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MEXT scholarships program to study in Japan 2023

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The Japanese Government has just announced the opening of applications for the MEXT scholarships 2023. There are six types of MEXT scholarships program: those for research students (master and PhD), teacher training students, undergraduate students, Japanese studies students, college of technology students, specialized training college students. The availability of applications for one program or another varies depending on the applicant’s country of residence.

Successful candidates will be invited to the Japanese Embassy in their country of residence to take a written exam. If passed, they will be called back to the Embassy for an interview. Successful candidates will be recommended to MEXT.

Japan is known as a good place to live with its low crime rate. There are about 220,000 international students from over 170 countries and regions of the world. Japan is a tolerant country, where freedom of religion and thought is guaranteed by the constitution.

It should be noted that four Japanese universities are in the top 100 of the CWUR ranking, 14 in the top 500 and 41 in the top 1000.

MEXT Scholarships in brief

LEVEL: Bachelor, Master, PhD, Research, Language stay, Training.
FUNDING: Fully funded.
DEADLINE: Depending on country (see below).
TARGET PUBLIC: All nationalities.
HOST COUNTRY: Japan.

Types of MEXT scholarships

Six types of awards are available:

1. Research students (Master, PhD): You must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (includes prospective graduates). Or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.

2. Teacher training students: You must be under 35 years of age and a graduate of a college or teacher training college. You must have at least five years of active experience as a teacher in a primary, secondary, or teacher training college in your country. (Please note that college and university teachers currently in active service are not considered for this scholarship).

3. Undergraduate students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed 12 years of school education or have completed courses in a school comparable to a high school (includes prospective graduates).

4. Japanese studies students: Applicants must be from 18 to 30 years old. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time when they come to Japan, and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time when they return to their home countries.

5. College of technology students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed school education comparable to a high school (a minimum of 11 years beginning in primary school) education (includes prospective graduates). You can choose a field of study from the following choices: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Information, Communication, Information, Communication and Network Engineering, Materials Engineering, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Marine Engineering.

6. Specialized training college students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed 12 years of schooling or have completed school education comparable to a Japanese high school (includes prospective graduates).

Benefits of MEXT scholarships

Selected MEXT scholarship applicants will be entitled to the following benefits:

  • Registration, tuition, and entrance exam fees (at the university) will be paid by the Japanese government.
    A monthly stipend of ¥143,000~145,000 per month for  MEXT research program and Teacher trainging program. ¥117,000 per month for the rest of programs. An additional monthly stipend of ¥2,000 or ¥3,000 may be granted to those undertaking their studies or research in some designated areas of Japan.
  • Each recipient will receive an economy class airfare from the nearest international airport to his/her home to the new Tokyo International Airport or any other international airport that the assigned university usually uses.
  • In case of accident or illness, all expenses related to medical consultations, procedures, and medication are fully covered.
  • The selected students will be accommodated at the international student residences provided by the universities concerned.

The MEXT scholarship program has no GPA prerequisite for application. But, based on some information we have gathered, last year, the GPA of the last accepted applicant in some countries was 2.2.

Schedule and specific regional details

The calendar differs from one country to another. Here are the MEXT scholarships calendar for India, Nigeria and Canada:

  • India : 15 May 2022 for research program, 27 May 2022 for the rest of programs.
  • Nigeria : 27th May 2022.
  • Canada : June 2, 2022.

Check your country’s MEXT details here.

Available fields of study

Any field taught in Japan is eligible. Applicants can choose between programs taught in English or Japanese. For those who decide to do their research program in Japanese, the duration of their stay is extended.

Eligibility Criteria

MEXT accepts applications from international students who meet the following qualifications and requirements:

  • Be a citizen of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan.
  • Be willing to learn Japanese.
  • Submit a health certificate stating that the applicant does not have any physical or mental condition that would prevent him/her from studying in Japan.
  • Bachelor’s Program: You must be at least 17 years old and not more than 25 years old and have completed 12 years of schooling or have attended a school comparable to a high school.
  • Master’s and Doctoral Program: You must be under 35 years of age and also have a bachelor’s or master’s degree (including future graduates) or have completed 16 years / 18 years of study.
  • Language study: Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years of age. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools specializing in Japanese language or Japanese culture at a university outside of Japan at the time of arrival in Japan, and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time of return to their home country.

Application procedures

All application procedures for Japanese government scholarships, MEXT, are conducted through the Japanese embassies and consulates in the applicants’ countries of residence. There is no application fee.

There are four main steps to the application process, as outlined below:

  1. Sending and examination of your file.
  2. Passing the written exam.
  3. Interview.
  4. Final review of your application by MEXT.

Your application for the MEXT scholarships must contain:

  • Application form – required. (bachelor, master et PhD, College of Technology, Specialized Training).
  • Medical certificaterequired.
  • Certificate of Enrollment — Optional (Only for those currently enrolled in a university or high school).
  • Direct Placement Form — Optional (Only for applicants wishing to apply for direct placement).
  • Transcripts for all school/university years — required.
  • University or school diploma — required.
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher or principal of the last school attended —required.
  • Certificate of Qualifying Examination for University Registration — optional.
  • Certificate of Language Proficiency — optional.

Applicants must submit the required documents to the Japanese diplomatic mission in their country by the deadline indicated here. Applications can be submitted either electronically or by mail (depending on the country). Please contact your country’s diplomatic mission for more details.

Below is an official application guide for MEXT scholarships:

Check previous years’ exams at this link.

For any questions, please contact the diplomatic mission of your country.

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