Living and studying in Japan: ABE Initiative Scholarship recipients share their experiences

Posted on June 05, 2017


On Tuesday, 23 May 2017, the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), hosted an event entitled 'Living and studying in Japan: by recipients of the African Business Education for Youth (ABE) Initiative Scholarship'. The event was well-attended by representatives of the Japanese business sector, students, academics and others.

The ABE Initiative is a programme that has been offered by the Government of Japan since 2013. It provides opportunities for young African men and women to study at a master's level at Japanese universities as international students and to experience internships at Japanese enterprises. Recipients have the chance to develop effective skills and knowledge in various fields, enabling them to better contribute to the development of industries in Africa.

JICA representatives greet the scholarship recipients (Photo: Vittesh Devchand)

This year, seven students and professionals from the second cohort of South African scholarship recipients gathered at the University of Pretoria to share their experiences of living and studying in Japan. Areas of study included Business Management (the International University of Japan), Humanities and Social Sciences, and International Development and Cooperation (Hiroshima University and the University of Tsukuba); Maritime Technology and Logistics (Tokyo University of Marine Science); and Engineering (University of Tokyo and Kyoto University).

They spoke about the Japanese academic environment, the cultural experiences that they had during their stay, and the Japanese work culture that they experienced through their internships, highlighting the differences and similarities from their experience in South Africa.

The ABE Initiative will soon be accepting applications from students interested in doing their master's degrees in Japan next year. For more information, please visit

A recipient answers a question from the audience (Photo: Vittesh Devchand)



- Author Centre for Japanese Studies

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