Call for Applications: Western Balkans Meet Japan – A Bridge Into Future

WESTERN BALKANS/JAPAN – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office are implementing for the second year the youth exchange “Western Balkans meet Japan: A Bridge into the Future”, on 13-21 November 2019, and invites 15 undergraduate or graduate students aged from 20 to 25 years old, coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, to apply for a great opportunity of personal and professional growth.

The program aims to deepen participants’ understanding of Japan and its policy, to increase knowledge and promote mutual understanding through intellectual and cultural exchange, and build a basis for future friendship and cooperation between Japan and the WB. It is foreseen that the program participants spend around one week in Japan discussing current topics, sharing experiences with youngsters from Japan, developing intercultural skills, and visiting and exploring Japanese culture.

Eligible applicants:

  • Being a currently enrolled student in an undergraduate or graduate program and aged from 20 to 25 years old on arrival in Japan;
  • Living in one of the Western Balkans 6 contracting parties and holding a passport issued by one of the WB6 (Applicants who have Japanese nationality are NOT eligible); Having a good command of English;
  • Neither having participated in exchange program(s) by the Government of Japan nor having lived in Japan;
  • Respecting the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation in the Western Balkans;
  • Having a valid passport.

In addition to the above criteria, it is desirable that applicants have interest in Japan or have been involved in study or activities related to Japan.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro need to apply for a visa to participate in the program. The organisers will inform the selected participants of the application process once decided.


Round trip international air tickets to Japan by economy class, overseas travel accident insurance, accommodation and transportation in Japan, meals during the program, and admission fees for scheduled activities in Japan are covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (Participants are expected to cover personal expenses such as excess baggage charge and travel expenses between their residences and departure/arrival airport designated by the program.).

Read the full overview of the program by clicking the following button:

Program Overview

Please check if you are eligible to apply here:

Applicant Qualifications

Please click on the button below to access the Application Form and have the chance to be part of the program.

Apply here

To know more about RYCO and last year’s exchange program, click the following button:

Learn More

Deadline for application is Sunday, 15 September 2019, 23:59 CET. Only selected participants will be notified.


Contact points:

Bérangère DAILLY

Program Assistant

Regional Youth Cooperation Office

[email protected]


Yukina ABE

Central and South Eastern Europe Division

European Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

[email protected]



*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence


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