The Toshizo Watanabe Endowed Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to undergraduate and 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.

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 up to the full cost of attendance to the study abroad program of the applicant’s choice and grants awards to recipients in amounts determined by financial need and other qualifications.


The 2022-23 application is closed. Applicants will be notified by June 3, 2022.

Please note: Given the COVID pandemic, the United States or Japan may revise their travel restrictions at any time, which may impact a student’s ability to enter either country to study abroad. It is up to you (the applicant) to be sure you will be able to study abroad.

If you are selected as a finalist or as a recipient of the scholarship, and you are unable to participate in your study abroad program onsite at the campus in the destination country, then you must contact the Watanabe Scholarship administration team as soon as possible. The scholarship funds may not be used for online courses while a scholarship recipient remains in their home country.

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 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., would not be able to study abroad without financial assistance or support)
  • (Preferred) Applicants who have been raised by a single parent or who have lost both parents
  • (Preferred) Applicants without significant international travel or study abroad experience
  • (Preferred) First in family to attend or 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 United States.

Click here to apply. 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