Educational Partnership Program with Environmental CSOs
The CSO Learning Scholarship Program gives undergraduate and graduate students the experience of internships in civil society organizations (CSOs, similar to NPOs/NGOs) that are active in the environmental field. Through the internships, its aim is to help participants grow as members of society so that they can approach matters from a broader perspective when they think about environmental issues and civil society. It also aims to strengthen CSOs by providing extra personnel assistance to the organizations that accept the students. This program was started in 2000 as an innovative program to develop the skills and abilities of individuals through corporate-CSO cooperation.
How the program works
The foundation pays scholarships to students in proportion to the amount of time spent with their assigned CSOs. The actual activities participants conduct at CSOs may vary widely depending on the actual needs of the CSO, and range from planning and organizing seminars to preparing publications and conducting field work outside in nature.
Year Round Program Schedule
The program runs from June each year until January of the following year (eight months), with a maximum of 200 working hours per participant. About 60 participants each year take part in around 35 CSOs in the Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Sendai regions of Japan.
Undergraduate or graduate students are encouraged to apply for the program if they:
- have an interest in civil society organizations (CSOs) and environmental issues,
- have a desire to learn, challenge themselves, and take action.
Note: Non-Japanese students currently enrolled at universities and graduate schools in Japan are welcome to apply. Japanese fluency is required.
Interview with CSOｓ
Monthly Meeting and Study Camps
Participants hold monthly meetings with program colleagues in the same region and two Camps (summer and spring) with all regions together. These meetings and camps are held in order to exchange information and observations, deepen their thinking on environmental issues, and generally make their day-to-day experiences more meaningful in a larger context.
Selected students make presentations about what they have learned from their internships in CSOs in front of SEF management.
Comments about the Program from Former Participants:
- " I met a bunch of exciting people with very high aspirations who I had never met before."
- " I was able to expand my vision by communicating with people with different perspectives."
- "We were able to exchange experiences in many different CSOs and share our eye-opening views."
- "I was able to make new friends that I would like to keep in touch with even after finishing the program and going out to work in society."
The Foundation will continue to offer the Program in the future, in order to further enhance the abilities of individuals and organizations to tackle environmental issues.