MEXT Scholarship Program

2021/1/5


Every year, the Government of Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - MEXT) offers scholarships to foreign students who wish to study at Japanese universities.

There are three types of scholarships offered through the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal: (1) Japanese Studies Students, (2) Undergraduate Students, and (3) Research Students. Each covers the round-trip flight between Canada and Japan, full tuition, and a monthly allowance.

Important!

This webpage describes only the scholarships available in Canada; types of scholarships available in other countries may differ.

Only Canadians, whether residing in Canada or abroad, can apply for a scholarship through one of the Japanese diplomatic missions in Canada.

Non-Canadian candidates, including permanent residents and landed immigrants, must contact a Japanese diplomatic mission in their country of citizenship. For contact information of Japanese embassies and consulates abroad, please click here.

Inquiries should be directed to the nearest Japanese diplomatic mission.
Consulate General of Japan in Montreal for Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador
Embassy of Japan in Ottawa for Ottawa/Gatineau
Consulate General of Japan in Toronto for Ontario
Consulate General of Japan in Calgary for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut
Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver for British Columbia and Yukon

Thinking of studying in Japan?

Read about former MEXT scholars' experiences on our ''Former Scholars" page.

Consult the Japan Student Services Organization's (JASSO) website for a wide variety of practical information about studying in Japan.

Types of Scholarships

Japanese Studies Students
For undergraduate students already majoring in Japanese language and/or culture.
2021 Application Cycle Status: OPEN

Undergraduate Students
For undergraduate studies in any university subject.
2021 Application Cycle Status: CLOSED

Research Student
For graduate studies in any university subject.
2021 Application Cycle Status: CLOSED


Japanese Studies Students

For undergraduate students already majoring in Japanese language and/or culture.
2021 Application Cycle Status: OPEN

Please note that the general information below is indicative only; for detailed information on the Japanese Studies Students Scholarship, consult the Application Guidelines.

***IMPORTANT NOTICE***
Applicants should be advised that, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and the measures taken in response, the 2021 Japanese Studies Students Scholarship application cycle may be modified (schedule, procedures, etc.) or cancelled.
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Fields of Study
Japanese Language and Japanese Studies

Application Deadline
All required documents must be received by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal by 5:00 pm EST, Friday, February 12, 2021.

Scholarship Duration
One year or less, from September/October 2021

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, a candidate must meet the following main requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be born between April 2, 1991, and April 1, 2003;
  • Be a regular undergraduate student at a foreign (non-Japanese) university majoring in fields related to Japanese language and/or culture before and after the period covered by the scholarship (must have completed at least one year of said studies by September 1, 2021);
  • Have sufficient Japanese language ability to receive instruction in Japanese.

For a detailed list of all requirements, please consult the Application Guidelines.

University Placement
Designated by MEXT, taking into account your stated preferences.

You may refer to the Course Guide of Japanese Studies Program 2021 to consider your placement preferences.

Application Process
Please consult the Application Guidelines for more details regarding this scholarship.

  • Application deadline (mid-February)
    *The application forms are available for download here.
  • Review of documents (mid-February)
  • 1st screening: examination (Japanese) and interview (late February)
  • 1st screening result notification (mid-March)
  • 2nd screening, by MEXT
  • 2nd screening result notification (July-August)
  • Placement notification and pre-departure preparations
  • Departure for Japan (September/October)

Applicants should use the Document Checklist, and may also book an appointment with the MEXT Scholarship Desk, for final verification purposes prior to submitting their application.

Examinations and interviews will be held in person at the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal; no exceptions will be made.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to review examples of qualifying examinations on the Study in Japan website.

Please read all available documentation carefully. Should you have any questions thereafter, please do not hesitate to contact the Montreal MEXT Scholarship Desk.

Undergraduate Students

For undergraduate studies in any university subject.
2021 Application Cycle Status: CLOSED

Please use the information below as reference for any future application. For updates on this scholarship, subscribe to the eBulletin, our monthly newsletter, or "like" our Facebook page.

Please note that the general information below is indicative only; for detailed information on the Undergaduate Students Scholarship, consult the Application Guidelines.

**IMPORTANT NOTICE*
In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 application schedule for the Undergraduate Student Scholarship has been modified.
The application cycle being more condensed, it is of the utmost importance that all applicants ensure that their application file is complete and in order before its submission. All deadlines must be strictly respected. Failure to follow directives may result in the rejection of the applicant’s candidacy.
Moreover, all applicants should be advised that, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and the measures taken, the 2021 Undergraduate Students Scholarship application cycle may be further modified or cancelled, or recipients may be unable to travel to Japan despite having been selected.
***********************

Fields of Study
Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Health Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy)

Application Deadline
All required documents must be received by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal by 5:00 pm EDT, Friday, July 10, 2020.

Scholarship Duration
5 years from April 2021 for Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences
7 years from April 2021 for Health Sciences

*The scholarship period includes a one-year intensive preparatory course in the Japanese language and other necessary subjects at an institution designated by MEXT. Exemption may be possible.

