CALL FOR AFRICAN STUDENTS TO STUDY IN JAPAN: Application Guidelines for AY2023 IAfP Short-Term Exchange Program – Kyoto University –

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In 2020, Kyoto University (KU) started the Innovative Africa Program (IAfP) together with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS). By exchanging students with their partner universities in Africa, the program aims to foster human resources who engage in technological and social innovations to facilitate the realization of sustainable development goals. Under this scope, the program offers fellowships to highly qualified students in fields of research related to African Studies. The program is intended to support 1) students from KU who conduct research or take courses at host universities in Africa, and 2) those coming from its partner universities in Africa to conduct their research and take courses at KU.


Fellowships for African Students in Academic Year 2023 (April 2023 – March 2024)
In Academic Year 2023, the program is accepting FIVE students from Africa. The period of the program is three months between October 16, Monday, 2023 and December 18, Tuesday, 2023. Successful applicants should arrive in Japan by October 13, Friday, and depart by December 20, Wednesday.


Applicants need to be enrolled as a full-time postgraduate student at one of the partner universities in Africa that have concluded student exchange agreements with KU. For a complete list of the partner universities, please refer to Attachment 1. Their official enrollment needs to be valid at the time of application and throughout the period when they receive the fellowship. Undergraduate or part-time students are NOT eligible to apply for the program. Applicants also need to obtain a confirmation letter from a KU faculty member who can be their academic advisor, as outlined in in the Application Procedure below.

Applicants also need to calculate the Grade Evaluation Coefficient (GEC) based on their transcripts and report it on the application form. Please refer to the file “Attachment 2” for details and the calculation method of the GEC. The IAfP is sponsored by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), a government-sponsored non-profit organization promoting international student exchange. To receive a monthly stipend provided by JASSO, applicants need to have 2.4 or above of the GEC in principle. They can also receive the stipend if they have other equivalent academic records.


Details of the Short-Term Exchange Program
The Short-Term Exchange Program offers two types of courses before and after successful applicants come to Japan. Under the KU’s system, participants will be registered as Short-Term International Students. The IAfP Office will ask them to submit a short monthly report to review the progress of each course.


Courses offered prior to arrival in Japan

  1. ONLINE Language Course of Elementary Japanese
    The IAfP offers this language course prior to arrival in Japan. All participants are required to join this course before starting the exchange program at KU.
  2. ONLINE Individual Research Guidance (to be provided by each academic advisor)
    All participants are required to have an online consultation with their academic advisors and discuss how to carry out their individual research projects before they arrive in Japan. This online research guidance is a preliminary preparation for the actual research guidance outlined below.


Courses offered after arrival in Japan

  1. Individual Research Guidance (to be provided by each academic advisor)
    All participants will attend their academic advisor’s seminars and other activities related to their research projects at KU. This guidance will be offered in a variety of formats, depending on the circumstances of each advisor, including individual tutoring, regular seminars with Japanese graduate students, and participation in other existing activities. Frequency is approximately once every one or two weeks.
  2. Joint Training Course
    The IAfP Office will prepare a “Joint Training Course” for all the participants. It will include a series of events joined together by African and Japanese graduate students to share their learning experiences and cultural knowledge:
    • Lecture “Innovative Africa and SDGs:” Faculty members at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies will deliver a series of 15 lectures from different disciplinary perspectives.
    • Joint workshops with Japanese Students,
    • Fieldtrips in/around Kyoto to learn about Japanese culture, society and industry, and
    • International conference, which will be held in December 18 and conclude with final presentations by the participants.


Application Procedure
The deadline for applications is May 31, 2023. Please submit digital copies of the following documents by uploading them to the following registration form for “AY2023 IAfP Short-Term Exchange Program” (
(1) Request for the Admission of a Short-Term International Student (Form 1, Please refer to “Attachment 1” when writing this)
(2) Application form (Form 2, to be completed by the student. Please make sure to detail your research plan in one or two paragraphs.)
(3) Letter of recommendation (Form 3, to be completed and signed by an applicant’s supervisor at his/her university in Africa.)
(4) Letter of confirmation (Form 4, to be completed and signed by an applicant’s prospective academic advisor at Kyoto University.)
(5) Transcript of academic records that include the result of the most recent semester an applicant spent in his/her university
(6) Student ID or another valid document that proves the official enrollment of the applicant in a graduate school.
(7) One passport size photograph of yourself in JPG or PNG file.
(8) Passport (copy of the page containing personal details including name, nationality, photo, and expiry date. It is mandatory to have a passport at the time of application in principle, but please contact the IAfP Office if not).


Selection Processes and Announcement
Consideration of the applications takes place first at KU and then at JASSO. The Selection Committee of KU will make provisional decisions first and announce the result to all the applicants in July 2023 at the latest. JASSO will make final decisions about the scholarship and KU will email the results to applicants in August 2023 two months before the arrival in Japan. The IAfP Office will start preparing visas, flight tickets, and accommodations for successful applicants only after JASSO makes the final decisions. The online language course and individual guidance will start shortly after the announcement.


Stipend and Travel Expenses
On behalf of JASSO, the IAfP Office will provide a monthly stipend of 80,000 JPY (240,000 JPY in total) during your stay in Japan. The IAfP will offer additional financial support that covers the costs for the round-trip tickets and insurance. The IAfP will find apartments near the campus and pay the monthly rent for the successful applicants. They will, however, have to pay from their monthly stipend the expenses of electricity, gas, and water (approximately 50,000 JPY in total) as well as other costs incurred when they leave their apartment, such as cleaning (5,500 JPY). The IAfP will directly administer the payments and notify each successful applicant of the detailed payment procedure. No tuition fees are required based on the student exchange agreement between KU and partner universities.


Tentative Schedule
April 30: call for applications
May 31: the deadline for applications
Early July: the first selection result announced by the IAfP Office
Mid Aug.: the final selection result announced by JASSO.
      The IAfP Office will start arranging flight tickets, visas, and accommodations.
Sep.: online language course and individual guidance begin
Oct. 13: arrival in Japan
Oct. 16: program begins (lectures, in-person language course, and individual guidance)
Late Nov.: field trips around Kyoto
Dec. 18: international conference
Dec. 20: departure from Japan

For any questions concerning the application, please email Kyoto University’s IAfP Office at



  1. Request for the Admission of a Short-Term International Student (Form 1)
  2. Application form (Form 2)
  3. Letter of recommendation (Form 3)
  4. Letter of confirmation (Form 4)



  1. List of partner universities in Africa
  2. How to calculate the Grade Evaluation Coefficient(GEC)