Year In Japan

The Year in Japan Scheme is a fantastic opportunity exclusively for St Anne’s students to spend a fully-funded year studying and learning Japanese at the Japan University of Economics, Fukuoka. The programme has been in existence since 1999 and, to date, over 122 students have taken part. For 2024-25 there are 5-7 scholarships on offer.


As part of the scheme, you will be expected to attend the language classes in the late mornings (3 hours) and to assist in a private school (Linden Hall Elementary School) for 2 afternoons (3 hours) alternating with 3 afternoons (4.5 hours) per week. There are ample opportunities to earn extra money working part-time (for example teaching English or working in a cafe) and assistance is provided in finding such work.

It is expected that those who complete the course will return with a reasonable knowledge of Japanese. The Foreign Office estimates that 900 hours’ tuition is needed for competence in Japanese for an English speaker. St Anne’s programme provides 450 hours’ tuition. With hard work, it may be possible to attain an N3 level of Japanese on the Japanese Language Profiency Test (JLPT – a Japanese Government sponsored scheme). Almost all scholars achieve N4 standard.

Accommodation is at the Japan University of Economics, which is a private University on the southern island of Kyushu.  It is a 40 minute journey (mostly by train) from the campus to the centre of Fukuoka.  Fukuoka, the nearest city in Japan to mainland China (only 2.5 hours by air from Shanghai), is a cosmopolitan city with an interesting nightlife, beaches, and shopping.

Period: September 2024 to July 2025

Location: Japan University of Economics, Fukuoka, Japan

Accommodation & flights: both provided and free of charge

Who can apply:

  • All undergraduates and graduate finalists (excluding Visiting Students)
  • Undergraduates are not permitted to go out of residence to participate in the programme; only applications from finalists will be considered.

Applicants should:

  • Have an excellent academic record containing evidence that achievement has been commensurate with their academic ability.
  • Have been good citizens of the College and University. They must be able to demonstrate having made good use, while at Oxford, of opportunities offered.
  • Have the potential and dedication for acquiring a difficult language.
  • Possess cultural sensitivity and personal maturity.
  • Be able to give appropriate and clearly articulated reasons for wishing to study in Japan.

Reasons for seeking a Scholarship need not be closely related to the applicant’s present course of study.  They may, but need not necessarily, include career plans for which a year in Japan would be beneficial.

Application procedure:

We have an information sheet with further details of the scheme – please request this from Christine Robertson ( before applying. Christine is also happy to answer queries about the scheme via email.
We will also hold an online information session for students who are interested at the beginning of Hilary term 2024. We recommend reading the information sheet and attending the information session before applying.

Please submit the following:

  1. A brief up to date C.V. (no more than 2 sides of A4 equivalent)
  2. A cover letter explaining your reasons for wishing to study in Japan and what you hope to achieve from the experience. (no more than 2 sides of A4 equivalent). This should include your year, subject and the name of your Personal Tutor (undergraduates) or College Adviser / Course Supervisor (graduates) 
  3. Reference from your Personal Tutor / College Advisor / Course Supervisor. This should be sent directly from them to the internships email address (please ensure you give them at least two weeks’ notice to write the reference!)

Please send applications to Christine Robertson at by 4pm on Thursday 8 February 2024 (Hilary Term Week 4) at the latest.
The Selection Panel from St Anne’s will interview towards the end of Hilary term.

“We had four teachers for different aspects of Japanese language, each contributing their unique flair, from strict Japanese etiquettes to colloquial Hakata dialect. Cultural excursions planned by JUE included pottery painting in Arita and experiences with traditional arts like kyogen and kabuki. Witnessing Japan’s ability to preserve its rich heritage while fostering modern metropolises was truly amazing.
Despite living in Japan for almost a year and achieving JLPT N2 by the end, I believe my understanding of Japan is still just the tip of the iceberg. Japan is a mesmerizing place, and I am grateful for the sneak peek provided by the Year in Japan Scheme.”  Dannan Bai, Year in Japan scholar 2022-23

“I can’t really recommend the Year in Japan programme enough. To be living at studying at a Japanese university only minutes of travel from the beautiful ancient temple site Dazaifu Tenmangu in a subtropical climate was very much a joy and a privilege. We were lucky enough to be taught Japanese (and to teach English) to citizens who embodied the hospitality and traditions of Japan and shared them with us through Japanese language and history. For students who had never travelled to Asia before, the programme was also a wonderful springboard for visiting other parts of Japan and nearby countries like South Korea and Taiwan to experience their own fascinating cultures. Living, at extremely low cost, in Japan is something that would have been impossible for me without this programme and I would not take back a day of the insights I gained by doing so!”  Rebecca Sutherland, Year in Japan scholar 2017-18