Here are frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning FUTI’s scholarships, and our answers to them. Applicants from UTokyo should also review its FAQs posted at http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ja/administration/go-global/program/sp2014.html

If you have a question that is not addressed here, please send an e-mail to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org


How to win a FUTI Award

What are selection criteria of the FUTI Award?

[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[奨学生の選考] on the 米国伊藤財団ーFUTI奨学金 page.



Deadline Date

How flexible is the deadline date?

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 e-mail to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org.



Multiple Applications

I plan to apply for more than one summer program.  How can I apply for a FUTI scholarship?

[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.”



Applications to Awards for Programs Other Than Summer Programs

UTokyo introduced the four-term system beginning 2015. I am interested in a short-term studying/internship abroad after summer, where can I find an application guideline?

The FUTI Summer Scholarship 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 e-mail to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org.



Financial Support from Other Source(s)

Am I qualified to apply for other financial aid(s) as well as to FUTI’s scholarship program?

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.



Recommendation letter

Who can write a recommendation letter?

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.

Can I send FUTI a second recommendation letter in addition to the primary one written by my professor?

A secondary or even tertiary recommendation letter (for example, from another professor, the supervisor or coach of your extracurricular activity) is welcome. You should let FUTI know if such an arrangement is made.

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 only one reference and one recommendation letter, but please submit additional recommendation letter(s) as follows:

  1. Notify FUTI by sending an email to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org 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 recommendatfriendsofutokyo.org by the deadline.
I am a sophomore of UTokyo and have only limited contact with professors because of the unique scheme of UTokyo where students do not belong to any departments for the first year and a half. May I ask my high school teacher to write a recommendation letter?

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.

What format should the recommendation letter be in?

Please have your reference send the recommendation letter as an email attachment to recommendatfriendsofutokyo.org in either DOCX, DOC, or PDF format.


PDF/Word files

My multi-page application/transcript/etc. is separated into several PDF’s. What should I do?

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.

My PDF/Word file is more than 10MB in size. What should I do?

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. In order to reduce the size of your Word document, please visit Microsoft Office’s page on reducing Word file size: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/ways-to-reduce-file-size-HP005230740.aspx



Computations of the GPA

What do you mean by the maximum GPA?

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. (A calculation table will be made available soon.)

Over what period should the GPA be calculated?

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.


TOEFL score

I have not received my TOEFL score yet. What should I do?

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.

Is it OK to submit the score of a TOEFL test which I took more than a year ago?

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.

Is there a minimum score level acceptable to FUTI?

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.



Applications to FUTI and the host university

Is it necessary to submit an application to FUTI in addition to an application to the host university?

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.



Host or Coordinator

What do you mean by “Study Abroad Program Coordinator”?

In many schools, including UTokyo, there is an individual or office which coordinates the application of their students to overseas-study programs.  We would like to have this information, because we may sometimes need to find out about your university’s policy concerning study abroad or when our attempt to reach you somehow fails.  If you know such a person at your university, please provide the name, email and phone of that person.  If you do not have such an individual or office and are handling the application matters all by yourself, write “N/A (not applicable)” in that field or box.

What do you mean by “Your Prospective Host Professor or Lab’s Name(s)”?

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.



Instructions for Report Writing

Recipients of FUTI Summer Scholarships and Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship are (1) required to submit official reports, and (2) encouraged to post on FUTI’s Facebook page by sending text and pictures to fbatfriendsofutokyo.org as materials for posts.

Be prepared during your study abroad

  • Please make sure to take photos in and out of the classroom/lab. Classroom settings, presentations, scenic photos, photos of social outings are all welcome.
  • Stay in touch with FUTI during your study abroad by visiting our Facebook page and posting about your experience.

Information about the official report

For SUMMER study abroad:

Please submit one official report–this is in addition to your postings on the FUTI Facebook page. However, material from your Facebook posts may be used in the report.

  • Length/file format
    • One or more pages single-spaced as a docx/doc file
  • Report format
    • There is no set format but please write the report in English. It can be written as a diary, a narrative, report, however you like. To read examples please visit the recipient reports page.
  • Photos
    • Several photos embedded in the doc file, as an email attachment, or shared via cloud (resolution of more than 1000px would be appreciated)
    • Include at least one picture of your study/research scene
  • Where to submit
    • Please send your report to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org

*Please be advised that reports and photos will be published on the FUTI website and may be used on FUTI publications. If you have any specific privacy requests, please let us know in advance.

For Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI:
  • Number of reports/due dates
    • In general, you are required to write interim reports once in approximately three months, and the final report at the end of your study or at the end of the school year, whichever comes first. The final report should cover the entire study period including what might have already been covered by interim reports.
    • FUTI will give a courtesy reminder about the interim reports with the check mailing notifications which are generally once every three months, but please make an effort of reminding yourself to write the reports.
    • These reports are in addition to your postings on the FUTI Facebook page. However, material from your Facebook posts may be used in the report.
  • Acknowledgement
    • Should you decide to add acknowledgements in your reports and would like to express thanks for the scholarship, please take this opportunity to show gratitude to the Ito Foundation U.S.A. (the fund provider) and Friends of UTokyo, Inc. (the fund operator). Since the report will be read by both parties, acknowledgement of both organizations would be appreciated.
  • Length/file format
    • Each report should be about one or more pages single-spaced as a docx/doc file
  • Report format
    • There is no set format but please write the reports in English. It can be written as a diary, a narrative, report, however you like. To read examples please visit the recipient reports page.
  • Photos
    • Several photos embedded in the doc file, as an email attachment, or shared via cloud (resolution of more than 1000px would be appreciated)
    • Include at least one picture of your study/research scene
  • Where to submit
    • Please send your report to awardatfriendsofutokyo.org

*Please be advised that reports, especially the final one, and photos will be published on the FUTI website and may be used on FUTI publications. If you have any specific privacy requests, please let us know in advance.