One of my greatest regrets is that I never studied abroad when I was in college. I had wanted to go to Spain, but my family just couldn’t afford it. At the time, my parents were very sorry, but I was okay with it. I figured I’d spend the rest of my life traveling abroad.
Although I did go to Europe as a young woman, I still think there’s nothing like actually living and studying in a foreign land. That’s why I’ve urged both of my children to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. My daughter has; she spent five months in Bhutan, a tiny country nestled just underneath China that is surrounded by India on three sides. Hopefully my son will study overseas as well.
For years, he studied Japanese. So, I was heartened when I saw the post Top 10 Study Abroad Scholarships to Japan on the Diversity Abroad website. Diversity Abroad, which I’ve written about here, promotes overseas study to underrepresented students. As I’ve written before, cost is a barrier for most students of color, as it was for me.
Scholarships Can Help Make Overseas Study Possible
But scholarships are available—so don’t give up! For example, the Gilman Scholarship targets Pell Grant recipients. There are a number of other options, and you can see the whole list on the Diversity Abroad site.
Here’s the beginning of the post, which includes other strategies to make your dream to study abroad come true:
“Study abroad in Japan can be costly, but don’t let this hinder you from choosing Japan as your destination country! There are a large number of resources, study abroad scholarships, and financial aid options to support students pursuing an international education.”
Start at Your Home Institution
Check with the study abroad office at your home institution to discuss your options. Your study abroad office may offer Japanese exchange programs. In most cases, exchange programs through your college or university will enable you to pay the same amount as your home institution. This option usually allows your financial aid to be transferred to your study abroad program, if you normally receive aid. When you do an exchange, you pay what you’d normally pay for a regular semester, so why not spend that time abroad?
Speak with a dean, director, or professor in the Asian Studies Department at your university regarding special opportunities to study abroad in Japan. Oftentimes, universities have scholarships or resources for students interested in a particular line of study. These special scholarships can be applied to your study abroad. For smaller colleges or universities that do not have an Asian Studies Department, try connecting with a professor of world languages and reaching out to a department at a neighboring institution.
Research Government Programs
Independent funding, scholarships, and grants can be added to the financial options from your campus. There are a host of government programs that offer aid to students studying internationally. Inquire with government entities, like the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. or the American Embassy in Japan, to see if other scholarships exist. Many Japanese institutions also offer aid to students coming from abroad. Be sure to ask about these options when speaking with the international office, study abroad office, and scholarship office on your campus. If your home institution does not offer these resources, reach out to partnering colleges or universities to see if you can speak with a counselor.
To read more, go to Diversity Abroad.