Japan-America Friendship Scholars

(JAFS) Winter

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.


  • 64 scholarships open to students who meet age requirements 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

Applicants must have been born between April 2, 2005 and April 1, 2007.

Complete Application Includes

  • Complete Online Application

  • 1 Teacher Recommendation

  • 3 Short Answer Essay Questions

  • $75 Application Fee (non-refundable)

  • Health certificate

  • School certificate

  • Parent-student agreement

  • 5 Candid photos

  • 1 Headshot

Application Fees

$75 (non-refundable)

Scholarship Covers

  • Round-trip international airline travel

  • Round-trip domestic airline 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 (may be virtual, dependent on Covid situation)

  • Support services in host country

  • Comprehensive Insurance

Scholarship Recipients are Responsible for

  • Passport

  • Visa fees (if necessary)

  • Any excess luggage tariffs

  • Personal spending money

  • 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.

  • 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.


Japan scholarship winners will participate in a special mandatory Japan Pre-Departure Orientation.


  • All applicants will be notified of their status (via email) in October.

  • 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.

  • 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 website.