FAQs

HOW MANY DAIWA SCHOLARS ARE SELECTED?

The Trustees currently select up to six Daiwa Scholars each year.

HOW MANY PAST DAIWA SCHOLARS HAVE THERE BEEN?

As of April 2013, there are 141 members of the Daiwa Scholars Alumni Association.

DO I HAVE TO BE BRITISH TO APPLY?

Under the terms and conditions of the Daiwa Scholarship, only full British citizens in possession of a British passport are eligible.

WHAT KIND OF WORK PLACEMENT IS AVAILABLE?

The Foundation has extensive contacts across Japan and has successfully arranged a wide range of work placements for Daiwa Scholars. Past Scholars have undertaken work placements at government offices, universities, industrial research centres, law firms, artist workshops, theatres, architecture practices, film schools and a variety of other organisations.

HOW IS A WORK PLACEMENT ARRANGED?

Before leaving for Japan, each new Scholar completes a form in which they expand on their objectives for the work placement. This document provides the basis for discussion between the Scholar and the Foundation on possible hosts and locations for a successful placement. Once a work placement plan has been agreed, staff in the Tokyo Office work with the Scholar in identifying an appropriate host. The Foundation makes representations to the host and finalises arrangements. The process takes several months to complete to ensure that the placement is suitable for the Scholar.

CAN I UNDERTAKE PAID WORK WHILE ON THE DAIWA SCHOLARSHIP?

Scholars cannot undertake paid work. The Foundation provides Daiwa Scholars with a maintenance grant for the duration of the Scholarship which is to cover accommodation and living costs for a single person, and to enable them to concentrate on language study and fulfil their work placement.

IS LEARNING JAPANESE DIFFICULT?

Japanese is a challenging language so candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong ability in foreign languages. Daiwa Scholars study at the Tokyo School of the Japanese Language, known also as Naganuma School, which is one of the leading centres of its type in Japan. Naganuma School provides an intensive learning environment with teaching methods that are more traditional than those used by most language teachers in the UK.

HOW IMPORTANT IS LEARNING JAPANESE IN THE DAIWA SCHOLARSHIP?

Studying Japanese is at the heart of the programme. To gain full benefit of the work placement and the homestay it is essential that Scholars attain a good standard in their language studies.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE TO MEET JAPANESE PEOPLE?

It is essential that Daiwa Scholars are able to interact with people from all backgrounds. Almost all Scholars are able to pursue their hobbies and interests through local clubs, which are ideal for meeting people. Scholars also have the opportunity to experience life outside of Tokyo through the homestay.

HOW DOES THE FOUNDATION KEEP IN TOUCH WITH DAIWA SCHOLARS ONCE THEY ARE IN JAPAN?

The Foundation’s Tokyo Office helps Scholars find accommodation, arrange a homestay and organise the work placements and is the first point of contact for everyday issues. Daiwa Foundation Japan House in London provides overall co-ordination of the programme and also keeps in regular contact with Scholars.

WHERE ARE DAIWA SCHOLARS BASED WHILE THEY ARE ON THE PROGRAMME?

Daiwa Scholars spend the duration of the Scholarship in Japan. Language study is in Tokyo and Daiwa Scholars spend most of their time in the capital city. However, the homestay can be anywhere in Japan.

WHERE DO DAIWA SCHOLARS LIVE?

On arrival in Japan, Daiwa Scholars stay at a hotel in central Tokyo. After their orientation, the Foundation’s Tokyo Office assists Scholars locate their own rented apartment. The grant from the Foundation will be enough to cover rent and living expenses in central Tokyo.

HOW MUCH IS THE GRANT TO DAIWA SCHOLARS?

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.

ARE CANDIDATES FROM ALL UK UNIVERSITIES CONSIDERED FOR THE DAIWA SCHOLARSHIPS?

Yes. The Foundation welcomes applications from final-year students and graduates of universities from throughout the UK. Last year, candidates from 66 universities and higher education colleges from across the UK applied for the programme. Since the programme began in 1991, graduates from over 40 different institutes have become Daiwa Scholars, including those from: Bath; Birmingham; Bradford; Bristol; Cambridge; Cardiff; Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London; Dundee; Durham; East Anglia; Edinburgh; Exeter; Glasgow; Glasgow School of Art; Goldsmiths, University of London; Heriot Watt; Imperial College London; Kent; King’s College London; Leeds; Leicester; Liverpool; Liverpool John Moores; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London; The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London; Manchester, Nottingham; Open University; Oxford; The Prince’s Foundation; Queen Mary, University of London; Queen’s Belfast; SOAS, University of London; Sheffield; St Andrews; Staffordshire; Surrey; UCL, University of London; University for the Creative Arts; University of the Arts, London; and Warwick.

