JT
E-mail: scholarship@ld.mofa.go.jp  

Past Application Documents (for reference)

Please be sure to thoroughly read through the Application Guidelines before submitting the necessary paperwork for your application.

  • Application documents for download
    Note: Academic transcript and certificate of university enrolment must hold original signature or university stamp on the headed university letter pad. Photograph must be a 4.5cm x 3.5cm printed ID photo or digitally inserted on the application form.
  • Self-Assessment Medical Report (Word, temporary alternative form to Certificate of Health which successful candidates must submit by mid-March)
  • 1 passport copy must be included with the UK application
  • Course Guide of Japanese Studies Program (For FY2019)

Application Timetable

This is an example of the usual schedule. However, please note that these dates may vary slightly from year to year.

Application period December - early February
UK interviews Mid February
Results of UK interviews* Late February
Results of MEXT selection (Tokyo)* Expected to arrive in late May
FINAL RESULTS with university placement July - August
Pre-departure orientation August
Departure for Japan September - October

*Please note that, although candidates may be successful up until this point, the final result depends on confirmation of your university placement.

Application Guidelines

  1. Eligibility
  2. Scholarship Benefits
  3. Term of Scholarship
  4. Application Process
  5. Selection
  6. Placement and Education at University
  7. Fields of study

1. Eligibility

Nationality: Applicants must have British nationality. Those with a nationality other than British should contact the Embassy of Japan in their home country. Applicants with dual nationality (British and Japanese) who reside outside Japan are eligible only if they have renounced their Japanese nationality by the time of their departure for Japan.

Age: Applicants must be under the age of 30 as of April of the year they wish to depart for Japan.

Academic Background: Applicants must be undergraduates enrolled at non-Japanese university at the time of arriving and leaving Japan.

Study Area: Applicants must be majoring in fields related to the Japanese language or Japanese culture. Those who are majoring in fields of study other than Japanese language and culture (such as engineering, economics, agricultural science, architecture, and art) and pursuing complementary studies in Japanese language and culture are ineligible.

Japanese Language: Applicants must have Japanese language ability sufficient for receiving education at a Japanese university in Japan.

Health: In view of the expected psychological challenges due to cultural and environmental changes, sound mental as well as physical health is an essential requirement.

Arrival in Japan: Applicants must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan by the designated period (usually September or October).


  • Military personnel and military civilian employees registered on the active list are ineligible.
  • Scholarships may be cancelled if grantees fail to arrive in Japan by the appointed date.
  • Applicants who have been awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship in the past will not be selected as grantees.
  • Applicants who are already enrolled in a Japanese university are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants who have been awarded another scholarship which coincides with the term of the Japanese Government Scholarship are not eligible.

2. Scholarship Benefits

University matriculation and tuition fees are paid.

Allowance: ¥117,000 (subject to change) per month will be given to each grantee during the term of his/her scholarship, with the understanding that the scholarship will be suspended if the grantee is absent from university for a lengthy period of time.

Return airfare to Japan.

3. Term of Scholarship

The term is the period necessary to complete the admitting university’s study course, which should be within one year from September/October. Extension of the term is not permitted.

4. Application Process

Applicants should complete and submit the prescribed application forms (which usually become available to download from this webpage from December of each year) along with university transcripts from each academic year, a letter from the university certifying the enrolment, as well as an academic reference.

Candidates can specify three university preferences on the application form. It is not necessary to have made formal contact with universities in Japan at the time of application to the Embassy, although it does make for a stronger application if there is evidence that research has been conducted into suitable universities and departments.

5. Selection

The Embassy of Japan in London will select preliminary candidates by inviting short listed applicants to a Japanese test and interview. Those who have been selected as preliminary candidates will be recommended to MEXT through a screening committee. The final selection will be made by MEXT after the university placement has been confirmed.

6. Placement and Education at University

The study is implemented only in the university study courses listed in the “Course Guide of Japanese Studies Program.” This Course Guide is available from the MEXT’s website and the Japanese Embassy.

MEXT, in consultation with the universities concerned, will decide on the university in which each recipient shall be enrolled by taking into consideration his/her Japanese language ability and specialized courses he/she wishes to take. Objections regarding university placement will not be accepted.

7. Fields of Study

Specialized Japanese language and Japanese culture study will be divided into the following two courses, depending on the objective of the study:
(a) A course intended mainly to study about Japan and Japanese culture with supplementary study to improve Japanese language proficiency
(b) A course intended mainly to improve Japanese language proficiency with supplementary study about Japan and Japanese culture

The specific course contents vary with each university, but every student will take special lectures on Japan, Japanese culture, and Japanese language and specialized practical study, as well as classes in the departments related to his/her individual major.

MEXT Alumni Personal Experiences


Alumni Association in the UK

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