How Scholarships Helped Me Study at JCMU

Upcoming 2017-18 Academic Year participant, Dominic Thelen, shares the wonders of scholarships to those wanting to study abroad at JCMU but don’t think they can financially. As he writes, making your Japan study abroad come true is more doable than you may think!


Scholarships are amazing financial tools for study abroad

They’re essentially free money for a little bit of work that allow you to participate in amazing, life changing opportunities. The scholarships that I received will allow me to study abroad at JCMU with less financial burden. Most scholarships are easy to apply for, but some take more work than others.

The majority of scholarships I received are from Michigan State University (MSU). Even if you’re not an MSU student though, your own college/university will most likely have their own scholarships that you can apply for. All I needed to do for many of them was fill out small, simple questionnaires and write various short essays (less than a page). Generally, you can write one “master” essay and tweak it to work for multiple scholarships because most applications ask for the same general statement.

Help your professors help you

The trickiest part of the process is asking professors to write letters of recommendation for you. Most scholarships at MSU need two letters, so plan ahead and give them at least 3 week’s notice (preferably even more).

Something that helped both me and the faculty that wrote my letters was providing them my academic resume. I encourage you to provide your professors one as well! In it, you should include at least some of the following:

  • Your current GPA
  • All of your past classes that pertain to your upcoming JCMU program
  • Any honors and awards you received in the past
  • Volunteer work you completed

Faculty also tend to prefer if you send them a working draft of your scholarship essays as well. This is so they can match up the content and craft the possible possible letter of recommendation they can for you. It doesn’t have to be your final paper – just an early copy with similar overall content. The more you give them, the better they can build you up to the scholarship selection committees.

Make studying in Japan a reality for you!

Since study abroad can be financially taxing, scholarships are the one of the best ways to get funding for your time at JCMU. All scholarships, no matter the amount, are worth applying for – even if a particular scholarship is only $500, any little bit helps to lessen costs.

Good luck with your applications! I hope that you get are able to reduce the financial woes of study abroad and go to JCMU yourself.

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