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, a candidate must meet the following main requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be born on or after April 2, 1996;
  • Must have completed 12 years of education or a program the equivalent of Japanese Senior High School by March 2021;
  • Possess a solid base in the Japanese language.

For a detailed list of all requirements, please consult the Application Guidelines.

University Placement
Designated by MEXT, taking into account your stated preferences.

Application Process

  • Application deadline (early July)
        *The application forms are available for download here.
  • Review of documents (July)
  • Examinations (Japanese, English, and Mathematics; plus Sciences*) and interview (August)
        *Only for applicants who choose a Natural Science field
  • 1st screening result notification (September)
  • 2nd screening, by MEXT
  • 2nd screening result and placement notification (January-February)
  • Pre-departure preparations
  • Departure for Japan (April or September/October)

Applicants should use the Document Checklist, and may also book an appointment with the MEXT Scholarship Desk, for final verification purposes prior to submitting their application.

Examinations and interviews will be held in person at the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal; no exceptions will be made.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to review examples of qualifying examinations on the Study in Japan website. 
IMPORTANT: The Japanese high school curriculum being largely different from Canada's, Undergraduate Students Scholarship applicants should pay special attention to the material covered in the examinations.

Please read all available documentation carefully. Should you have any questions thereafter, please do not hesitate to contact the Montreal MEXT Scholarship Desk.

Research Students

For graduate studies in any university subject.
2021 Application Cycle Status: CLOSED

Please use the information below as reference for any future application. For updates on this scholarship, subscribe to the eBulletin, our monthly newsletter, or "like" our Facebook page.

The general information below is indicative only; for detailed information on the Research Students Scholarship, consult the Application Guidelines.

**IMPORTANT NOTICE**
In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 application schedule for the Research Student Scholarship has been modified.
The application cycle being more condensed, it is of the utmost importance that all applicants ensure that their application file is complete and in order before its submission. All deadlines must be strictly respected. Failure to follow directives may result in the rejection of the applicant’s candidacy.
Moreover, all applicants should be advised that, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and the measures taken, the 2021 Undergraduate Students Scholarship application cycle may be further modified or cancelled, or recipients may be unable to travel to Japan despite having been selected.
***********************

Fields of Study
Must be the same field that the applicant has majored in or a related field, and be available at Japanese universities.

Application Deadline
All required documents must be received by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal by 5:00 pm EDT, Friday, July 17, 2020.

Scholarship Duration
18 months from September/October 2021 for a fall departure
Note: Due to the changes made to the application schedule, only the fall departure option will be available in 2021.

*Scholarship period includes a six-month Japanese language preparatory course for recipients who require it.

**Scholarship extension may be possible if proceeding to a degree track (to obtain a Master's or PhD degree).

Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible, a candidate must meet the following main requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Be born on or after April 2, 1986;
  • Have a Bachelor’s degree or higher;
  • Have languange proficiency in either English or Japanese sufficient to pursue their research in Japan.

For a detailed list of all requirements, please consult the Application Guidelines.

University Placement
Designated by MEXT, in conjunction with the Japanese universities who have issued a provisional acceptance letter to the candidate.

Application Process

  • Application deadline (mid-July)
    *The application forms are available for download here.
  • Review of documents (July-August)
  • Examination (English and Japanese) and interview (September)
  • 1st screening result notification (October)
  • Submission of letters of admission or provisional acceptance (late December)
  • 2nd screening, by MEXT
  • 2nd screening result and placement notification (June-July)
  • Pre-departure preparations
  • Departure for Japan (September/October)

Applicants should use the Document Checklist, and may also book an appointment with the MEXT Scholarship Desk, for final verification purposes prior to submitting their application.

Examinations and interviews will be held in person at the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal; no exceptions will be made.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to review examples of qualifying examinations on the Study in Japan website.

Please read all available documentation carefully. Should you have any questions thereafter, please do not hesitate to contact the Montreal MEXT Scholarship Desk.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

DISCLAIMER: The complementary information below is provided for reference only; the MEXT Scholarship Application Guidelines and other official documents take precedence.


- - - - GENERAL
I want to study in Japan but, after reading the information above, the MEXT Scholarship Program does not seem like the right fit for me; what should I do?
Anyone interested in studying in Japan should consult JASSO’s website for its wide array of information on studying in Japan as well as its helpful lists of different programs and scholarships offered by various organizations. Also, some Canadian universities have formed partnerships with Japanese universities; there may also be opportunities to explore there.
When does the academic year begin and end in universities in Japan?
The academic year in universities in Japan begins in April and ends in March of the following year. In most cases, the year is divided into two semesters, the first lasting from April to September and the second from October to March.
How should I submit my application?
Applications must be submitted in person or via mailing services to the Japanese diplomatic mission nearest you.
How can I get updates on the MEXT Scholarships?
Applicants are encouraged to check our website regularly, subscribe to our monthly newsletter the e-Bulletin, ‘like’ our Facebook page, or follow our Twitter account to get up-to-date information about application cycles and deadlines, information sessions, etc.


