The Toshizo Watanabe Endowed Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to Japanese and American undergraduate and graduate students pursuing study abroad program or international study 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 international study would not be possible without financial support.

Beginning in 2016, this scholarship program has allowed Japanese students to study in the United States, and since 2019, has allowed American students to study in Japan. The scholarship will support the cost of attendance to the institution or study abroad program of the applicant’s choice and grants awards to recipients in amounts determined by financial need and other qualifications.


The Toshizo Watanabe Scholarship Study Abroad Scholarship Program application for 2024-2025 cycle is closed.

Please see the following documents containing important information:

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 United States.
  • Undergraduate and graduate students (international study by the means of study abroad program or independently enrolling as a degree-seeking students)
  • Will be enrolled in an exchange program or credit-bearing course of study at a university or approved academic center in Japan in the upcoming academic year. Applicants who have not confirmed a school or are already enrolled in a Japanese school as a degree-seeking student are eligible. Cannot be used for language schools.
  • Demonstrates financial need for international study (i.e., would not be able to pursue international study without financial assistance or support)
  • Priority given to undergraduates. Graduate students and international degree-seeking students may also apply.

Preference Will Be Given to Applicants Who Meet the Following Criteria (Note: Not Required)

  • Applicants who have been raised by a single parent or an orphan.
  • First in family to attend or graduate from college (i.e., first-generation)
  • Applicants without international study experience or experience living abroad.

Click here for eligibility requirements to study abroad in the United States.

For any questions, please email [email protected]. Phone inquiries are not accepted.

Meet the 2023-2024 Watanabe Scholars

Ⓐ indicates a previous recipient of the scholarship
** indicates a TOMODACHI alumnus or previous recipient
^ indicates a graduate student

Home Institution: The institutions where students are enrolled.

Host Institution: The universities where students are currently completing their study abroad or research.

Nao Aizawa
Home Institution: Denison University 
Host Institution: Denison University

Charmaine Agustin
Home Institution: University of California Davis 
Host Institution: Waseda University

Tiffany Barkmeyer
Home Institution: Paint Branch High School
Host Institution: Temple University, Japan Campus

Phoebe (John) Buggy
Home Institution: University of Toledo
Host Institution: Rikkyo University

Jose Damian-Flores
Home Institution: St. Edward’s University
Host Institution: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Elise Fashimpaur
Home Institution: Willamette University
Host Institution: Tokyo International University

Akari Hayashi
Home Institution: Sapporo Shinyo High School
Host Institution: Denison University

Meillin Hoshino
Home Institution: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Host Institution: Grinnell College

Leona Iizuka Ⓐ 
Home Institution: Vanderbilt University
Host Institution: Vanderbilt University

Daichi Ishikawa^
Home Institution: Waseda University
Host Institution: The University of Chicago

Sari Kamiyama
Home Institution: International Christian University
Host Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst 

Nodoka Katsura
Home Institution: American University, Ritsumeikan University
Host Institution: American University, Ritsumeikan University

Rina Matsuo
Home Institution: University of California San Diego
Host Institution: University of California San Diego

Misaki Motohashi
Home Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Host Institution: University of California, Berkeley

Kenshin Noguchi
Home Institution: DePauw University
Host Institution: DePauw University

Jeramy Vargus Rodriguez
Home Institution: College of San Mateo
Host Institution: Kwansei Gakuin University

Sabrina Williams
Home Institution: Middle Tennessee State University
Host Institution: Kansai Gaidai University

Shota Yasuraoka
Home Institution: University of California San Diego
Host Institution: University of California San Diego

Micah Zumtobel
Home Institution:
Colorado School of Mines
Host Institution: Shibaura Institute of Technology