Junior Fellows Leadership Program

Junior Fellows Leadership Program

Junior Fellows Leadership Program

Application Deadline Extended to Friday, February 16

The Junior Fellows Leadership Program is a culturally immersive learning experience for high school students who possess the potential for strong leadership and demonstrate the skills necessary to be future leaders. During this program conducted in New York and Japan, Junior Fellows have the opportunity to build networks with current industry leaders and program alumni, stay with a host family in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima (Northeast Japan), participate in activities at a local high school, and experience Japanese history and culture through hands-on experiences and historical site visits.

For more information, contact the Education Department at Japan Society at (212) 715-1275/1216 or at [email protected].

Application Materials
Detailed Program Information and Application Instructions (PDF) →
Application (PDF) →
Recommendation Letter (PDF) →
Application Checklist (PDF) →
Program Flyer (PDF) →

Click to Learn More
Application Process | Program Highlights | FAQs

Program Schedule

May 18: Program orientation at Japan Society, New York (long distance Fellows will participate via Zoom)

June 29—30: Pre-departure orientation at Japan Society, New York

July 1—2: Departure for and arrival in Japan

July 3—13: In-country program

July 14: Return to the U.S.

 

Program Schedule

May 18: Program orientation at Japan Society, New York (long distance Fellows will participate via Zoom)

June 29—30: Pre-departure orientation at Japan Society, New York

July 1—2: Departure for and arrival in Japan

July 3—13: In-country program

July 14: Return to the U.S.

This trip changed who I am as a person; it gave me a whole new thought process. Japan Society helped me create lasting connections across the world, grow as a leader, and change the course of my entire future… My life will never be the same after being a Junior Fellow.
—Participant from Rapid City, SD

 

Program Highlights

Aizu Wakamatsu Homestay & School Experience

U.S. Junior Fellows will travel to Northeast Japan and experience Japanese life through a homestay in the historic city of Aizu Wakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture. Fellows will attend a local high school and participate in various activities as they complete their group projects. Program leaders will facilitate programs that allow the Junior Fellows to gain a better understanding of local cuisine, traditions and history.

Study Trip

Junior Fellows will travel with the Program leader to visit important cultural sites and meet Japanese Junior Fellows alumni in an effort to expand their network. Previous Junior Fellows have participated in traditional craft workshops, visited museums and experienced various local cuisines. The Program leader and local guides have extensive knowledge of Japanese history, culture and society, and help the Junior Fellows develop an in-depth understanding of Japan

Leader Meetings & Lunch Reception

Junior Fellows will meet with current leaders in business, education, arts and sciences, nonprofit organizations and government entities through company visits, individual meetings and a post-program lunch reception. Previous Junior Fellows have had the opportunity to speak with senior business executives, media personalities, entrepreneurs, ranking UN policy advisors, leading photojournalists, architects and nonprofit executives.

Research Project

Junior Fellows will conduct research on social issues prior to departure. During the study trip and homestay in Aizu- Wakamatsu, Fellows will continue to study, discuss and further explore their topic through personal engagement with the local community. At the end of the program, Fellows will present their research projects to leaders and their cohort. Upon returning to school, Fellows will also share their experiences and project on-campus, as well as create an online exhibition about the town and school in which they stayed.

Junior Fellows Alumni Association (JFAA)

Throughout the program, Junior Fellows will meet with program alumni in both the U.S. and in Japan. As mentors, alumni will share tips on how to successfully complete the program and how to make the most of their experience. Alumni also discuss their post-program experiences with the college selection process, finding internships and career planning. After completion of the program, all Junior Fellows will actively participate in Japan Society programs and continue to expand their network and develop their leadership skills.

 

Application Process

Guidelines for Application

All application packets must include the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Two (2) signed letters of recommendation (at least one from a teacher or faculty member at the student’s school)
  • Copy of school transcript
  • Two (2) short responses to the following questions (500-word limit for each question):
    • 1. How are you qualified to participate in the Junior Fellows Leadership Program?
    • 2. How will this program help you to achieve your career goals?
 

Application Timeline

Application Deadline (postmarked): Friday, February 9, 2024
Announcement of first selection: Mid-March
Group Interviews (invitation only): Saturday, April 6, 2024
Announcement of 2024 Junior Fellows: Mid-April

Qualifications

  • U.S. high school students from 9th to 11th grade are eligible to apply. 
  • All participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including one booster shot for safe international travel. 
  • Junior Fellows will be selected based on demonstrated leadership potential and skills, as well as the qualities necessary to have a successful and engaging experience with other program participants, including (but not limited to): ability to adapt to a foreign culture, emotional and interpersonal maturity, strong academic background and a demonstrated interest in Japan. 
  • Knowledge of Japanese language is helpful, but not required. 
 

Mailing Address

Attn: Junior Fellows Program
Japan Society
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017

 

FAQs

  • When is the deadline to apply?

    All applications must be postmarked by Friday, February 9, 2024.

  • Who can apply?

    U.S. high school students from 9th to 11th grade are eligible to apply. For a full list of qualifications, please see above under Application Process.

  • What does the program cost?

    Tuition for the Junior Fellows Leadership Program is $3,500. The program is made possible by the generous underwriting of Japan Society donors and supporters. Tuition offsets the partial cost of the two-week program: orientation and arrangements, all international and domestic travel, meals and accommodations as well as all admissions during study trips and retreat. Fellows are responsible for additional expenses, such as pocket money and additional meals/snacks that are not taken with host families or program staff. 

  • Are scholarships available?

    Japan Society offers need-based scholarships to provide support for students facing financial barriers who are participating in the Junior Fellows Leadership Program. To apply for a scholarship, you will be requested to submit information from parents’ IRS Form 1040 after you are selected as a Junior Fellow. We award need-based scholarships based on a family’s demonstrated need. Details are available upon selection to the program. 

  • Who can I speak to about the Junior Fellows Program?

    For more information, contact the Education Department at Japan Society at (212) 715-1275/1216 or at [email protected].



The Japan Society Junior Fellows Leadership program is supported by generous grants from an anonymous family foundation and The Norinchukin Foundation. Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Education and Family Programs are generously supported by an anonymous donor; ORIX Corporation USA; Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas); public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; The Masako Mera and Koichi Mera, PhD Fund for Education and the Arts; The Norinchukin Foundation; and Friends of Education and Family Programs.