FAQ

This policy is valid from March, 2020 to the time when WHO will declare the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI or FUTI scholarship recipients have been or may be ordered, encouraged or offered options to return to their home country, Japan, while classes are continued online. FUTI’s policy regarding these cases is as follows:
  1. FUTI wants to remind the recipient that living in the U.S. is an important part of studying in the U.S.
  2. Needless to say, authorities’ orders must be observed.
  3. In any case, study must be continued to complete the original study plan.
  4. FUTI expects the recipient to choose the option, if any such as whether to return to Japan or not, that is best for the recipient’s life plan. FUTI will honor the recipient’s choice because FUTI can by no means be responsible for the recipient’s health.
  5. Should the recipient elect to return to Japan earlier, changing the original study abroad plan, it is required of the recipient to report such decisions to FUTI and receive confirmation from FUTI.
  6. As the reasonable operator of the fund for Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI and FUTI scholarships (hereafter “Scholarship”), FUTI reserves the right to adjust the Scholarship amount accordingly as outlined below. The recipient is required to report to FUTI which of the following situation applies to them.
    • The recipient has reported in the application material the total amount of expenditure for the original study abroad plan. This amount is taken as 100%. If the awarded total Scholarship amount, paid and to be paid, is less than 30%, no adjustment is necessary.
    • If a change of the original plan causes more expenditure, FUTI cannot increase the Scholarship amount.
    • If a change of the original plan results in less total expenditure and the difference is no more than 20%, no adjustment is necessary.
    • If the decrease in expenditure is more than 20% (e.g.30%), the total Scholarship amount, paid and to be paid, shall be decreased by the same ratio (e.g.30%). FUTI shall decrease the unpaid Scholarship amount or require the recipient to return a part of the already paid Scholarship to FUTI.
  7. Cases not covered by the policy above shall be considered by FUTI on a case-by-case basis.
At this time, the following situations are eligible to apply for a Friends of UTokyo Scholarship.
  • A student attending a university in the US (does not include international satellite campuses) wishing to participate in a short-term summer program or internship at University of Tokyo.
  • A student attending the University of Tokyo wishing to participate in a short-term summer program or internship at a university in the US.
  • A current student or alumni of the University of Tokyo* wishing to study at a university in the US for 1 semester/2 quarters or longer.
* A very small number of current students of a university in Japan other than UTokyo wishing to study at a university in the US for 1 semester/2 quarters or longer may also be eligible.
FUTI Summer Scholarship

FUTI’s Summer Scholarship Award (a.k.a. the “FUTI Global Leadership Award”) Program has been established to encourage students of the University of Tokyo (abbreviated as UTokyo) and U.S. universities to acquire experiences that will help them grow into global leaders in their chosen fields.

In making an award decision, we evaluate an applicant’s intellectual capacity, his/her communication skills, and extracurricular achievements. FUTI regards strong leadership in the curricular or extracurricular activities as important as the academic performance.

An essay written in English is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to express ideas in your own words. State clearly your career objectives and contributions you aspire to make. Explain how the proposed summer program would help you achieve your goals.

From a recommendation letter, we wish to assess your academic standing among your peers and infer your personality and character.

It is hoped that our awardees will contribute to the exchange of new ideas and the development of genuine understanding between Japan and the rest of the world. We seek to identify students who demonstrate leadership potential.

Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship

What are described above regarding the FUTI Summer Scholarship also apply for the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship. But also refer to [Selection Criteria for the Scholarship] on the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI page.

The deadline date is not flexible because we have the FUTI Scholarship Committee meeting shortly after the deadline. If you are in a circumstance which you believe deserves special consideration, send an inquiry through the scholarship inquiry form.
FUTI Summer Scholarship

We are aware that UTokyo’s Exchange Program now allows a UTokyo student to apply for as many as three summer programs. FUTI will respond to such applications accordingly, but our application system is a web-based online system, so the procedure is different from UTokyo’s. An applicant must submit an application to each category and each program even within the same category. For instance, you may wish to apply for an IARU-GSP at Yale (Category A), an English Language Course at UC Berkeley (Category B), and another summer program in the U.S. that you have found by yourself (Category C). Indicate which program is your first choice, second choice, and third choice, by completing the relevant field in FUTI’s online application system. Needless to say, you must be selected by the summer program in order to receive a FUTI award.

Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship

In case you apply for this scholarship before a decision is made on the host university and its department/course, you can indicate your top three candidates and select their priorities on the FUTI online application form. A typical response from FUTI may be: “The scholarship will be granted if you are admitted to any one of the three candidates” or “The scholarship will be granted only if you are admitted to the first choice candidate.”

