Watanabe Scholarship Frequently Asked Question

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Question: If I am currently studying in the United States already as (1) a degree-seeking student or (2) will be continuing my year-long study from spring 2016 through Fall 2016, am I eligible to apply for the scholarship? (すでにアメリカの大学に進学している学生も対象になるのか。)

Answer: Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, if you are a degree-seeking student we can only award support for a single year. There may be opportunities in the future for a renewal or multi-year award, but at this time, we are only supporting up to a single academic year of study.


Question: If I am already receiving a scholarship, am I eligible to apply for the Watanabe Scholarship?(他の奨学金と併用して渡邉利三寄付奨学金を利用できるか。)

Answer: Yes, are eligible to apply for this scholarship if and only if your other scholarship(s) does not meet your full financial need. You cannot apply for this scholarship to exceed your cost of attendance.


Question: Is the Watanabe Scholarship limited only to students participating in an exchange program?(渡邉利三寄付奨学金は交換留学のみにしか適用されないのか。)

Answer: No. This scholarship is NOT limited only to exchange programs. The following types of international study program types are eligible for the scholarship. 

Program Type


Direct Enrollment

Student directly enrolls in a foreign university as a temporary, non-degree seeking, international student. Student may select from the full range of courses for which they have the appropriate prerequisites and language abilities. Students must navigate administrative and academic procedures independently, utilizing on-campus offices at host institution.

Exchange Program

An exchange of students between two institutions through an inter-institutional exchange agreement. Students pay home institution tuition and are admitted as temporary, non-degree seekers at the foreign institution.

Degree-seeking program

A student is attending a U.S. college/university for multiple years in order to earn an undergraduate or advanced degree.


Question: Are only Japanese citizens eligible for this scholarship or can permanent residents also apply? (米国永住者も応募対象になるか。)

Answer: This scholarship is open to both Japanese citizens as well as permanent residents.


Question: If I am going to the U.S. for graduate school, am I eligible to apply for the scholarship? (大学院進学の学生も応募対象になるか。)

Answer: Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, please note the scholarship is only for a maximum of one year of support.



Application Process

Question: Do I apply for the scholarship directly or does my university in Japan have to nominate me?

Answer: The student must apply directly for the scholarship, submitting all their documentation to the U.S.-Japan Council Scholarship Account (watanabescholarship@usjapancouncil.org) by the April 1st deadline.


Question: What is the financial aid certification letter? Is there a required format? What information needs to be included?(財政援助証明のフォーマットはあるか。)

Answer: The financial aid certification letter is a document that provides proof/certifies the costs of attendance and actual financial needs of the student. Please find a template form of the letter here. The letter must be signed and completed by the appropriate school official such as staff from the Financial Aid, Bursar or the International/Global Study Office.


Question: What is the study abroad certification letter? Is there a required format? What information needs to be included?(留学証明のフォーマットはあるか。)

Answer:  The study abroad certification letter is document that gives proof/certifies that the applicant’s study abroad is a credit-eligible program and to confirm the information entered by the applicant in their application form (pg. 2). You may find a template form of the letter here. The letter must be signed and completed by the appropriate school official with knowledge of the applicant’s study abroad plans, such as staff from the International/Global Study Office.


Question: Is there a particular format for the recommendation letter?(推薦状のフォーマットはあるか。)

Answer: There is no required format for the recommendation letter. The length and format is up to the applicant and their recommender. However, the recommendation should speak to this applicant’s strengths for pursuing studying abroad and why they are uniquely qualified to receive this scholarship. It must be completed in English. 


General Questions

Question: Can my organization or university post information about the Watanabe Scholarship on our website?(渡邉利三寄付奨学金の情報を機関又は大学のHP等に掲載しても良いか。)

Answer: Yes, please share the information about this scholarship opportunity with your networks. However, please contact the Scholarship Team (watanabescholarship@usjapancouncil.org) and let them know where you are posting the information so that we can track the recruitment.


Question: What is the average amount of the scholarship award and how many people will receive it this year? (奨学金の平均額や支援人数は決まっているか。)

Answer: There is not set amount for this scholarship award. As this scholarship seeks to meet the financial need of successful applicants, there is no set number of scholarships to be awarded. Do not let this discourage you!