Support Forty Year Scholarship Program with the University of Illinois

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Support Forty Year Scholarship Program with the University of Illinois

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What's this Challenge about?

What's this Challenge about?


Since 1976, the Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship Program has contributed to building a strong and friendly relationship between Japan and the US by sending four competent undergraduate students who underwent a competitive selection process to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for one year with a tuition waiver. The Japan Illini Club (JIC) are hoping for more people to learn about this experience, and for more Japanese students to apply to this program. We need further support from you in order to continue this program.

What is the Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship?

he Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship was founded in 1976 by the late Hachiro Koyama, who was the chairperson of Japan Illini Club (JIC), the Japanese alumni association of University of Illinois.
Every year, JIC sends four competent undergraduate students to study at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for two semesters with tuition waiver provided by UIUC. As the fixed number of scholarship is only four, it is a highly competitive program and applicants are selected by a JIC selection committee organized by businessmen and college students. Annual tuition is about 30,000 USD.
The Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarhip has contributed to this international exchange between Japan and United States for 39 years by sending talented students to study in the US.

Who is Hachiro Koyama?



Hachiro Koyama (小山八郎) graduated from Waseda University and studied in the School of Labor and Employment Relations (LER) at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1954 as a Fulbright Scholarship student. After that, Mr. Koyama served as chairperson of the Japan Illini Club. In 1975, he made every effort to initiate a scholarship program for Japanese students to study at the University of Illinois.
Mr. Koyama was also a prominent businessman who was the CEO at Johnson, Co., ltd and the Vice President at the Japan Federation of Employers' Association. Mr. Koyama passed away in 1995.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a first-rate state university in the United States

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a state university which is located in the Midwest. The campus exists in Urbana-Champaign, which is about three hours south of Chicago. Some of the degrees offered at the University include Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Business. It also houses a professional school that includes both a business and law school. It is a very large university that has more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year.

The campus has 17 colleges and instructional units. Students often need to take a bus for about 10 minutes or more in between classes. Moreover, the university has an airport which is used by the students of the aviation program, as well as ordinary people. Now, you get a sense of how large this campus is, right?

The “Quad” is a lush square oasis in the center of the campus where students enjoy playing frisbee or lying down on the grass in summer. The Union is a building adjacent to the Quad, which has a lounge and shops on the first floor, a hotel on the second floor and above, a bowling alley and restaurants in the basement. Around the Union and the Quad, there are buildings including the of Engineering quad on the north side, and buildings including Liberal Arts and Business on the south side.
Students who study there sponsored by Koyama Hachiro scholarship will be assigned to the department of Liberal Arts and Sciences. They will live in the dormitories within the campus.


▲ Beautiful Quad (by JanetandPhil, on Flickr)

Development of the Internet began in Illinois(?!)

Engineering at the University of Illinois is very well known all around the world. It is specifically known for material engineering, civil engineering, and computer science. The Engineering College vies for either the top or second place among the best in the United States. Furthermore, 21 professors and graduates from the University have been awarded the Nobel Prize.

In addition, there are many alumni who have become entrepreneurs. Mosaic was an innovative web browser in the dawn of the Internet, which was developed by Marc Andreessen and his colleagues at the University of Illinois. It became Netscape later, and contributed to the explosive growth of the Internet. Actually, the founders of Yelp, YouTube and Paypal, also graduated from our University! It's a university which is full of entrepreneurial spirit.

Although it is a digression, the computer, HAL 9000, which appeared in "2001: A Space Odyssey", was also developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!

▲ (2001: A Space Odyssey) HAL 9000

A University that has a long-lasting and deep friendly relationship with Japan


What is more, there is a building called “Japan House” on the UIUC campus. It is a place for students and locals to gather to learn about the Japanese culture, such as tea ceremony. Japan House is a reflection of long-lasting friendly relationship between University of Illinois and Japan; there is no other countries’ cultural establishment within the UIUC campus.
Japanese students are surprised when they visit Japan House for the first time, as local US students serve a bowl of tea and Japanese cuisine. It is a good opportunity for them to re-think and re-learn their own culture.
http://japanhouse.art.illinois.edu/en/

▲Blooming Weeping Cherry (Shidare-zakura) at Japan House

Scholarship students continue the challenge!

Scholarship students each continue the challenge during their studies at UIUC. For example:
・Initiated a start-up company with UIUC friends
・Raise contributions for terminal cancer patients through bike ride across the United States
・Belonged to Official Ice Hockey Team and did a great job on the team.
・Not only took classes, but also joined a research group and had a paper appear in a journal

It is only through the Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship Program that Japanese students have a chance to learn at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign which is full of great and exciting challenges and opportunities! Of course, scholarship students of this year will engage in this challenge too.


▲Photo taken at San Francisco with Bike Team for Terminal Cancer Patients!

Why Crowdfunding?

The Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship has contributed to the building of a friendly foundation for a Japan-US relationship by sending competent undergraduate students who passed the competitive selection process. We are hoping for more people to learn about this project, so that more Japanese students will apply to this program, and have a chance to study at UIUC. However, continuance of this project, which is essential in achieving these goals, is becoming more and more difficult due to the financial reasons.