IN WHICH SUBJECT DOES MY DEGREE HAVE TO BE?

All subjects are eligible for consideration except Japanese language. To date, Daiwa Scholars are graduates in 22 different subjects: Archaeology, Architecture, Art and Design, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, English, Fashion, Geography, History, International Relations and Politics, Journalism, Languages and Area Studies, Law, Management, Mathematics, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Physics, and Psychology.

IF I CAN SPEAK JAPANESE, WILL I STILL BE CONSIDERED?

Most Daiwa Scholars have little or no knowledge of Japanese before they start the programme. If your ability is beyond Japan Foundation Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N3, you cannot be considered for the Daiwa Scholarships but may find our grants programme of interest.

I DO NOT HAVE A DEGREE. CAN I STILL APPLY?

The emphasis of the Daiwa Scholarships is to find individuals who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen career. The Foundation will consider any application that demonstrates excellence in a given field and clear career objectives for the future.

WHAT ARE PREVIOUS DAIWA SCHOLARS DOING NOW?

Some Scholars remain in Japan after completing the programme but most return to the UK. They are pursuing a variety of careers and further details can be obtained from the Daiwa Scholars Alumni Association.

CAN I DISCUSS THE DAIWA SCHOLARSHIP IN PERSON WITH SOMEONE FROM THE FOUNDATION?

Representatives of the Foundation will be attending careers fairs and making presentations at universities across the UK. For more information, see University Visits.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT LIVING IN JAPAN?

Guides and accounts about living and working Japan are widely available. Go to ‘Contact’ and click ‘Links’.

WHO SHOULD BE MY THREE REFEREES?

If you are a student or a recent graduate, then your references should come from your academic tutors. If you graduated some years ago or have relevant professional experience, then it is advisable to obtain a reference from your supervisor or line manager. The references are a vital part of the application and should come from people who know you and your work in an official capacity.

IS THERE A WORD LIMIT OR FORMAT FOR THE REFERENCE LETTERS AND WHERE SHOULD THEY BE SENT?

The references should give us an idea of your overall personality and temperament, academic prowess, potential, career plans, motivation, interpersonal skills, exposure to foreign languages and cultures, adaptability, and teamwork for example – in short, any features which would make you an excellent candidate for the Daiwa Scholarship programme should be highlighted.

Please make sure that your referees are briefed about the Scholarship, get to see the application form and discuss your appropriateness for it.

Each referee should post the reference letter directly to the applicant inside an envelope with a signature across the seal to ensure confidentiality. Please collate the three references before posting them to the Scholarship Officer at the Foundation. We are unable to chase up references on behalf of applicants so by collating them yourself you will be able to confirm that all three reference letters have been written.

DO REFERENCES HAVE TO BE IN ENGLISH?

Yes.

WHERE ARE THE INTERVIEWS HELD?

All interviews for the Daiwa Scholarships are held at Daiwa Foundation Japan House in London. While the Foundation is unable to reimburse travel expenses for candidates to attend the first two interview stages, it will reimburse reasonable travel expenses to attend the final interview. The Foundation regrets that it is unable to reimburse any accommodation costs, should these be incurred.

WHAT IS THE MODERN LANGUAGE APTITUDE TEST (M-LAT)?

Candidates invited to the second-stage interview are required to take the M-LAT. This test is administered via a CD, is comprised of five parts (number learning, phonetic script, spelling clues, words in sentences and paired associates) and takes no longer than 60-70 minutes to complete. All answers are multiple-choice. The M-LAT is not a test that can be prepared for in any way; it simply measures an individual’s aptitude for learning a foreign language. As some candidates have never learnt a foreign language before, it will give us some idea of their ability in this area. A low result on the test doesn’t necessarily mean that the application won’t be taken forward as various factors are taken into consideration when evaluating candidates. Candidates should be aware, however, that language learning, ie, learning Japanese is an integral part of the Scholarship and should be taken seriously.

CAN I RE-APPLY IF MY PREVIOUS APPLICATION WAS UNSUCCESSFUL?

The Foundation will consider eligible applications from previous unsuccessful candidates. Such candidates should be aware that they must demonstrate the tangible steps they have made in their career since their previous application.

CAN I APPLY FOR DAIWA SCHOLARSHIPS 2014 AND, IF SUCCESSFUL, DEFER MY PLACE?

No. The offer to become a Daiwa Scholar must be taken up in the year in which it is given.