The Toshizo Watanabe Endowed Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to undergraduates/graduate students for a semester or year-long study abroad program in either the United States or Japan. A generous endowment gift of $10 million from Mr. Toshizo (Tom) Watanabe to the U.S.-Japan Council makes it possible to award scholarships to students for whom study abroad would not be possible without financial support.

The scholarship will support up to the full cost of attendance to the study abroad program of the applicant’s choice. The scholarship program grants awards to recipients in amounts determined by financial need and other qualifications. 2020 marks the third year to support American students studying abroad in Japan, and the fifth year for Japanese students studying abroad in the United States. 

Applications are closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.

Update: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the application will not be opening for the year 2021 (for Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 disbursement). We anticipate the next application period will open January 2022, for Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 disbursement.

This decision has been reached due to the fact that many institutions in both the U.S. and Japan are conducting online only classes and our scholarship is meant to support in-person international study experience. In other cases, many study abroad programs have been either cancelled or postponed. As a result, we have decided to give those who were selected to receive the scholarship this year a choice to defer the scholarship to the following academic year (Fall 2021 – Spring 2022) when in-person courses are more likely to resume. Please note that deferment is normally not allowed, but an exception was made given this year’s extreme circumstances. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Eligibility (to study abroad in Japan)

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Currently in good academic standing at an accredited college or university in the U.S.
  • Will be enrolled in a credit-bearing course of study at a college, university or approved academic center in Japan in the upcoming academic year
  • Demonstrates financial need for international study (i.e. Without financial assistance or support, would not be able to study abroad)
  • (Preferred) Applicants who have been raised by a single parent or who have lost both parents
  • (Preferred) Applicants without significant international travel or study experience
  • (Preferred) First in family to attend/graduate from college (i.e. first-generation)
  • (Priority) The priority for the scholarship is undergraduates who are studying abroad for a year or less. Graduate students and international degree-seeking students may also apply, however the maximum amount of an award is $25,000 for one year.

Click here for eligibility requirements to study abroad in the U.S.

For any questions, please email [email protected].

2019-2020 Watanabe Scholarship Report

Please click here to view 2019-2020 Scholarship Program activities and scholars’ reports.

2019-20 Scholars Highlights