Fellowship Program


The AYF Fellowship is a 9-month live-in working program on Awaji Island, Japan at the home of the Awaji Youth Federation, Manabi no Sato. It provides selected Fellows with the opportunity to challenge themselves and hone their individual skills in a multicultural environment that reflects both the needs of the Japanese workplace and the opportunities that come with a flexibly structured and stimulating `learning by doing` structure.

Guided by the philosophy of `Turning your Imagination into Action`, AYF works under the umbrella of the Pasona Group towards sustainable business solutions for society`s problems. AYF Fellows have a special chance to bring a unique global perspective to a highly localized regional community on Awaji Island in Japan.

Why AYF?

Our parent company, the Pasona Group, has been making significant investments on Awaji Island since 2007 undertaking a number of projects in agriculture, tourism, hospitality, the arts and entertainment, all designed to create new sources of employment and revitalize the local economy.
In 2020 it took the major step of relocating its headquarters from Tokyo to Awaji Island, a rural island in Hyogo Prefecture. AYF was established in 2017 and  stands at the forefront of this vision, serving as a catalyst to bring talented youth from across the globe to accelerate Pasona Group’s transformative efforts.

AYF’s Vision
Aligned with the methodology of “hire for talent, train for skill,” and in harmony with the mission of our parent organization, the Pasona Group, we strive to bring out the best in people. We envision a future where individuals flourish within the inspiring landscape of Awaji, not only realizing their potential but also contributing to both the personal and the growth of the organization.

Many AYF Alumni remain on Awaji Island continuing to pursue their dreams and passions under the auspices of the Pasona Group, while others find that the AYF Fellowship is a springboard to the next stage of their careers either in Japan or abroad.

Hear from the Alumni

AYF was my gateway to fulfilling my dream of connecting Japan and Africa. With a goal to be the bridge between Africa and Japan, I joined AYF to gain entrepreneurship knowledge, Japanese business manners, and build a strong business network in Japan. Today, as President of the African Diaspora Network Japan (ADNJ), which is one of the leading platforms connecting Japan and Africa, I credit AYF for this journey. It has been transformative, uniting me with like-minded individuals driven to create impact in different ways. AYF has not only accelerated my career but also shaped me personally, fostering my leadership and cultural understanding with a global connection.
1st Generation Fellow
Joining AYF's first cohort was an incredible journey. I learned that family extends beyond blood ties, finding it within our community and friendships. Learning Japanese with amazing peers was unforgettable. Now, working in a multinational Japanese company, while English is my main language, my Japanese skills still come in handy. AYF taught me more than just language and business; it showed me the power of cultural exchange and human connections, shaping who I am today.
1st Generation Fellow
The program has truly transformed my life in countless ways, with a particular emphasis on nurturing my passion for design and creativity. Through this experience, I've gained invaluable skills, honed my artistic talents, and developed a deeper understanding of the design process. It has not only shaped my professional journey but also fueled my personal growth, empowering me to approach challenges with creativity and innovation.
2nd Generation Fellow

Themes and Structure

Reflective of its overall mission, AYF has selected three main themes for Fellowship activity. These are:

PR &

Art &

Health &

Design &


As a working internship, the AYF Fellowship will require participants to be involved in supporting, developing, and creating initiatives to drive and deliver outcomes for AYF and the Pasona Group across several core areas.This will include supporting ongoing events and developing new events focused on wellness, inbound tourism, and culture.

As far as possible, project work will be divided to reflect the interests and activities of Fellows, and to support their work goals, so as to create an overall synergy and maximize time and effort.

Project work will broadly cover, but is not limited to, the following:

A man in his mid 20s with a black beard and hair practicing sculpting into clay

Regional Revitalization

involvement in specific Pasona Group projects and work activities

A female presenter wearing a white jacket giving a lecture in front of roughly 100 students wearing black and white uniform. They are all in a big auditorium.

