Syrian Scholars Initiative

SSI 2022 top page

Application will open on September 1, 2021 for students who wish to matriculate in September 2022. Please review the information on this page to prepare for application.
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What is SSI?

The Syrian Scholars Initiative (SSI) is a full scholarship that supports Syrian students who were displaced by the conflict throughout their entire undergraduate education at ICU. It covers tuition, various university fees, housing, living expenses, insurance and one-way travel to Japan. 

The initial cohort of two Syrian students matriculated at ICU in September 2018. We now have four Syrian students on campus. We were unable to receive new students in 2020 due to travel restrictions under the pandemic, but envision two students matriculating in 2021.

What is ICU?

ICU is a private, four-year liberal arts college in Tokyo. Founded on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ICU aims to cultivate “responsible global citizens” who will contribute to world peace and to help people from diverse backgrounds live together harmoniously. ICU has been a pioneer in liberal arts education in Japan since its founding in 1953, pursuing, as its name suggests, international, Christian and academic missions.

Although founded on Christian principles, ICU does not proselytize. The majority of students are not Christian. All undergraduate students are required to take “Introduction to Christianity,” but otherwise participation in Christian programs is completely optional. This scholarship is not limited to Christian students – we accept applications from students of all faiths and religions.

Please visit ICU’s website for information on the majors offered (fields of study), student life, location, etc. 

Application Timeline

2021-22 SSI timeline (1)

Application Information

31 Majors Offered at ICU

Above are the majors offered for undergraduate studies at ICU. For details about each major, click on the above image.

Where is ICU?

Upcoming Information Sessions

We will host a webinar in late August/early September to go over the application form.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please contact

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quick checklist

Please read the full instructions under “Application Information.”

You can apply if you are:
– a Syrian national in Turkey or Egypt
– a high school graduate
– proficient in English
– interested in Japan and Japanese
– interested in a major offered at ICU
* You do not have to be Christian.
* You do not have to have a passport but it is strongly recommended that you apply for one.

You cannot apply if you are:
– living outside Turkey or Egypt
– looking for a graduate scholarship
– interested in a major not offered at ICU
– have not taken IELTS or TOEFL

*If you are a non-Syrian refugee currently in Turkey or Egypt, and are interested in this scholarship opportunity, please email . We are currently unable to accept applications from non-Syrian students, but there is a possibility that eligibility will be expanded. We will let you know in case there is any change.

You must submit by Oct. 15, 2021:
– Online application form
– TOEFL or IELTS score
– Copy of Turkish legal document
– Educational certificate
– Transcript/report card
– Copy of passport (if available)
– 2 recommendation letters
* Everything must be in English. If the original document is not in English, you must attach a certified English translation.

Click here to view a Sample Application.

Aikido ICU

Please Support SSI

Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, it has quickly become the top source country of refugees with 6.7 million registered refugees as of December 2018. With the backdrop of this global refugee crisis, JICUF, in partnership with ICU and Japan Association for Refugees (JAR), established the Syrian Scholars Initiative (SSI). SSI aims to support Syrian refugee youths currently residing in Turkey for their entire undergraduate education at ICU. SSI will cover tuition, housing and living expenses. We aim to provide comprehensive support for the students, including academic, legal and psychological support. Our first two scholars matriculated at ICU in September 2018, and two more in September 2019.

However, providing scholarships for subsequent cohorts depends largely on our ability to raise additional funds. We ask for your support to help provide higher education opportunities to additional youths whose lives have been affected by war. 

Donation Form