Application is open from Monday, 7th August to Monday, 28th August, 2023.
If you are interested in applying, please read this web page carefully and apply here.

What is Japan-Syria Japanese Language School Pathways?
Japan-Syria Japanese Language School Pathways offers an opportunity for Syrian youth in Turkey to study Japanese in private language schools across Japan for two years. From 2017 to 2023, 39 Syrian youth were admitted to Japan through this program with the support from private educational institutions, faith-based organizations, supporting companies, NGOs, individuals and local communities. . Selected students study tuition-free in the two-year program, which is considered the minimum required to reach a level of Japanese necessary to enter university or find employment in Japan.
In April 2024, 6 Syrian students will be admitted to this program.

What the Program Provides
・Japanese language classes prior to travel to Japan
・Airfare to Japan
Support for visa issuance and residence permit
・Tuition at a Japanese language school for two years

・Subsidy for the first six months
・Introduction of part-time job opportunities and housing
・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.
After completion of the program, students are expected to apply to universities/graduate schools or find employment.

Program Facebook Page
Please follow our page on Facebook for the latest information.

We will organize online Info Sessions on the dates below

30th Jul Sun 11:00 AM (Turkey time)
13th Aug Sun 11:00AM (Turkey time)

If you are interested in taking part, please contact us here.


1. Must be a Syrian citizen without any other citizenship/passport
2. Must reside in Turkey and be able to submit one of the documents below:
a) Temporary Protection Card (Kimlic) issued by the Turkish Government
b) Residence permit issued by the Turkish Government
3. Must already possess or commit to applying for a Syrian passport (A passport is necessary to obtain a visa and travel to Japan.)
4. Must be able to submit the academic certificate(s) below:
a) High school baccalaureate certificate and transcript for 3 years
b) (If you are a university student or graduate) University certificate and transcript for registered terms

5. If you are a high school graduate, you must be 26 years old or younger; if you are a university graduate, you must be 32 years old or younger.
6. Must agree to work part-time at an entry-level job to cover your own living expenses
7. Must be determined to master the Japanese language and adapt to a society with a different culture.
8. Those with basic Japanese skills will be prioritized.

Supporting Organizations

Pathways JapanImplementing 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 SchoolsHost Educational Institution
In 2024, around five Japanese language schools are planning to admit Syrian youth who are currently in Turkey to study Japanese from April 2024 to March 2026. These schools will provide a full-tuition scholarship. If you would like more information about the host schools, please contact here .

Japan ICU FoundationFunding and Host 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 the language school program.

Application Timeline

30th August (Sun) and 13th September (Sun) 2023
11:00-12:30 Turkey time
Online information sessions
7th August (Monday) to 28th August (Monday) 2023Application Period
14th August – 7th September 2023First interview (online)
15th September Friday 2023Announcement of first round results
1, 7 and 8, 2023Trial Japanese language classes (online)
13th (Mon) – 16th October 2023Second interview in Istanbul and Gaziantep
23rd October – 3rd November November 2023Third interview (online) with Japanese language schools
early-November 2023Announcement of final results

Steps After Selection

mid November 2023Application for residence status
December 2023 – March 2024Preparatory Japanese online classes
December 2023Japanese language study camp (planned)
End of March 2024Travel to Japan
Second week of April 2024School starts

How to Apply

Please fill in the Application Form below. (For those who will pass the first interview will be requested to submit additional documents for application.)

Application Period: 7th Aug Mon-28th Aug Mon 2023

If you have any questions, please contact us 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 established its own scholarship program for higher education in Japan. Students who have been admitted to the JSLSP 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.