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The MEXT Scholarship: Everything you need to know

 What is MEXT Scholarship?

What is the MEXT Scholarship Program?

MEXT is a frequent abbreviation for the Japanese government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Monbukagakusho is another name for it in Japanese as it offers overseas students traveling to Japan the Japanese Government Scholarship program. This scholarship is a fantastic chance for individuals who desire to travel to Japan and study there but don’t have the financial resources to do so. The MEXT Scholarship is essentially a student exchange program for students interested in studying at a Japanese university.

There are two basic conditions for acceptance, regardless of which level of scholarship you apply for:


  • Obtain a recommendation from a Japanese embassy or general consulate.
  • Obtain a recommendation from a Japanese university of your choice, which will admit you as a student.


The first is obtained through the application process, which entails sending a form to your local Japanese consulate. You’ll get the second by applying to several Japanese universities and indicating that you’re applying for the MEXT Scholarship in your applications.


You must also be a citizen of a country with a diplomatic relationship with Japan and have a valid student visa, among other requirements.


If you qualify for the MEXT Scholarship, then you’ll receive:

  • 120,000 yen per month if you’re an undergraduate student.
  • 146,000 yen per month if you are in a Japanese Intensive Course and also for research students.
  • 147,000 yen per month if you are pursuing any master’s program.
  • 148,000 yen per month if you are in the doctoral program.
  • Waived or refunded application fees for the university.
  • Admission fees for the university.
  • Tuition fee for the university.
MEXT scholarship
MEXT scholarship

Types of MEXT Scholarships

MEXT scholarships are available to Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) students, Research Students (Graduate School Students & Research Students), Teacher Training Students, Undergraduate Students, College of Technology Students, Specialised Training College Students, and Japanese Studies Students under the Japanese Government Scholarship program.

1. Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) Students 

Who: University or college graduates with practical work experience.

Monthly Stipend:  ¥242,000

Duration: 1 year

The Young Leaders Program (YLP) is a scholarship program run by the Japanese government (MEXT) to develop future national leaders in Asia and other countries. The YLP creates positive contact among countries and students by building a network among national leaders and increasing their understanding of Japan. It is aimed at young public officials who are anticipated to play an active role in Asia and other countries.


Young Leaders Program (YLP) is a specially organized program for students who are aspiring to study in the following fields :

  • School of Government
  • Business Administration
  • Law
  • Local Governance
  • Medical Administration

MEXT provides scholarships for approximately 80 students on the YLP, annually.

2. Research Students (Graduate School Students & Research Students)

Who: University or college graduates (or prospect). Students who have academic ability equal to that of a university graduate.

How much: ¥143,000 – ¥145,000 (Depending on the degree)

Duration: Maximum of 2 years for non-regular students. 

International students can take graduate courses or research a specialized subject as Research Students under this scholarship program (non-regular students). Even if you begin as a non-regular student, you can apply for a scholarship extension if you want to continue in a regular graduate school course or proceed to a Ph.D. program. This scholarship is awarded to roughly 2,500 graduate students and research students, and the amount and duration of the scholarship vary depending on the type of student. For a maximum of two years, non-regular students receive 143,000 yen per month (including six months of Japanese language training). Regular master’s students receive 144,000 yen per month, while standard doctoral students receive 145,000 yen per month for the time required to finish the regular program of the respective courses.


3. Teacher Training Students

Who: University or teacher training college graduates who have over 5 years of experience as:

  • teachers in active service of primary or secondary schools in their home countries, or

2) teachers on teacher training schools (excluding universities) in their home countries

How much: 

Non-degree students- ¥143,000

Master’s course- ¥144,000

Doctoral course- ¥145,000 (Additional stipend for designated area)

Duration:  Upto 1.5 years

This grant is available to international teachers who wish to participate in Teacher Training Students at designated Japanese universities and get training based on Japanese school education. The scholarship period will coincide with the time required to complete the training course at the accepting university, and you will not be allowed to seek an extension. Those approved, approximately 100 students per year, will receive a monthly allowance of 143,000 yen during this time.


4. Undergraduate Students

Who: Those aged 17-22 who have completed 12 years of school education or prospect, must have qualifications deemed to be suitable for enrollment in a Japanese university at the time of application

How much: ¥117,000 (Additional stipend for the designated area)

Duration:  5 years (7 years: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Pharmaceutical Sciences of 6-year system)

You must complete a one-year preparatory study before enrolling in a university if you apply for this scholarship through MEXT. In this example, the scholarship will last five years, with one year of preparatory study and four years of undergraduate study (one plus six years for pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine). If your target university’s undergraduate program does not need Japanese language ability, you may be allowed to skip the preparation course. The scholarship will last four years in this scenario (six years for pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine). The monthly stipend will be 117,000 yen, plus 2,000 or 3,000 yen if you study in one of the specially designated areas. Scholarships are awarded to approximately 150 students each year.


5. College of Technology Students

Who: Those ages 17-22 who have completed secondary school (11 years or longer curriculum starting at elementary school) or prospect

How much: ¥117,000 (Additional stipend for the designated area)

Duration:  4 years (4.5 yrs: Marine Eng.)