- - - - APPLICATION DOCUMENTS
The new documents for the upcoming application cycle are not available yet; can I use the previous year’s?
No. You may use them as reference, but submitting forms other than the prescribed ones for the ongoing application cycles is grounds for disqualification.
In the Application Guidelines, it is mentioned that we have to submit originals and copies of the different documents required; what does this mean?
An original is a document with authentic pen-to-paper signatures, and/or stamped or embossed seals; it is not the result of a photocopy, fax, scan, etc. A copy however is a reproduction of the original document via photocopy, fax, scan, etc.
What translations must be included in my application file?
All documents in a language other than English or Japanese must be submitted with an English or Japanese translation. If the original documents are in French, the translation does not need to be done by a certified professional as the MEXT Scholarship Desk will ensure the exactitude and validity of the translation upon reception.
If possible, should I complete all application documents in Japanese?
You are free to complete the application documents in Japanese; doing so may help prove your Japanese proficiency from an earlier point in the application process, but it is not required. Moreover, while you are allowed to fill out application documents in Japanese, please also include English translations of the documents as not all members of the paper screening committee may be fluent in Japanese.
Is there a specific format for the Recommendation Letter?
As indicated in the Application Guidelines, there is no specific format required, but a sample format is available. However, candidates must clearly communicate the following instructions to their referee: (1) if possible, the letter should be written either in English or Japanese; (2) the appropriate number of copies should be included alongside the original; (3) the letter must be signed by hand, pen-to-paper; (4) the envelope containing the letter must be sealed; (5) and the referee should sign across the seal. Finally, the applicant must submit the unopened envelope with their application file.
What academic transcripts should I submit?
Applicants must submit the appropriate transcripts according to their academic backgrounds; details are available in the Application Guidelines. However, while the academic transcripts do not absolutely have to be submitted sealed, they must be paper originals issued by competent and relevant authorities. Moreover, should the applicant have obtained credits from other academic institutions – e.g. through school transfers or foreign exchanges –, and said credits have been/will be counted towards graduation, official transcripts from those other academic institutions will also need to be submitted.
I want to keep my original diploma; if I submit it as proof of graduation, can it be returned to me after the application process?
No, no document submitted will be returned. Applicants may instead submit a certified copy of their diploma issued and signed/sealed/stamped by competent and relevant authorities (e.g. their school’s registrar’s office). Uncertified photocopies or scans will not be accepted.
My school cannot issue a Proof of Expected Graduation; what should I do?
To this day, we have not come across any academic institution unable to produce a Proof of Expected Graduation, or certificate of prospective graduation. The problem is most likely in the wording of the request. The required document is a letter issued by a competent authority at your university (e.g. the registrar’s office) stating that, based on your current academic track, and if the program/university conditions are met, you are expected to obtain your degree in (insert month and year). It should be made clear that this is in no way a document confirming graduation.


- - - - SCHOLARSHIP-SPECIFIC
(Undergraduate) One of the basic eligibility criteria is having completed 12 years of education; what does that entail?
For the majority of Canadians, twelve years of education entails graduating high school. Quebec residents however will have only completed 11 years of education upon graduating from high school due to differences in the province’s educational system. Quebec high school graduates will need to complete at least one year of college (CEGEP) education to be eligible for this scholarship.

That being said, as noted above, the Japanese high school curriculum being largely different from Canada's, Undergraduate Students Scholarship applicants should refer to past years’ examples of the scholarship’s qualifying examinations available on the Study in Japan website and pay extra special attention to the material covered.
(Research) Am I supposed to contact potential supervisors and universities before submitting my application?
Applicants are not required to contact potential universities until after successfully passing the first screening. However, it is highly recommended that applicants do in-depth research – which may include establishing contact – about universities and available programs, laboratories and supervisors in your field of study early on in the application process. This is a vital step in clarifying one’s purpose in applying for the MEXT Scholarships and wanting to study in Japan. Moreover, applicants who have done preliminary research will be better equipped to write and submit a precise, concrete and detailed research proposal.
(Research) I want to complete a master’s/doctoral program, why could it be recommended to start off as a research student (non-degree track)?
If an applicant with the goal of completing a degree-track program wishes to begin said program right away upon their arrival in Japan, they may do so. However, most graduate programs require examinations and/or interviews to be conducted in person before applicants can be accepted into the program. In those cases, a trip to Japan must be arranged ahead of the start of the MEXT Scholarship period; it is thus the applicant’s responsibility to make all arrangements and cover any related fees (transportation, accommodation, etc.).

Another option for applicants who aim to complete a degree-track program under the MEXT Scholarships is to travel to Japan and begin their studies as a non-degree track research student. They would then be on site and in an ideal position to apply to their university’s graduate program of their choice. This option may extend somewhat the total duration of the studies in Japan, but it is also less expensive and relatively hassle-free.