Daiwa Scholarship: General information

The Daiwa Scholarship is a unique 19-month programme of language study, work placement and homestay in Japan, following a month of Japanese language tuition in the UK. Daiwa Scholarships offer young and talented UK citizens with strong leadership potential, the opportunity to acquire Japanese language skills, and to access expertise and knowledge relevant to their career goals.

No previous experience of Japan or Japanese is necessary.

As of May 2018, 170 Daiwa Scholars – including scientists, artists, academics, lawyers and architects – will have benefited from the Daiwa Scholarships.

Daiwa Scholarships are provided by the Foundation to encourage better understanding between both countries.

You can find a link to the Daiwa Scholarship flyer here.

You can listen to an interview between 2014 Daiwa Scholar, Freyja Sewell, and the BBC’s Dan Damon on the World Service’s World Update via the link below:

Freyja Sewell interview with Dan Damon on World Update, BBC World Service, MP3 file

The deadline for the 2019 programme is Thursday 6 December 2018.

Up to eight Scholars will be selected in 2019.

The Foundation is also happy to provide advice about possible applications – please contact scholarships@dajf.org.uk.


Daiwa Scholarships last approximately 20 months, starting in summer and finishing at the end of March.

The selected Daiwa Scholars undertake a  Japanese language course in the UK and then move to Japan for the rest of the Scholarship. There is also a short orientation on arrival in Tokyo.

LANGUAGE STUDY (Months 1-12)

Language Training in the UK prior to departure for Japan

The selected Daiwa Scholars will undertake a period of Japanese language study in the UK during summer before moving to Japan in mid-September for the remainder of the Scholarship.

All Daiwa Scholars will then undertake intensive Japanese language study in Japan. After 15 months, they are expected to reach an upper-intermediate level of language ability and are encouraged to sit Level N2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

Level N2 is the second most advanced stage in the JLPT and is a challenging but achievable objective. To attain Level N2, candidates must demonstrate an understanding of a high level of grammar, kanji (Chinese characters), vocabulary and the ability to converse, read and write about matters of a general nature.

JLPT (external link)

 Homestay (Month 14/15)

Daiwa Scholars spend one month with a family outside Tokyo at the end of the first year to improve their language ability and to enhance their understanding of Japan.

Work placements (Months 15-20)

The Foundation arranges individual work placements appropriate to each Daiwa Scholar’s career goals. Previous Daiwa Scholars have been based at organisations including government ministries, NGOs, universities, think-tanks, media companies, architecture practices and law firms. A high standard of Japanese is essential to benefit from a successful work placement.


Completion of the programme is marked by a graduation ceremony in Tokyo at which each graduating Scholar gives a short speech in Japanese. Scholars then automatically become members of the Daiwa Scholars Alumni Association.


Candidates for the Daiwa Scholarships must be:

  • British citizens
  • aged between 21 and 35 years of age by the time of departure.

Candidates should be:

  • graduates or due to graduate by the time of departure
  • equipped with a strong degree in any subject* or with a strong record of achievement in their field
  • in possession of clear career objectives and a commitment to furthering UK-Japan links.

*Graduates in Japanese language studies are not eligible to apply for Daiwa Scholarships but may wish to apply for support through the Daiwa Scholarships in Japanese Studies or the Foundation’s grant schemes.

Preference will normally be given to candidates no older than 30.



The Foundation meets all tuition and examination fees associated with the Scholarship.

Maintenance grant

Daiwa Scholars receive a maintenance grant for the duration of the Scholarship which is to cover accommodation and living costs for a single person. While on the programme, Scholars may not undertake remunerated work


The Foundation meets the cost of economy-class travel to and from Japan at the beginning and end of the Scholarship.


For their first weeks in Japan, Daiwa Scholars are accommodated in a hotel in central Tokyo. During this period, they will look for rented apartments in which they will live for the remainder of the Scholarship.

Medical insurance

All Daiwa Scholars contribute to the compulsory Japanese Government Health Scheme from their maintenance. In addition, the Foundation provides standard medical insurance for Daiwa Scholars while they are in Japan on the programme.

University visits

Representatives of the Foundation and members of the Daiwa Scholars Alumni Association will be giving hour-long presentations at universities around the country during Autumn 2018 to promote the 2019 Daiwa Scholarship programme.

Monday 8 October 2018, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
following a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) presentation
LIB1, ground floor of the Warwick library building
More info: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/careers

Wednesday 10 October 2018, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
preceding a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) presentation
Lecture Room 0.01 in Tower Building
More info: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/alumni/benefits/careers

Wednesday 10 October 2018, 5:00pm to 6:00pm
preceding a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) presentation
Careers Service, 5 Tyndall Avenue
More info: http://www.bris.ac.uk/cas

Imperial College
Tuesday 16 October 2018, 1.00pm to 1:50pm
More info: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/careers

Queen Mary University of London
Wednesday 17 October 2018, 11:00am to 3:00pm
Go   Abroad Fair
The Octagon, ground floor of the Queens’ Building – Building 19 on http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/media/sbcs/images/undergraduate/Mile-End-campus-map.pdf

UEA Careers Fair
Thursday 18 October 2018, 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Congregation Hall
More info: http://www.uea.ac.uk/careers/events/fairs/careersfair

Monday 22 October 2018, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
LT7 Hicks Building
More info: http://www.shef.ac.uk/careers

Monday 22 October 2018, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
3.17 Seminar Room, 3rd Floor, Main Library Building, George Square
More info: http://www.careers.ed.ac.uk

Tuesday 23 October 2018, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
following a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) presentation
Careers and Employability Centre, The Library.
More info:

Wednesday 24 October 2018, 12.00pm to 1:00pm
5.206, fifth floor, University Place, preceding a JET presentation
More info: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk

Wednesday 24 October 2018, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road
More info: http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/homepage/whatson  

Thursday 25 October 2018, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Room 1 in the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms
More info: http://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/

Thursday 25 October 2018, 3:00-4:00pm, following a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme presentation
Careers & Employability Service Lower Ground Seminar Room
More info: http://www.liv.ac.uk/careers

SOAS, University of London
Wednesday 31 October 2018, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
following a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme and Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship  presentations
Careers Seminar Room (SL62) in Senate House North Block
More info: https://www.soas.ac.uk/careers/

King’s College London
Thursday 1 November 2018, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
preceding a Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme and Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship presentations
Language Resources Centre, King’s Building, Strand Campus
More info: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/modern-language-centre/courses/mlcevents.aspx

Friday 9 November 2018, 1:15pm to 2:05pm
Room/Venue to be confirmed
More info: http://www.bath.ac.uk/careers/index.html

Monday 12 November 2018
Drop-in session: 11am to 2pm at Calman Café

Thursday 15 November 2018, 1.00pm to 2:00pm
Generic talk about “working and living in Japan”
Wharfedale Room, Careers Centre
More info: http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk

Royal Society, London
Saturday 17 November 2018, 12:00pm to 6:00pm
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation will have a stand at the Experience Japan Exhibition 2018

Canterbury Christ Church University 
Monday 19 November 2018, 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Sociology and Politics – Meet the Employers Event
Augustine House
More info at: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/students/careers-and-volunteering/

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