MEXT, which stands for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Japanese Government, is one of the best opportunities that international students can have when studying in Japan. You may also know it by its Japanese name monbukagakusho. With thousands of recipients from all over the world, MEXT Scholarship is the ticket to achieving your academic goals. The benefits of the MEXT Scholarship make it the most prestigious Japanese scholarship among international students wishing to come to Japan.

After all, who doesn’t want to have a monthly stipend on top of a completely waived university tuition? Among the various types of MEXT programs, this time, I will mainly give you a comprehensive guideline about the MEXT Scholarship 2020 for Japanese studies students.

Without delay, let’s check out what you need to prepare before applying for MEXT 2020!

Qualifications and Conditions

(1) Nationality: Applicants must have the nationality of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan. An applicant who has Japanese nationality at the time of application is not eligible.

(2) Age: Applicants must be born between April 2, 1990 and April 1, 2002.

(3) Academic background: Applicants must satisfy the following three conditions:

  •  Applicants must be undergraduates at foreign (non-Japanese) universities at the time of arriving in and leaving Japan
  • Only those who are majoring in fields related to the Japanese language and/or Japanese culture. Other majors are not accepted.
  • Those who have studied Japanese Studies at a university for a total period of one year or more as of September 1, 2020. Those who have studied Japanese Studies at another university should submit documents (transcript of grades at another university, etc.) which can verify that the applicant has studied Japanese Studies for a total period of one year or more at the attended universities including the current university.

(4) Japanese language ability: Applicants must have Japanese language ability sufficient for receiving education at a Japanese university in Japan.

(5) Health: Applicants must submit a health certificate in the prescribed format signed by a physician attesting that the applicant has no physical or mental conditions hindering the applicant’s study in Japan.

(6) Visa requirement: An applicant shall newly obtain a “Student” visa at the Japanese diplomatic mission located in the applicant’s country, and enter Japan with the newly obtained residence status of “Student.” 


(1) Allowance: 117,000 yen per month. A supplemental regional allowance of 2,000 or 3,000 yen per month will be added to the monthly scholarship amount for the grantees studying or conducting research in specially designated regions. 

(2) Education fees: Fees for the entrance examination, matriculation, and tuition at universities will be paid by MEXT.

(3) Travel expenses:

  • Transportation to Japan: MEXT stipulates the travel schedule and route, and provides an economy-class airline ticket for the flight from the international airport closest to the grantee’s residence to an international airport in Japan used on the normal route to the accepting university. 
  • Transportation from Japan: Based on the application by the grantee, MEXT will provide an airline ticket to grantees who shall complete the study course at the accepting university and return to the home country by the end of the final month of the scholarship period 

Application period: Check your country’s deadline here

Application Process

There are five main stages during the application process, as stated below:

(1)  First Screening: conducted by the Japanese diplomatic missions, by means of an examination of submitted application documents, a written examination (subject: Japanese) and interviews.

(2)  The date and time of the notification of the results of the First Screening will be specified separately by the Japanese diplomatic mission in the applicant’s country; the reasons for the results of the screening will not be disclosed.

(3)  Applicants who have passed the first screening will be recommended to MEXT.

(4)  MEXT will conduct the Second Screening of the recommended applicants and decide the scholarship grantees.

(5)  The results of the final selection will be notified on a date separately designated by the Japanese diplomatic mission in the applicant’s country. The name of the accepting university will also be notified to the scholarship grantees. Any objections to the decision on the university placement will not be accepted.

Application Documents

Applicants must submit the following documents to the Japanese diplomatic mission in the applicant’s country by the designated deadline. The submitted documents will not be returned.

  1. Application form (The applicant’s photograph to be attached to should be of clear quality, taken within six months of submission, and printed on paper specially for photographs. The photograph should be 4.5 x 3.5 cm., upper-body, full-faced, no hats. Please write the applicant’s name and nationality on the back of the photograph)
  2. Placement reference application form (Select preferred universities at most from the “Course Guide of Japanese Studies Program” (see here) and fill out the Placement Preference Application Form with the selected university names and course code in order of preference)
  3. Certified academic transcript from the university the applicant is currently attending
  4. Documents verifying that the applicant has studied the Japanese language and culture for at least one year
  5. Certificate of enrollment (For all academic years up to the current year of enrollment).
  6. Recommendation letter (free format, but the sample format is also available)
  7. Medical certificate
  8. Certificate of Japanese language ability

If you are thinking about attending university in Japan or applying for any scholarship here, I suggest considering MEXT Scholarship, especially if your major is Japanese Studies. This is absolutely the gateway to your future academic opportunities. Start researching right now and prepare the required documents!

The chance of success is waiting for you! Good luck!