SJCC Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce
Scholarship Fund

Regulations & Guidelines

Tokyo, Shinjuku

©Yasufumi Nishi / ©JNTO


These Regulations and Guidelines set forth the general terms and conditions for the management of the SJCC Scholarship Fund.

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

Article 1: Property

The Scholarship Fund represents part of the activities and assets of SJCC. It is thus a non-profit organization and its officers will not receive financial compensation; however. day-to-day office expenses incurred by the Chairman will be reimbursed by SJCC.

Article 2: Objectives

The SJCC Scholarship Fund offers encouragement, financial and other pertinent assistance to qualified graduates, students and professionals who are willing to add a “Japan Year” to their education. The emphasis of their Japan commitment will have to focus on

  • achieving a good working level of the Japanese language – both spoken and written – especially but not exclusively by attending 3-6 months’ intensive Japanese courses at local schools
  • gaining in-depth experience in working with Japanese colleagues during 6-9 months’ internships in local Japanese 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 Swiss and/or international enterprises for qualified employees with “Japan /Asia competence” as well as to a further development of bilateral trade and cultural relations between Switzerland and Japan.

Article 3: Management

The SJCC Board, in its own competence, has entrusted the management and administration of the Scholarship Fund to a Committee of three of its Executive Members. Its Chairman will receive and screen scholarship applications, interview and assess qualified applicants. He handles all related operational work and counsels scholarship applicants, candidates and recipients alike. In consultation and agreement with his two colleagues he will decide on the selection of candidates and the allocation of available funds.

Article 4: Finances

The ceiling for individual grants to scholarship recipient has presently been set at JPY 1’700’00 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. SJCC will solicit donations from sponsors in support of its scholarship program. 

Article 5: Selection of Grantees

Essentially, female or male 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, e.g. a degree from 

  • Universities, incl. the Federal Institute of Technology
  • Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences)
  • Höheren Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsschulen (HWV) or comparable Institutions
  • Commercial or Technical Apprenticeships.

In addition, they will already have acquired sufficient basic knowledge of spoken and written Japanese (vocabulary of about 600 words and 200 kanji) – which, on average, may require approximately 150 lectures. Candidates should be under the age of 32 years when leaving for Japan.

Whereas non-Swiss citizens will in principle be welcome as candidates, they should be longer-term residents of Switzerland 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 outlined in Article 2.

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.

Article 6: Applications

Applications (forms available from the Chairman of the Scholarship Fund) will have to be submitted to him 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 Japan training program (listing also grants from other Foundations – if any)
  • Statement of Motivation describing in some detail personal objectives regarding “the Japan Year” and how they are expected to contribute to the future career development of the applicant.

Article 7: Scholarships

In principle, the amount granted by the Scholarship Fund should cover discount return airfares to Japan, tuition and related fees for the intensive Japanese course as well as a fair contribution towards the total living cost during the whole year in Japan 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 “Japan Training Year”.

As a rule, payments to the grantee will be made in JPY in two equal installments, 50% during Q 1 (after arrival and opening a local bank account) and during early Q 3 of his/her Japan training (after having submitted a midterm report – ref. Art. 9).

Article 8: Additional Assistance

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

Article 9: Reporting by Scholarship Recipients

The grantees undertake to submit mid and end term reports on their training, other pertinent activities and experiences during their “Japan Year”. 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 SJCC website, section “Scholarship”, for the benefit of new candidates and SJCC members etc. provided writers agree. After return to Switzerland, there will – if possible – be a final interview and discussion with the Chairman of the Fund.

Article 10: Early Termination of Scholarship Payments

As stipulated in a separate Agreement between SJCC and the Grantee the Chairman can immediately terminate payments of grants and request repayment of sums already transferred in case the grantee will prematurely terminate his/her training in Japan, behave in an undeserving manner or otherwise not live up to the Regulations and Guidelines. In extreme hardship cases, the Scholarship Committee may decide to waive part or whole of this requirement.

Article 11: Internal Control and Statutory Audit

The Chairman regularly reports to the SJCC Board, its Executive Committee and the Annual General Meeting of the SJCC on the progress and finances of the Scholarship Fund as well as the status of Sponsorships. The formal accounting is outsourced and supervised by the SJCC Head of Finances. Payment orders to the Bank of SJCC for the benefit of scholarship recipients will be initiated by the Chairman and signed by him and an authorized signatory. The Statutory Auditors, Deloitte AG in Zürich, are commissioned to audit both the SJCC and its Scholarship Fund accounts. Their reports are available on request. No charges are leveled by them for their services.

Article 12: Publication and Amendment of Regulations and Guidelines

The Regulations and Guidelines will be published on the SJCC website, section “Scholarship”. The SJCC Executive Committee may from time to time request and submit amendments to the Board for final approval.

These Regulations and Guidelines replace the Regulations dated October 2001 and Internal Regulations of September 25, 2007. They will enter into force on September 1, 2011.

Zürich, 29. August 2011

On behalf of the Board of the

sig. Heinrich Wegmann
President SJCC

sig. Paul Dudler
Chairman SJCC Scholarship Fund