New Initiatives

Work in implementation and improvement of new AYF Projects

3 people sitting around a desk and looking at documents

AYF Academy

Training and skills development for external organizations

6 people, 3 wearing blue t shirt, 3 purple t shirt looking and smiling into the camera

AYF Global

Development of networks and content for the AYF online platform

Graduation Pathways

The AYF Fellowship provides participants with a unique opportunity to test their skills, interests and move out of their comfort zone. From the perspective of a new country, new culture and surrounded by AYF Fellows from all around the world, Fellows have an opportunity to take time out and rediscover themselves.

For those interested in developing a lasting connection with Japan, AYF is the perfect vehicle for the development of insight, experience and most importantly language skills that are a pre-requisite to any further career either on Awaji Island or elsewhere in Japan.

AYF Fellows who successfully showcase their skills and contribution to the development of Awaji Island in line with the vision and corporate direction of the Pasona Group will be offered a chance to stay on Awaji Island after the Fellowship to keep working on new initiatives.

Regular career counselling sessions will be included as part of the AYF Fellowship program to assist Fellows in articulating their goals and taking proactive steps to achieving them.

Japanese Classes

5 people attending a Japanese class in a modern classroom

Improvement of Japanese Language skills is an important criterion for evaluating the progress of Fellows, and an essential prerequisite to a successful career in Japan.

Valuable support will be offered for online and offline study of Japanese language and Fellows are required to participate as proactively as possible.

Ideal Candidate

Your Profile

  • Experience: You’ve got 2-3 years of experience in one of our Fellowship focus areas. You thrive in startup environments and fast-paced settings, and you’re ready to take your skills to the next level.
  • Age: In principle, you’re between 24-30 years old and ready to dive into this exciting opportunity. Individuals are assessed on merit, however we do not consider that the Fellowship is an appropriate opportunity for people aged 35 and above or. Those with significant  family and marital commitments should inform the Secretariat upon applying.
  • Education: You hold a Bachelor’s degree or above as a legal requirement for the working visa, and showcasing your commitment to continuous learning and growth.
  • Language Skills: You’re fluent in English (TOEIC 800 or equivalent), and if you’ve got a handle on Japanese (JLPT N1-N3), that’s a huge plus!

Soft Skills that Shine

  • Hard Work and Discipline: You’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and put in the effort to make things happen. Your discipline keeps you focused on achieving your goals.
  • Empathy and Care: You understand the importance of caring for others and believe in the power of collaboration and support within a team.
  • Flexibility and Perseverance: You adapt to new challenges with ease and keep pushing forward, no matter what obstacles come your way.
  • Action-Oriented: You’re not just full of great ideas—you have the drive and determination to turn those ideas into reality.

Fees and Conditions

Life at AYF Dormitory: Manabi No Sato

2024 Recruitment Timeline

Detailed application process on the recruitment period of 2024.


Application Period

April – May 31

1.) Registration
– Fill in the application form after clicking the APPLY NOW button

2.) Submit a project proposal specific to Awaji Island, within 2 weeks after registration



June – July

Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis


Visa Process

Selected fellows will be contacted in early August.

Take necessary procedures for immigration and employment.


Fellowship Starts

Fellowship will start in October


The Application for 2024 has been closed.

Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.

AYF Fellowship FAQs

Fluency in Japanese is preferable but not required, however during the program you will have Japanese classes and will contribute to your future path. The fellowship is mainly focusing on creating innovative projects therefore even with a lower level of Japanese we encourage you to apply.

We are focusing on bringing young talent from around the World. The current age range is 24-30 years old but we might recruit fellows that are slightly above or below the age limit.

Pasona Group will support your Visa application once you are selected to the program. You will need to apply for the process at your local Japanese Embassy.

AYF is a child company of PASONA Group on Awaji Island. Pasona Group is a major HR Solutions company operating in Japan and Internationally and created AYF and AYF Fellowship in 2017 to bring revitalization, internationalization and new projects to Awaji Island.

As part of AYF Fellowship, participants can access great opportunities within Pasona both in terms of connections and in terms of future carreer.

The AYF Fellowship equips you with valuable skills and experiences, making you a competitive candidate for various career paths. These may include:

Working in international development or social impact organizations.
Pursuing further education in related fields.
Building a career in Japan, potentially with the Pasona Group.

We give exactly 14 days to each candidate to upload a project proposal to us. Failing to do so will result in the automatic cancelation of your application.