Scholarship Program

Scholarship Program

Swiss-Japan Scholarship Fund - powered by SCCIJ and SJCC

Scholarship Fund Introduction

The Scholarship Fund represents an important long-term activity of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan and the Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce. The fund was established on 1st October 1988 initially supporting young Swiss to add a Year in Japan to their education.
Over this time period, the scholarship fund has successfully awarded over 225 scholarships to Swiss residents that have spent a year in Japan. They are the best ambassadors of the scholarship program, contributing also today to the ongoing success of the scholarship fund.
From 2020 onwards, the scholarship fund supports as well young Japanese residents in their efforts to learn more about Switzerland, its culture, languages, social and business environments.

A Year in Switzerland

The Fund offers financial and other pertinent assistance to qualified students, graduates and professionals who are willing to add a “Year in Switzerland” to their education. The purpose of this commitment is for them to further improve their language skills (German, French, Italian, Romansh) during a 3-6 months intensive language training at a local school and to gain in-depth experience of working as an intern with Swiss colleagues for 6-9 months in Swiss or local subsidiaries of international companies.

Building Bridges

The Chambers strongly believe that such an extensive and unique learning experience of one national language of Switzerland and way of life will have lasting benefits for the participants in this program. It will enable them to help building bridges and better understanding between the two cultures. In summary, their efforts will eventually make lasting contributions towards the development of even closer economic relations and friendship between our two nations – the ultimate objective of the Chambers’ activities.

Typical Profile of a Scholarship Recipient

•    Female or male graduate from university or qualified professional with apprenticeship
•    Age less than 30 years, resident of Japan
•    Has already acquired basic knowledge of one national language of Switzerland
•    Highly motivated and committed to a “Year in Switzerland” consisting of intensive language training and internship in a Swiss or international company.
•    Well balanced and positive personality with clear goals
•    Displays an entrepreneurial spirit and risk tolerance

For further details on how to apply and what documents to submit please refer to the information provided below.
Successful candidates will have a background in business administration, economics, engineering, informatics, international law or similar areas of study. In addition, they will already have acquired a basic knowledge of a Swiss language before departing to Switzerland.

Application procedure

Please submit the application form here below electronically, together with all necessary documents. It has to be submitted to the person in charge of the scholarship in Japan before the deadline as indicated below.

Timeline

AUTUMN APPLICATION DEADLINE

September 30, 2020

Application deadline for a “Year in Switzerland” starting in spring 2021 or thereafter

October 17, 2020

1st round of interviews

November 7, 2020

2nd round of interviews with the committee of the Scholarship Fund

Mid November 2020

Final decision

If you feel that you will be able to comply with the conditions outlined therein, you may submit your formal application along with the documents required including a fairly detailed motivation letter which also outlines the plans for your year in Switzerland (language school, traineeship options).
We support training in Switzerland of no less than 12 months consisting of a local Swiss school and internship. Both are integral parts of our program and are compulsory. You are free to select the language school and work place of your choice. Upon request we shall, however, try to assist with respective recommendations.
Needless to emphasize the importance of a solid preparation of the “Year in Switzerland” which, in particular, means having acquired sufficient pre-knowledge of one national language of Switzerland (both verbally and in writing) in order to be able to follow classes right from the beginning.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The Swiss-Japan Scholarship Fund is guided by the general objective of encouraging and supporting young residents of Japan in their efforts to acquire a thorough knowledge of Switzerland, its culture, languages, economy, social and business environments.

Property

The Scholarship Fund represents part of the activities and assets of the SCCIJ and SJCC. It is thus a non-profit organization and its officers will not receive financial compensation; however.

Objectives

The Swiss-Japan Scholarship Fund offers encouragement, financial and other pertinent assistance to qualified graduates, students and professionals who are willing to add a “Year in Switzerland” to their education. The emphasis of their Switzerland commitment will have to focus on
•    achieving a good working level of one national language of Switzerland – both spoken and written – especially but not exclusively by attending 3-6 months’ intensive language courses at local schools
•    gaining in-depth experience in working with Swiss colleagues during 6-9 months’ internships in local Swiss or international companies and institutions
•    thus being better prepared for an international business career.
In a broad sense, the scholarship program is expected to contribute to the needs of Japanese, Swiss and/or international enterprises for qualified employees with “Swiss /Europe competence” as well as to a further development of bilateral trade and cultural relations between Japan and Switzerland.

Finances

The ceiling for individual grants to scholarship recipients has presently been set at CHF 10’000; subject to change should donations be drastically reduced and/or the value of the Yen vs. CHF rise beyond annual average levels experienced for the past 3 years. SCCIJ and SJCC will solicit donations from sponsors in support of its scholarship program.

Selection of Grantees

Essentially, applicants qualified for a scholarship have an educational background in sciences, economics, business administration, engineering, informatics, law, international affairs or similar. They will have a sound education, for example from a university or vocational college.
In addition, they will already have acquired sufficient basic knowledge of one national language of Switzerland – which, on average, may require approximately 150 lessons. Candidates should be under the age of 32 years when leaving for Switzerland.
Whereas non-Japanese citizens will in principle be welcome as candidates, they should be long-term residents of Japan and have a strong attachment to our country. Likewise, they must enjoy a good reputation and be willing to accept and be firmly committed to meet the objectives.
Based on thorough evaluation of the scholarship candidates which will include personal interviews, examination of their educational and/or professional qualifications, their demonstrated commitment and motivation as well as their personalities, the Committee of the Scholarship Fund will – at its discretion – make the final selection of candidates.

Applications

Application forms (available here) will have to be submitted by email to ‘info (at) sccij.jp’ (subject: ‘Year in Switzerland’), together with the following supporting documents:
•    Curriculum vitae
•    Copies of graduation and/or other relevant certificates
•    Recommendation letter(s) by principal teacher(s) and/or employer(s)
•    Declaration of the financial status and means available for supporting the applicant’s Swiss training program (listing also grants from other Foundations – if any)
•    Statement of Motivation describing in some detail personal objectives regarding the “Year in Switzerland” and how they are expected to contribute to the future career development of the applicant.

Scholarships

In principle, the amount granted by the Scholarship Fund should cover discount return airfares to Switzerland, tuition and related fees for the intensive language course as well as a fair contribution towards the total living cost during the whole year in Switzerland including accommodation and commuting, etc.
In deciding the exact scholarship amount, consideration is given to the financial status of the candidate, compensation and fringe benefits received as intern as well as other income from third parties. In any case, however, the candidate is expected to share in the cost of his “Year in Switzerland”.
As a rule, payments to the grantee will be made in CHF in two equal installments, 50% during Q 1 (after arrival and opening a local bank account) and during early Q 3 of his/her Switzerland training (after having submitted a midterm report).

Additional Assistance

Whereas the Scholarship Fund assumes that applicants for a grant will make their own arrangements for accommodation, language training and internship in Switzerland, it will – upon request – provide advice and make its best efforts to assist them in their respective endeavors.

Reporting by Scholarship Recipients

The grantees undertake to submit mid and end term reports on their training, other pertinent activities and experiences during their “Year in Switzerland”. Their observations and recommendations will help the Scholarship Fund to better focus and continuously improve its assistance to new applicants. In addition, selected reports will be published on the SCCIJ and SJCC websites, for the benefit of new candidates and SCCIJ and SJCC members etc. provided writers agree. After return to Japan, there will – if possible – be a final interview and discussion with the person in charge.

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