This scholarship may be of interest to you if you want to study at Japanese colleges of technology as a College of Technology Student. You have the option of choosing one of the following fields of study:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Information, Communication
  • Network Engineering
  • Materials Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering
  • Maritime Engineering

The scholarship will be for four years, with one year of the preparatory study included. If you obtain this scholarship, your monthly allowance will be 117,000 yen, much like the previous two awards. Following that, if you have an outstanding academic record when you graduate from a college of technology, you may be eligible for a scholarship renewal after passing a MEXT examination.

6. Specialized Training College Students

Who: Those ages 17-22 who have completed secondary school (11 years or longer curriculum starting at elementary school) or prospect

How much: ¥117,000 (Additional stipend for a designated area

Duration:  1 year

This scholarship is for international students who want to study in Japanese specialized training institutions or the equivalent of vocational schools. You have the option of choosing one of the following fields of study:

  • Technology
  • Personal Care and Nutrition
  • Education and Welfare
  • Business
  • Fashion and Home Economics
  • Culture and General Education

The scholarship will run for three years, with a one-year preparatory study term. If you obtain this scholarship, your monthly allowance will be 117,000 yen, much like the other scholarships. If you have great academic achievement when you graduate from a specialized training institution, you may be eligible for a mext scholarship extension upon successful assessment by MEXT, similar to the College of Technology Scholarship. This prize is awarded to about 50 students each year.

MEXT scholarship

7. Japanese Studies Students

Who: Applicants aged 18-30, must be undergraduates at foreign(non-Japanese) universities majoring in fields related to the Japanese language or Japanese culture at the time of arriving and leaving Japan.

How much: ¥117,000 (Additional stipend for the designated area)

Duration: 1 school year

If you are an overseas student who wants to have a better understanding of the Japanese language, affairs, and culture, the Japanese government gives you this scholarship. You must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an institution in your nation to be eligible for this award. The scholarship period corresponds to the time required to complete the study program at the accepting university. This term should be no longer than a year, and any request for an extension will be denied. You will receive a certificate for completing the designated course at the end of the scholarship time, and you should restart your study of the Japanese language and culture at your home university. The monthly allowance you will get during this time will be 117,000 yen per month, and this scholarship is awarded to approximately 500 students each year.

How to Apply

There are usually 4 steps for the application process:

  1. Document screening:
    Use the website of the Japanese Embassy in your country to download and prepare the documents. The Application Form, the Certificate of Health, and the Recommendation Form are the three documents you must complete in total (unless you want to forgo the one-year preparatory course and go straight to university). If that’s the case, you’ll need to prepare four documents).
  2. Written exams:
    Depending on your major, you will have different written tests (arts or science). Students majoring in Social Sciences and Humanities (Arts) will be required to study English, Japanese, and Mathematics, whereas students majoring in Natural Sciences will be required to take English, Japanese, Mathematics, and two sciences. If you applied with a Natural Science A major, you must take Physics and Chemistry, and if you applied with a Natural Science B or C major, you must take Biology and Chemistry. There are multiple previous year papers available online, so practice with them before the exam.
  3. Interview:
    This is the most difficult of the four stages. Arrive at least fifteen minutes early for your interview and dress appropriately (Either your school uniform or a suit). “Why did you choose (insert: the universities you chose) as your top three choices?” “Why did you choose (insert: the majors of your choice) as your top three choices?” “What will you do if you don’t get the major of your choice?” “Why do you want to study in Japan?” “How proficient are you in Japanese?” and “Can you introduce yourself? (in English and/or in Japanese)” are some of the most frequently asked questions. Prepare your responses to these questions and maintain a humble demeanor throughout the interview.
  4. Final document screening by MEXT:

Now it’s just a matter of waiting! All of your documentation from stages one to three will be forwarded to MEXT (in Japan), who will make the final decision. If you pass, you’ll be contacted via email and letter, and they’ll tell you which preparation course you’ll be taking: Osaka University (Minoh campus) or Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (unfortunately, you will not be able to choose which university you want to go to).

MEXT scholarship

Popular fields of studies t0 choose and  fields that you should avoid

Engineering appears to be a popular topic these days. This is fantastic, but you must have strong math, physics, and chemistry grades.

Business Administration is my favorite and the one I studied the most. Only English, Japanese, and Math A tests are required. strong marks in any business-related disciplines, an outstanding reason for choosing this career, and good grades in any business-related subjects.

You’ll need a lot of Japanese for Japanese studies. This isn’t a place where you can start from scratch. Other areas, such as Japanese literature or Japanese law, require a high level of Japanese proficiency.

Sports, art, manga and anime, pop culture, and other disciplines of study may not be eligible for the scholarship. There are occasional exceptions, but you should keep your interests apart from your more advanced study disciplines.


There are several unique aspects to this scholarship that you should be aware of. It is essential to give yourself at least a year or two to prepare before applying. Many kids, however, I know, decide to go for it right away. Try to learn more about the MEXT scholarship and prepare for the MEXT scholarship tests in this case. Do not undervalue the Japanese MEXT exam by assuming that you will study in English, that you will not require Japanese, or that you will learn Japanese once you arrive. This is a typical blunder that can lead to students missing out on a fantastic opportunity to study in Japan on a full government scholarship.

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