“We will provide opportunities for Asian high school students studying Japanese to live in Japan for ten months. This will be at a scale of 1,000 students over the next five years.”
– Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the banquet of the 23rd International Conference on ‘The Future of Asia’ on Monday, June 5, 2017 stated that Japan will provide opportunities for Asian high school students studying Japanese to live in Japan for ten months at a scale of 1,000 students over the next five years.

AFS Intercultural Programs, Japan was appointed to implement the ASIA KAKEHASHI Project in collaboration with AFS Partner organizations and NGOs in Asia from 2018 to 2022. For the 2020 Kakehashi program, AFS is identifying and selecting scholarship recipients from 20 Asian countries. AFS organizations from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand will identify and select students from their countries as well as from countries where there is no AFS office.

Project Overview

  • High school students in Asia to study in Japan for 10 months (1 April 2020 – 9 February 2021)
  • Hosted by Japanese high school with homestay or dorm-stay
  • Expose to Japanese education, culture and local experiences


40,000 Japanese high school students will be impacted by 1,000 Asian high school students.

  • Nourish global competence of Japanese high school students through intercultural experiences without going abroad
  • Asian high school students to experience living Japanese education and culture
  • Building high school students’ network among Asia
  • Develop the leaders for our “future Asia”

Students interested in the Kakehashi program should meet the following criteria:

  • be between 15 and 18 years of age, born after 2 April, 2002 and before 1 April, 2005
  • be a Hong Kong SAR passport holder
  • have the academic reports of the past 3 years
  • have good academic records, obtained minimum of 60% marks in principle in all subjects in the latest examination at school and overall minimum average of 60% marks in all subjects for the past 2 years
  • be a Japanese language learner and willing to learn the language and the culture of Japan
  • demonstrate strong potential of leadership to act as a bridge between the sending country/region and Japan during and after the program; and
  • not have participated in the ASIA KAKEHASHI program before.
  • Priority will be given to students of families with low incomes.

Apply Now

Submit completed application form with the following documents to AFS

  1. Academic reports of the past 3 years
  2. Non-refundable application fee of HK$200

Application deadline: 1 November 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Tea ceremonies, graceful gardens and tranquil temples along with high-speed trains, striking efficiency and hyper-modern skyscrapers are essential to the dynamic Japanese culture. Social life for teens in Japan mostly happens at school and in extracurricular clubs for sports (baseball, soccer, basketball, judo, kendo or Japanese fencing, karate or track) and culture (English, broadcasting, calligraphy, tea ceremony, drama, orchestra, cooking, science and math). Japanese teens also enjoy the culture of kawaii (everything cute and lovable), J-Pop (Japanese Pop music), manga and animeKaraoke (singing) with friends is also very popular. Staying out late at night is not very common for teens.