The application for admission in 2024 will be open in August 2023. Please follow our website for coming info sessions in July.
As we have received far more applications than we expected, we are taking more time for the document screening. So we needed to change our screening and interview schedule as indicated below in red. We apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.
What is Japan-Afghanistan Japanese Language School Pathways?
Japan-Afghanistan Japanese Language School Pathways (JALP) offers an opportunity for Afghan youth to study Japanese in private language schools across Japan for two years. The program targets those in Afghanistan who seek evacuation to Japan or have fled to surrounding countries after August 2021. It was modeled after Japan-Syria Japanese Language School Pathways and aims to help Afghan students acquire the level of Japanese necessary to enter universities and graduate schools or find employment.
In April 2023, 4 Afghan students will be admitted to this program.
What the Program Provides
・Airfare to Japan
・Tuition at a Japanese language school for two years
・Subsidy for the first six months
・Educational consultation and/or career consultation every three months to enter university or find employment
*Please note that students are expected to work part-time to cover their rent and living expenses. Pathways Japan and language schools will help you find part-time work. Pathways Japan will also help students find an apartment or shared house in Japan.
If you are a high school graduate …
After you improve your Japanese language skills and obtain sufficient scores in the
Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU), you can apply to universities in Japan. The program will offer regular consultation on the preparation for this exam, but scholarships for universities are not guaranteed and it is your responsibility to apply for financial aid. After graduating from a university or vocational school, you will have a good chance of finding a job in Japan. When you find employment, you can obtain a work visa in Japan.
If you are a university graduate …
Once you complete the two-year course, you can apply for a master’s degree by obtaining a scholarship. It is also possible to find employment and obtain a work visa. A high level of Japanese is normally required to find a job in Japan, even if one is fluent in English. It is also possible to apply for a master’s or doctor’s degree by saving enough funds through several years of work..
1. Must be an Afghan national
2. Must reside in Afghanistan and seek evacuation to Japan or have fled to nearby countries after August 2021
3. Must be single or can travel to Japan alone (The Japanese government does not issue visas for accompanying family members of students in language schools.)
4. Must have completed 12 years of school education, or be expected to complete 12 years of school education by March 2023 (This is a requirement to obtain a student visa in Japan.)
5. Must be able to submit the following documents:
a) Document describing your refugee background (e.g. letter explaining the difficulty of staying in or returning to your home country, issued by an NGO or an expert. If this cannot be obtained, the candidate can write his/her own statement.)
b) Passport copy (If you do not currently have a passport, you may apply without one, but you must obtain one by February 2023)
c) High school graduate certificate or equivalent document
d) High school transcript for grades 10-12 or equivalent document
e) (If you are a university student or graduate) University certificate and transcript for registered terms
f) (If you have a master’s or doctor’s degree) Degree certificate
g) (Only if available and not mandatory) foreign language examination certificate such as IELTS and TOEFL
h) Recommendation letter (*This letter should not be written by family members, relatives or friends. A letter from someone in Japan who can support the applicant is highly desirable.)
6. If you are a high school graduate, you must be 26 years old or younger; if you are a university graduate, you must be 37 years old or younger.
7. Must agree to work part-time at an entry-level job to cover your own living expenses
8. Must have experience studying Japanese, and if not, a strong motivation to study and master the language
9. Must plan to enroll at a university in Japan (undergraduate or graduate) after completion of this program. (If a student is unable to obtain a scholarship and cannot attend university, they will be allowed to seek employment.)
10. Must not have a financial obligation to support family members (Students should expect part-time work to cover only their own living expenses, and not to support their families.)
11. While not mandatory, it is preferable to have a guarantor in Japan who can support the student financially. This is particularly important for students who have never studied Japanese and may have difficulty finding part-time work immediately after arrival in Japan.
Pathways Japan – Implementing Organization
Pathways Japan (PJ) is a Japanese non-governmental and non-profit organization, independent of the Japanese government or UN agencies, supporting people with refugee backgrounds to be admitted to Japan to access higher education and employment. This program, originally called the Japanese Language School Program, and managed by the Japan Association for Refugees (JAR), was handed over to PJ on July 1, 2021.
