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YFU offers over 200 full and partial merit-based scholarships and needs-based financial aid to students every year.

To be considered for scholarship awards, students must meet the eligibility requirements listed on the individual Scholarship Information pages below and demonstrate characteristics like flexibility, tolerance and open-mindedness. In addition to the standard application and fee (if required), students also need to submit essay responses, a host family introduction letter and teacher recommendations by the scholarship deadline. Students can apply for multiple scholarships and pay only one fee.

Through the generosity of numerous corporations, governments, foundations and individuals, YFU awards more than $2.3 million in partial or full study abroad scholarships annually. Students are encouraged to consider all of their scholarship options and apply to as many as they qualify for by the December 1 scholarship application deadline!

Japan-America Friendship Scholars (JAFS)

YFU Scholarship Information Sheet

At a Glance

Application Deadline

Program Length

January 3

- Summer

Eligible Countries

Please refer to individual country pages for program duration and departure times.

Scholarship Amount

  • Students are responsible for a $3500 program tuition contribution.


  • 70 scholarships open to students who meet age required defined on the Japan country page.
  • Students who have Japanese language experience or are motivated to learn Japanese.
  • Students must hold a 3.0 grade point average or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Only US citizens may apply.
  • Previous recipients of a YFU scholarship to Japan are not eligible.

Age Requirements

Complete Application Includes:

  • Complete Online Application
  • 1 Teacher Recommendation
  • 3 Short Answer Essay Questions
  • $75 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  • Parent-student agreement
  • Health certificate
  • School certificate
  • 5 Candid photos
  • 1 Headshot


Japan scholarship winners will participate in a special mandatory orientation in California at San Francisco State University. JAFS recipients will depart for orientation on June 19th and will leave for Japan immediately after orientation on June 21st. Students will return from Japan on August 3rd.


Application Fee

  • $75 (non-refundable) Please make check payable to YFU.

Scholarship Covers:

  • Round-trip international travel
  • Round-trip domestic travel
  • Placement with a carefully selected host family
  • Regional orientation for scholarship recipients and parents
  • Preparatory materials
  • Three-day mandatory Japan specific orientation at the beginning of the program
  • Support services in host country

Scholarship Recipients are Responsible for:

  • Passport
  • Visa fees (if necessary)
  • Any excess luggage tariffs
  • Required overseas medical insurance (many insurance policies will cover students while traveling abroad)
  • Personal spending money
  • Upon returning home, scholarship winners are expected to complete at least one presentation in their school or community to share their experiences, teach others about the culture in their host country, and encourage other students to participate in foreign exchange.
  • Tuition balance not covered by scholarship, due two weeks after award notification
  • Upon returning home, scholarship winners must submit a 2-3 page essay titled 'YFU Experience in Japan' detailing their exchange in Japan. These essays are submitted to the Japanese government to encourage funding for future programs.




  • All applicants will be notified of their status (via email) in April.
  • This scholarship is sponsored by the Japanese government and therefore students may not miss orientation, or arrive late in Japan. Additionally, students may not schedule to leave the program early, or extend their stay in Japan. All students must fly to program and depart program together. 
  • The flight purchased for this program is a roundtrip ticket and therefore students flights may not be rearranged to include any other destinations other than their departure gate and Japan. 


Note: Scholarship programs are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.


If applying for multiple scholarships, please indicate each scholarship's name and code on your application. All scholarship recipients are required to travel on the YFU group travel dates, and to complete the entire program. For more information regarding YFU and the scholarship selection process call 1.800.TEENAGE or refer to the Scholarships Overview section of this web site.