With the Ito Foundation U.S.A. as the financial sponsor, this year marked the first year of the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship program. Because this is a new program for FUTI which supports University of Tokyo students/alumni to study in a U.S. university for one semester or more, we were initially not certain as to whether an adequate number of applications would be submitted, but in the end we received many applications from highly capable students. This was surely made possible by the efforts of staff at the University of Tokyo administration, departments, and graduate schools, and to them we are very grateful. Although the scholarship is also open to U.S. university students wishing to study mid- to long-term at University of Tokyo, there were no applications from U.S. students this year.
In reviewing the application submissions received in this first year, it became clear that there were three main targets. First, UTokyo students who, after graduation, wish to study at a U.S. university in a specific field such as architecture or design; second, those who have already graduated UTokyo and are currently studying at a U.S. university and in need of financial assistance; and third, UTokyo undergraduate students who for various reasons were not eligible in the UTokyo undergraduate study abroad system. All three categories reflect those who did not fit in the current UTokyo study abroad support system. The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Scholarship, which has a relatively early application deadline, is a popular scholarship that UTokyo undergraduate students apply to, but the scholarship has a restriction where recipients may not accept other scholarships exceeding the amount given by JASSO. This stipulation limits how much FUTI can award.
Due to the large number of applications from highly qualified students, there was a reluctance among Scholarship Committee members for selecting only a very small number of award winners. Therefore, members of the Committee carefully considered all of the applicants, and as a result decided upon giving nearly full support to two students and partial support to eight, totaling in ten recipients. It was decided that the scholarship will only be for this academic year, even though there are students likely to continue their study next year. Those still requiring assistance for the following year were asked to reapply next year.
Support for most of the recipients start in this fall semester, but some start in the summer semester and have already received their first payment. As we were able to select outstanding students, the Ito Foundation U.S.A. and FUTI both share a sense of fulfillment. It is our hope that each of these highly qualified students will meet or even exceed our expectations.
List of Scholarship Recipients
The following list includes the student’s major, year (at the time of application) or year of graduation at/from UTokyo followed by the program at the US university where he or she plans to study under the support of the Ito U.S.A.-FUTI scholarship.
UTokyo Doctoral Candidates: 2 students
- Xu, Bochen (Advanced Social and International Studies, Doctoral program, 2nd year): To be determined.
- Schumacher, Kim (Environmental Science, Doctoral program 3rd year): Government/ Comparative Policy, Harvard University
UTokyo Past Graduates: 3 students
- Asai, Junpei (Master of Civil Engineering, 2015 ): Landscape Architecture, Master program, University of California
- Goto, Minami (Bachelor of Art History, 2015): Film /Creative Producing, Master program, Columbia University
- Yamashita, Ayako ( Bachelor of Education, 2009): Social-Organizational Psychology, Master Program, Columbia University
UTokyo Graduating Seniors: 2 students
- Nishikawa, Hiroya (Physics, Senior): Physics and Astronomy, Doctoral Program, Johns Hopkins University
- Furusawa, Eri (Architecture, Senior): Architecture and Urban Planning, Masters Program, Columbia University
UTokyo Undergraduates: 3 students
- Kusakabe, Natsuki (International Relations, Sophomore): Undergraduate Exchange Program, University of Illinois
- Nishiyama, Nozomi (Mechanical Engineering, Sophomore): Undergraduate Exchange program, MIT
- Kim, Myeongok (PEAK /Natural Sciences II, Sophomore): Undergraduate Exchange Program, Swarthmore College