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Hershey Scholarship Program

Eligible Countries

Japan

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

Programs

Summer

Deadline

Feb 28, 2024

Several partial scholarships are available from the Alan Hershey Scholarship Fund. Alan Hershey was a Youth for Understanding exchange student in Japan in 1974 at the age of 16. The experience had a profound impact on his life, inspiring a career in international banking that brought him back to Asia dozens of times. Fluent in Japanese, Alan cherished relationships with his host family that he kept in close contact with, his clients all over the world, and shared his passion for Japan with his kids who grew up visiting the country every year since they were born. 

Following in his footsteps, his daughter Caroline was a YFU exchange student in Osaka in 2008 and son Brian in Chiba Prefecture in 2010.

Alan’s passion for travel and intense curiosity about the world inspired his mission to visit all 192 countries. He made it 136. On October 22, 2017, he died suddenly doing what he loved while exploring an ancient city in Uzbekistan.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must meet the age requirements stated on the Japan Country Page

  • Applicants must also be approved to go on program through YFU’s standard application procedure

  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need

Age Requirements

Students must meet the age requirements listed on the individual country pages.

Complete Application Includes

  • Complete Online Application

  • 3 Short Answer Essay Questions

  • $75 Application Fee (non-refundable)

  • Candid and Headshot photos

Additional required information post-application submission includes:

  • Teacher Recommendation

  • Health certificate

  • School certificate

  • Parent-student agreement

  • Interview by YFU Volunteer

  • Complete FACTS application due by March 15. FACTS is an independent, third-party that assesses student eligibility for tuition assistance. For information about FACTS and the application process, please download the FACTS Information Sheet.

    Additional required information post-application submission includes:

Application Fees

  • $75 Nonrefundable YFU Application Fee (paid directly to YFU)

  • $40 FACTS Application Fee to Assess Financial Need (paid directly to FACTS)

Scholarship Recipients are Responsible for

  • Passport Visa fees (if necessary) Any excess luggage tariffs 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.

  • If a scholarship winner cancels their program less than 30 days before departure, they are responsible for paying for their airfare and cancellation fee.

  • Within one month of returning home, the student must provide a report and photos detailing their exchange experience to YFU.

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PLEASE KEEP A COPY OF THIS PAGE AND YOUR APPLICATION MATERIALS FOR YOUR REFERENCE.

Notes

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

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

  • The FACTS application (due March 15) fee for financial aid assessment is an additional $40, paid to FACTS directly. The applicant can pay $40 and apply for as many financial-need-based scholarships as they qualify and YFU offers. Students must be approved to go on a YFU program before YFU can consider them for financial aid scholarships. For this reason, students may want to wait to submit their FACTS application until after they are accepted into the YFU program.

  • If you wish to donate to the Alan Hershey Scholarship Fund, please visit https://www.yfuusa.org/alan-hershey-tribute

Frequently Asked Questions



  • To qualify for the Alan Hershey Legacy Scholarship, applicants must meet the age criteria specified on the Japan Country Page, obtain approval to participate in the program through YFU’s standard application process, and demonstrate financial need.



  • The FACTS application is an independent, third-party assessment of student eligibility for tuition assistance. It is due by March 15, and students must pay an additional $40 fee directly to FACTS for financial aid assessment. The application fee for FACTS is separate from the YFU application fee.



  • Yes, scholarship winners are expected to complete at least one presentation in their school or community upon returning home to share their experiences, teach others about the host country’s culture, and encourage other students to participate in foreign exchange. If a scholarship winner cancels their program less than 30 days before departure, they are responsible for paying for their airfare and cancellation fee.

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