The FUTI Summer Scholarship currently supports only summer programs, while the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship supports study abroad programs longer than one semester. FUTI does not support short winter programs at this time. If you have a program worth consideration by FUTI, send an inquiry through this form.
Yes, you may apply to other financial aid program(s) at your school and/or the host institution and other scholarship programs. At the time of your application to FUTI, you may not know whether you will win such a scholarship or support, but you should state your intention in the application. FUTI communicates with your school and the host institution, and we may adjust the award amount. Under no circumstance should the total support be greater than the total financial need for you to attend your chosen program or internship.
FUTI does not require a specific format for a CV. However, please view this sample CV to understand what the committee expects.
The recommender ought to be a person who can assess objectively your academic standing, other activities and your character. Your academic advisor with teaching appointment is the most suitable. If you do not have an advisor, any professor who knows you well will be fine. Your family member, personal friend or a senior student (e.g., a graduate student) will not be appropriate since they would not typically be in a position to evaluate you vis-à-vis other students in your school.

A secondary or even tertiary recommendation letter (for example, from another professor, the supervisor or coach of your extracurricular activity) is welcome.

Most applicants submit one recommendation letter because quality matters more over quantity. However, please feel free to submit more than one recommendation letter. The online application form accepts up to two reference and recommendation letters, but please submit additional recommendation letter(s) as follows:

  1. Notify FUTI by sending a message through this form that you have additional recommendation letter(s) with the information of your reference(s) equivalent to what is required in the online application form.
  2. Request your reference(s) to send the additional recommendation letter(s) directly to FUTI through recommend [at] friendsofutokyo.org by the deadline.
Being UTokyo alumni, FUTI members understand the situation and the difficulty of a freshman or sophomore at UTokyo to have a professor with enough intimate knowledge to write a recommendation letter. However, please try earnestly to get one. If you would still like to get a recommendation letter from a high school teacher, it is also acceptable to submit two letters, one from a UTokyo professor and the other from a high school teacher. FUTI will probably appreciate your academic capability mentioned in the letter from the UTokyo professor, and your characteristics in the letter from your high school teacher. The consideration stated above may be extended to a US student who is in a similar situation, but please explain the situation in the essay portion of the application.
Please have your reference send the recommendation letter as an email attachment to recommend [at] friendsofutokyo.org in either DOCX, DOC, or PDF format.
We do not accept ZIP files on our online application system, thus it would be best to combine the pages into one PDF file. If you do not have the capability to do this on your computer, visit a site like www.pdfmerge.com where you can combine multiple PDF’s into one PDF file for free.
Your PDF file can most likely be reduced to an appropriate size by visiting a site like compress.smallpdf.com where you can compress PDF’s for free.
If a transcript/GPA or English test score (for UTokyo students) cannot be provided for legitimate reasons, FUTI will infer a score and use a score range of 70-100% of the inferred score.
In some schools the maximum possible GPA score is 4.00 whereas in other schools it may be 3.00. We would like to know this value, since GPA of 2.95 out of 3.00 maximum is quite different from 2.95 out of 4.00 maximum. In some schools, the highest grade is A with 4.00 points but sometimes A+ with 4.30 or A- with 3.70 is marked. In this case, report the maximum GPA of 4.00 rather than 4.30. The transcript of UTokyo doesn’t show GPA and, therefore, an applicant from UTokyo must calculate GPA according to the calculation table, which must be included in the application material.
Usually the transcript of your school shows the GPA and its period. If it is not clearly stated, please supply this information. If you are a first year graduate student, please submit the transcript of the undergraduate period as well as the one at the graduate school.

Approximately 10 days after you have taken a TOEFLI iBT test, you will receive an email, letting you know when your scores will be available. You can log in to your TOEFL iBT account on theTOEFL® Registration website and click “View Scores” on your home page to see your scores. See for details: http://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/scores/get (or http://www.ets.org/jp/toefl/ibt/scores/get/ in Japanese)

If you have a TOEIC or IELTS score already, you may submit it in lieu of a TOEFL, but Yale or UC Berkeley may not accept TOEIC for their IARU-GSP programs.

If you cannot obtain a more recent test result before the deadline, submitting an old TOEFL score is fine. It will help us to infer your current English proficiency level.
NO. FUTI does not require any specific score level for TOEFL or other English language proficiency tests. However, it requires the applicant’s score to meet the requirement imposed by the program he or she is applying to. Please note that certain English language programs (e.g., Yale’s English Language Institute) do not have a minimum requirement for the English proficiency test score.
YES, you should submit a separate application to FUTI, because FUTI and your host university apply different data processing on your applications. Please don’t forget to ask your reference to send a recommendation letter separately to FUTI.
Please provide information of your contact person at the institution or lab who will be hosting you at the summer program of your choice. In the case of an internship program, you may also know a prospective professor who will be hosting you. If you do not know such individuals, please provide the email address (and the phone number, if known) of the office which is hosting the summer program.
Please visit the "Information for Current Recipients" page for information on writing and submitting a report.
Please visit the "Information for Current Recipients" page for information on scholarship payment.