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Ito Foundation Scholarship

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The Ito Foundation for International Education Exchange awards scholarships in order to promote mutual understanding between Japan and other nations and to nurture people who can make a positive contribution to the world. The Foundation has awarded one or more scholarships per year to a qualified University of Michigan student through the Center for Japanese Studies. The scholarship allows the student to enroll in a master's program at an accredited university in Japan, or to pursue supervised independent research as a research student affiliated with a graduate program at a university or university consortia research institution in Japan. It is the applicant's responsibility to identify and to apply for admission or research affiliation to the appropriate graduate program at a university or research consortia in Japan. The scholarship period typically begins in the fall. It is renewable for a second year contingent on satisfactory progress.

Important Note: This scholarship may NOT be used to enroll in the 10-month program at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) in Yokohama because IUC does not meet the criteria for Japanese university or university research consortium.

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Contact the International Institute Fellowships Advisor for East Asia student awards at or 734-936-3966.

Scholarship Award

The scholarship provides the following:

  • Outfit allowance (one time settle-in allowance paid at the beginning of the scholarship period): 250,000 yen
  • Living stipend: 160,000 yen per month
  • Tuition: Actual amount not to exceed 2,000,000 yen per academic year
  • Travel expenses to/from Japan: Actual amount, not to exceed the limit for each fiscal year, for travel to Japan at the beginning of the scholarship period and to home country at the end of the scholarship period.

More information on this fellowship can be found in the Ito Foundation Scholarship Application Guidelines 2018 (Download PDF).


Applicants must meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • Student Status:  Applicants must be one of the following types of students.
    • Current University of Michigan graduate student enrolled in a graduate or professional program
    • Current University of Michigan undergraduate student expected to receive their bachelor's degree in the current academic year (December, April/May, or August).
    • University of Michigan bachelor's degree graduate who received his/her bachelor's degree in the immediately preceding academic year.
  • Students who are already residing in Japan for study or research at the time of application are NOT eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be a US national
  • Excellent academic record and character
  • Financial need
  • Basic conversational Japanese ability is desired but not required

Please Note: Eligibility guidelines are determined by the Ito Foundation.

Application Deadline

​Deadline: November 15 for awards beginning the following spring or fall

All application materials must be received in hard copy by the Center for Japanese Studies by the deadline.

Application materials should be submitted to:

International Institute Graduate Academic Services Office
University of Michigan
Weiser Hall Suite 300
500 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042

Application Materials

Please download and read the Ito Foundation Scholarship Awards Guideline 2018 (Download PDF) carefully before completing the application materials.

The following materials are required:

  • Application Cover Sheet (Download PDF)
  • Ito Foundation Scholarship Application Form (4 pages) Instructions: Use Adobe Acrobat Pro's Fill & Sign tool to type the requested information on the PDF form.  Adobe Acrobat Pro is available in the public computing sites.  Print the completed form, sign where indicated, and affix your photograph.
  • Study Proposal: Use the Word document provided to complete your study proposal.  See the Guideline 2018 (Download Word Doc) for detailed instructions.
  • Official University of Michigan transcript (paper transcript required)
  • Official transcript of all other postsecondary institutions attended (paper transcript required)
  • One academic letter of recommendation from a University of Michigan instructor
  • Two passport photos (one to be affixed to the last page of the application; write your full name on the back of the other photo and paper clip to your application cover sheet)
  • Letter of admission or affiliation from a Japanese university, if available

Selecting the Japanese University Program

It is the applicant's responsibility to apply for admission to the appropriate graduate program at a Japanese university or to secure a faculty sponsor and institutional affiliation as a research student.  The Student Resources section of this website contains a section on Studying in Japan, with selected resources and information on Japanese universities.

Please note that Japanese universities are organized in a different way than American universities and have separate department and program names for undergraduate (gakubu) and graduate (daigakuin) levels.  Most faculty are affiliated with and teach at both undergraduate and graduate programs.  As a scholarship recipient, you must be affiliated with a graduate level (daigakuin) program.

Students who plan to conduct supervised independent research in Japan as a research student must secure a position as a Research Student (kenkyusei) with a graduate program.


Selection takes place in two stages. First, the Center for Japanese Studies Admissions and Fellowships Committee reviews all applications and submits a ranked list of all qualified candidates to the Ito Foundation. Final selection of the recipient is made by the Ito Foundation Board of Directors. Awardees are typically notified in late March.