Japanese Government (MONBUKAGAKUSHO:MEXT) Scholarships

Deadline: varies according to the country
Open to: young international (undergraduate or graduate students) who wish to pursue non-degree course, Master’s degree, PhD or research
Scholarship: 125, 000 yen – 1,103 EUR for undergraduates; 152,000 yen – 1,340 EUR/month (Research Student), 154,000 yen – 1,358 EUR (students enrolled in a Master’s program or a professional degree program), 155,000 yen – 1,367 EUR for doctoral students; economy class air ticket


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

Fields of Study

Fields of study must be subjects which applicants will be able to study and research at Japanese universities.

Keep in mind, however, that a student who majors in medicine, dentistry or welfare science will not be allowed to engage in clinical training such as medical care and operative surgery until he/she obtains a permit from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare under applicable Japanese laws. Majors in traditional entertainment such as Kabuki and classical Japanese dances, or in subjects that seek practical training in specific technologies or techniques at factories or companies are excluded.


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 Generalhereinafter referred to as the “Japanese legation”) in the country of Applicant’s nationality(except where two or more countries are attended by the same Japanese Embassy/Consulate General).

2. Age:
Applicant must have been born on or after April 2,1976.

3. Academic Background:
Applicant must be a graduate from a Japanese university or have academic ability equal or superior to that of a Japanese university graduate. A person will be deemed to have academic ability equal or superior to that of a university graduate, if he/she

[1] has completed or will complete a 16-year school curriculum in a foreign country or an 18-year school curriculum if he/she desires to enroll in a doctoral course in the field of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, or pharmacy which is founded on a 6-year department or faculty; or

[2] is or will be aged 22 or older and has taken an individual entrance qualification examination and has been judged by a graduate school as being equal or superior in academic ability to a university graduate (or 24 or older if he/she desires to enroll in a doctoral course in the field of medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, or pharmacy which is founded on a 6-year department or faculty).

Note: Eligible applicants include those who otherwise satisfy or will satisfy qualification requirements for admission to a Japanese graduate school. As a general rule, a person who has completed a doctoral course may not apply unless he/she seeks to obtain a degree.

4. Major Field of Study:
Applicant should apply for the field of study he/she studied at the previous university or any related field. Applicant must choose a field on which he/she can receive education and perform research at the university of his/her choice.

5. Japanese Language:
Applicant must be willing to learn the Japanese language, interested in Japan and enthusiastic about deepening his/her understanding of Japan after arriving, and capable of engaging in study and research while adapting himself/herself to life in Japan.

6. Health:
Applicant must be physically and mentally healthy enough to pursue study at university.

7. Arrival in Japan:
Applicant must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan between the 1st and 7th of April 2011, or within two weeks of the date set by the receiving university for the beginning of the semester (in principle, in September or October). Travel expenses will not be provided if the Applicant chooses to travel to Japan before this set period.

8. Visa Requirement:
Selected Applicants must obtain a College Student (ryuugaku) visa prior to his arrival in Japan. Applicants who are already in Japan 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.

Term of Scholarship

The term of scholarship will differ as follows depending on the course a grantee takes in Japan:

To see different terms for different students click here.


1. Allowance
Under the fiscal 2010 budget, each grantee will be provided monthly with 152,000 yen (Research Student course), 154,000 yen (students enrolled in a Master’s program or a professional degree program), or 155,000 yen students enrolled in a doctoral program (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, these amounts are subject to change depending on the annual budget of each year. The scholarship will not be paid to a grantee who takes a leave of absence or is long absent from his/her university.

2. Traveling Costs
[1] 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, 2011.

If the grantee comes to Japan to obtain admission to a university, he/she will not be provided with traveling cost to Japan.

[2]Transportation from Japan: The grantee who returns to his/her home country within the last-payment month of his/her scholarship 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 matriculation, tuition and entrance examinations at a university will be paid by the Japanese government. If the grantee moves on to higher education as a nonregular student, he/she will pay for entrance examinations.

Application Procedure

Applications should be made through Japanese embassies or consulate-generals abroad or Japanese universities.

Each applicant must submit three sets of the following documents to the Japanese legation by the specified date. One set is required to be original documents. The other two sets may be photocopies thereof.

1. Application (a prescribed form)
2. Application Form: Attachment, a prescribed form
3. Research Program
4. Photograph 4.5×3.5 cm, taken within the past six months, upper body, full-faced, uncapped.
Write your name and nationality on the reverse and paste it onto the application form. Digital photographs also acceptable
5. Academic transcript of each academic year of the last university attended (issued by the university attended
6. Graduation certificate or degree certificate of the last university attended (or an attested document certifying that the applicant will graduate from the school, where applicable)
7. Recommendation from the principal or the adviser of the last university attended
8. Recommendation from the present employer if currently employed)
9. Medical certificate on the prescribed form issued by the medical institution designated by the Japanese legation
10. Abstracts of theses
11. Photograph showing applicant’s own works of art or a recorded tape of musical performance only for those majoring in fine arts or music

Note 1: These documents must be written in either Japanese or English. A document written in any other language must be attached with a Japanese or English translation.

More information in this leaflet.

More detailed information on this scholarship program is available at the Japanese legation in your country.

The official webpage.