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U.S. high school students from 9th to 11th grade are eligible to apply. Junior Fellows will be selected based on demonstrated leadership skills and potential, as well as the qualities necessary to have a successful and engaging experience with other program participants; including (but not limited to): ability to adapt to a foreign culture, emotional and interpersonal maturity, strong academic background and a demonstrated interest in Japan. Knowledge of Japanese language is helpful, but not required.

Application & Selection Timeline

  • February 16: Application Deadline (postmarked)
  • Mid-March: Announcement of selection of 1st round candidates
  • April 8: Group interviews with 1st round candidates (invitation only)
  • Mid-April: Final selection and announcement of 2018 Junior Fellow participants

Program Schedule

  • June 3: Program orientation at Japan Society in New York (long distance Fellows will participate via Skype)
  • July 9–11: Pre-departure orientation at Japan Society in New York
  • July 12–13: Depart for and arrival in Japan
  • July 13–29: In-country program
  • July 29: Return to the U.S.

Guidelines for Application

All application packets must include the following documents:

  • Application form
  • Two (2) signed letters of recommendation (at least one from a teacher or faculty member at the • student’s school)
  • Copy of school transcript
  • Two (2) short, written responses to the following (500-word limit for each question):
    • How are you qualified to participate in the Junior Fellows Leadership Program?
    • How will this program help you to achieve your career goals?

Applications are accepted by postal mail ONLY (no electronic submissions accepted). In order to avoid lost mail, we strongly recommend your application be sent via certified mail.

Mailing Address

Japan Society Education Program
333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017
Attn: Junior Fellows Program


  • Application documents will not be returned.
  • Applications submitted by ineligible participants or that arrive after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. Only complete applications will be considered for review.
  • Due to the large number of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants who are not admitted.

Program Costs

The Junior Fellows Leadership Program is made possible by the generous underwriting of Japan Society donors and supporters. The total cost of the program is approximately $11,000 per participant.

Tuition/Participation Fee

Tuition offsets the cost of orientation and arrangements, all international and domestic travel, meals and accommodations (dormitory-style and hotel) as well as all admissions during study trips and retreat. Fellows are responsible for incidental expenses, pocket money and meals not taken with host families or program staff.

Tuition: $3,500

Need-Based Scholarships

Japan Society offers a limited number of need-based scholarships to provide support for students facing financial barriers to participating in the Junior Fellows Leadership Program. To apply for a scholarship, you will need information from your parents’ IRS 2016 Form 1040 after you are selected as a Junior Fellow. We award need-based scholarships based on a family’s demonstrated need. Details are available upon selection to the program.

Further Questions

For more information, contact the Japan Society Education Program at Japan Society at (212) 715-1275/1216 or


Calendar of Events

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