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UM Launches Scholarship For Japanese Students Affected By Earthquake Tsunami

The University of Montana Foundation has established a scholarship for UM students from Japan who were afflicted by the March earthquake that caused a tsunami and nuclear disaster.

The Japan Rising Opportunity Scholarship demonstrates UM’s continued support for its Japanese students and Japan as a whole. The UM Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief website,, provides a link to the fundraising page for those wishing to donate.

Donors who contribute $100 or more to the scholarship fund will receive the “UM’s Heart Goes Out to Japan” poster, the product of collaboration between the UM and Missoula communities to support Japan in the aftermath of the disasters.

Mika Watanabe-Taylor is a UM alumnus from Japan now working for the University’s Disability Services for Students. “I believe this scholarship will give other Japanese people, especially those most heavily impacted by the disasters, a wonderful opportunity to pursue their dreams of attending college in the United States,” she said.

“As a foreign student, my student visa restricted my ability to work,” Watanabe-Taylor said. “Scholarships helped me ease such financial limitations and helped me pursue my dreams. Because of this experience, I strongly value scholarships and am excited about the Japan Rising Opportunity Rising Scholarship.”

The new scholarship is for both undergraduate and graduate students from Japan. Students from across the country may apply, but preference will be shown to students from the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in the Tohoku Region. Applicants must have met all UM admission criteria in their respective fields of study.

A scholarship committee appointed by Effie Koehn, director of the UM Office of Foreign Student and Scholar Services, will determine the scholarship recipients and amounts. For more information call Koehn at 406-243-5580 or email