The Alan Hershey Legacy Scholarship
Alan Hershey on a boat in Japan.

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, whom he kept in close contact with, and his clients worldwide, and he 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 his 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.

Eligible Countries

Japan

Please refer to the individual country page for program duration and departure times. Applicants will be notified via email, and scholarship programs are subject to change or cancellation without notice. For more information, feel free to call 1.800.TEENAGE or email info@yfu.org

Programs

Summer

Deadline

February 28, 2025

Scholarship Amount

To be determined based on funding and participant eligibility.

Tuition Includes

  • Round-trip airline travel (domestic & international)

  • Placement with a carefully selected host family

  • School Placement

  • National pre-departure orientation for recipient

  • Preparatory materials

  • 24-hour student support services in host country

  • Comprehensive Insurance

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.

Scholarship Recipients are Responsible for

  • Remaining tuition after the scholarship award
  • 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

Study Abroad Participants
What to Expect

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.