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 (covers Fall 2022 – Spring 2023) has closed. The next application (covering Fall 2023 – Spring 2024) is scheduled to launch in mid- January 2023.

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].

Meet the 2022-2023 Watanabe Scholars

Read the bios of the American and Japanese scholars.

2019-2020 Watanabe Scholarship Report

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