Japanese Language Schools – Host Organizations
In 2023, three Japanese language schools are planning to admit Afghan youth to study Japanese from April 2023 to March 2025. These schools are in Chiba and Tokyo. These schools will provide a full-tuition scholarship. If you would like more information about the host schools, please contact us here.
Japan ICU Foundation – Funding Organization
The Japan ICU Foundation (JICUF) is a US non-profit organization based in New York. Since 2016, JICUF has partnered with JAR, and later with PJ, to administer the Syrian Scholars Initiative (SSI), a scholarship program for Syrian students to study at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Japan. From 2018 to 2022, SSI admitted seven Syrian students and has been offering them a full scholarship for four years. From 2023, JICUF will provide partial funding to administer JLSP and will support Afghan students in addition to Syrian students.
|September 8 (Thursday) to September 28 (Wednesday)||Application Period|
⇒October 26 2022 (Wednesday)
|Announcement of document screening (first screening) results|
⇒Between October 28 and 9 November, 2022
|Interview (online) by Pathways Japan (second screening)|
⇒November 10, 2022 (tentative)
|Announcement of second screening results|
⇒November 14-18, 2022
|Interview (online) by Japanese language schools (third screening)|
⇒November 21, 2022
|Announcement of final results|
Steps After Selection
|November 2022||Application for residence status|
|December 2022 – March 2023||Preparatory Japanese online classes|
|End of March 2023||Travel to Japan|
|Second week of April 2023||School starts|
How to Apply
If you would like to apply, please send your application through the application form here.
Q: What will my legal status be in Japan during the program?
A: You will stay in Japan with a student visa for two years. Please note that you will
not stay in Japan with “refugee” status.
Q: What will my legal status be in Japan after the program?
A: If you are a high school graduate, by entering university, you can extend your student visa for four years. (If you enter a vocational school, you can extend it for two years.) If you find employment after graduating from university/vocational school, you can apply for a work permit. The Japanese government does not issue work permits to foreigners without university or vocational school
certificate (except for some designated skill status defined by the government.)
If you are a university graduate and you find employment after finishing the language school program, you can apply for a work permit. Alternatively, if you enter graduate school, you can extend your student visa for another two years.
Q: What will happen if I am not able to attend university or vocational school, nor find employment?
A: Even if you are accepted to a university or vocational school, you will not be able to attend if you do not also obtain a scholarship or have enough savings to pay for tuition. Therefore it is important to do research on scholarships, prepare to apply, and also save money as much as possible during the two years of language study.
If you are unable to attend a university or graduate school, nor find employment, you must apply for humanitarian status to stay in Japan. PJ can give technical assistance but each student has to be responsible for one’s own own legal status as the decision will be made by the government.
Q: Can I work with a student visa?
A: As a student, you are legally allowed to work part-time up to 28 hours a week while school is in session, and 40 hours during school holidays. It is necessary for you to work to pay your rent and living expenses, but it work is also beneficial to improve your language skills and get accustomed to the local culture and people.
Q: What types of scholarships are there to attend university?
A: The following are some scholarships that you can apply for.
a) International Scholarship offered by PJ
In 2021, PJ launched a new scholarship program with a partner foundation for higher education in Japan. Students who have been admitted to the JASP and have obtained sufficient
EJU scores are eligible to apply. The details for this year’s application will be announced some time after October 2022.
b) UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Program (RHEP)
UNHCR Japan provides a program called Refugee Higher Education Program
(RHEP) for students with refugee background who are living in Japan. After your arrival in Japan, you will be eligible for this full scholarship program.
c) Philoxenia Scholarship offered by JELA
Japan Lutheran Evangelical Association offers the Philoxenia Scholarship for students with refugee background in Japan. Students admitted through JSLSP are eligible. Students must apply separately to universities and be admitted to receive this partial scholarship.
d) Other scholarship opportunities
There are other organizations which provide scholarships to international students in
Japan. For a comprehensive list, please visit the JASSO website.