One of the main factors is a financial difficulty of the UIUC. While it has accepted four Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholars every year under a tight financial budget, it might not be able to do so any more due to new financial policies. In addition, the Hachiro Koyama Scholars are required to pay more due to the increase of living expenses, compared to forty years ago when Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship was first established. The Japan Illini Club members, have provided and will continue to provide support for the scholars from various perspectives, including finance. However, in order for this project to continue, we need to ask for further support from many people, which is the reason why we have decided to launch this Crowdfunding project.

When we finished the first 90-day challenge, we will be working on the Japan-US cultural exchange project.

Producing a number of great talents.

The alumni of Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scaholarship Students play important roles in the world. For example:
・Koichiro Tsujino: 3rd scholarship student. After working at SONY, he joined Google in 2007 and was appointed president of Google Japan. Currently, he is serving as representative director, president and CEO of ALEX Corporation.
・Atsushi Iwashita:14th scholarship student. CEO of Facebook Japan
・Shotaro Hamamoto:16th scholarship student. Professor at Kyoto University, Faculty of Law
・Kaori Shoji:20th scholarship student. Professor at Gakushuin University, Faculty of Law
Alumni are very active in the business and academic environment!

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Message from Koichiro Tsujino



Illinois, my home sweet home
It was right after moving up to junior when I went to UIUC to study. Thanks to my dad, who was good friends with Mr.Hachiro Koyama because both of them are Fulbright scholarship students, I visited the United States for the first time in my life in 1979 as the 3rd Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship student. After I took summer intensive course of English for international students first, I studied there as a junior student majoring in Electrical Engineering. It was precious and unforgettable moment when I stayed in Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall with my American roommate and good friends. The experience in Illinois marks a turning point in my life. If it had not been for this experience, I think my life would have become totally different. Some friends I met in Illinois at that time are still good friends and I have lifelong friendships with them based on family basis. I have thought I would like to repay the United States, University of Illinois and Japan Illini Club for a long time, I offered cooperation using COUNTDOWN, crowd-funding platform managed by our company ALEC Co., as this important and forty years long scholarship program has financial difficulties. I hope this scholarship program will continue to produce the great Japanese talents who will contribute greatly to the world.


▲Good old days at the ski trip to Wisconsin with Illini guys (second from the left)
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We Need Your Help to Continue this Scholarship Program!!


The Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarships Program, which currently exempts Japanese students from UIUC tuition and fees for an academic year, has chosen and sent talented students from various fields for the past 40 years is totally different from usual exchange programs organized by other universities. Thus, our program is very special and unique in Japan, and is also very important especially for today when the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology encourages students to study abroad.
Therefore, we do hope that this program will continue to help and support many Japanese students in the future. We would be very grateful if you could join us and help our activities. Thank you.

This Project Leader is a former scholarship student!



I am Shuta Takada, who is 36th Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship Student. I studied civil engineering at Graduate School at University of Tokyo. When I was in UIUC, I was studying civil engineering too.
I studied at UIUC in 2011 for two semesters and it was a great experience for me because UIUC is said to be the best school in civil engineering field. Also, I studied a lot while competing with excellent students. This gave me a lot of new experiences. At the same time, scholarship students came from different universities of Japan and they became good friends and rivals through studying together at UIUC. As JIC supported us a lot, I didn’t worried about anything before going to Illinois. Hachiro Koyama Memorial Scholarship Program is one of the best programs for undergraduates in Japan who want to study in the United States. I really hope this program will continue forever in order to send Japanese students to UIUC and contribute greatly to the world. We need your help to continue this program.


I am Rise Katsuda at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, majoring in international law.
I got a big opportunity to study at UIUC from 2014 to 2015. Learning international development and politics with high-level students was absolutely a great experience for me. Thanks to this scholarship program, I will be able to turn this experience into my career in international development after graduation.
Also, studying abroad is a good chance to leave one’s “comfort zone” and to reflect on oneself. As for myself, I came to know my weakness when I left my “comfort zone” and spent time at UIUC. With this inner awareness, I was able to cope with many difficulties through trial and error. I hope that this scholarship program will continue to provide Japanese students with chances to realize their dreams in the future. We appreciate it if you kindly give us your support.

Returns for Supporters

We prepare these returns related to Illinois for our kind supporters.
・UIUC goods
1. Illinois Lucky Goods: We prepare Teddy Bears, pens and files which are popular among UIUC students. (5000JPY Support~)

▲Illinois Lucky Goods (image)

・Japan Illini Club returns
1. Scholarship Students Report
Four scholarship students will send you a report about their life in UIUC. (2,000JPY Support~)
2. Recognition in News Letter of JIC
JIC sends our own news letter to all members twice a year. We will introduce our supporters in our news letter. (5,000JPY Support~)
3. Right to use the space in JIC News Letter
Supporters can use the space in our news letter. Advertisement is welcomed. (50,000JPY Support~)
4. Interview
We interview you, and write an article about you in JIC News Letter.


▲Annual Reunion Party in 2013

NOTE (selection process of scholars):



 1st process: Application form and essay in English
 2nd process: personal and group interviews
 Through these processes, 4 students are selected every year as exchange students at UIUC.
 If you would like more information on the program, please access to http://www.illini-club.jp/scholar.html
 Application Requirements:
  1. Applicants must have Japanese nationality and be enrolled at a 4-year university
  2. Applicants must be at most 25 years old or younger at the application deadline
  3. A minimum score of 79 iBT TOEFL, 6.5 IELTS(each section must be at least 6.0 or over) These tests must be taken after October 2012
   4. Good academic records(at least GPA3.0 or the average evaluation B, or over)