The AYF Fellowship is a one-year live-in working internship 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` curriculum.

Guided by the philosophy of `Be the Change You Wish to See`, AYF works under the umbrella of the Pasona Group towards sustainable 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.

Themes and Structure

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

Social Entrepreneurship



Innovation and

Regional Revitalization


International Relations


The AYF Fellowship consists of 3 components which link to and support one another, namely:








Fellows will be privileged to receive a regular program of lectures from eminent experts well-versed in the AYF 2021 themes and goals. Past lecturers have included entrepreneurs, international thought leaders, representatives from the United Nations and other international institutions and prominent figures in Japanese industry.

Lectures will be planned and designed to link to other components of the Fellowship, with the objective of providing Fellows with both intellectual stimulation as well as to augment the skills they need for successful completion of the challenge and program components.




As a rare pool of global talent located in a rural setting in Japan on Awaji Island, AYF Fellows will be given the opportunity to solve specific problems in the form of Creative Challenges presented to the Awaji Youth Federation by a range of Japanese corporate, government and non-government organizations.

Creative Challenges will be selected to reflect the 4 activity themes of AYF, giving Fellows an opportunity to put into practice some of the lessons drawn from the lecture series. Representatives of Challenge Sponsors will visit AYF to explain the problem, outline incentive rewards for the successful team and kick off the Challenge.

Organized in small teams aimed at maximizing their diverse backgrounds and skills, Fellows will be tasked with coming up with a solution to each Challenge within a pre-determined period. They are free to draw on a wide variety of resources, including members of the AYF Global Community.

Individual Fellows may also apply to run their own group challenges or utilize their participation in this component of the Fellowship through the pursuit of an individual challenge. Criteria for approval and regular progress reviews will be included in these activities to ensure overall alignment with Fellowship goals.


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.

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

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

AYF Academy

AYF Academy

training and skills development for external organizations

AYF Global

AYF Global

development of networks and content for the AYF online platform



work to support the expansion and delivery of YUNGA Japan

Regional Revitalization on Awaji Island

Regional Revitalization on Awaji Island

involvement in specific Pasona Group projects and work activities as directed


Each Fellow will be assigned a dedicated Mentor from the AYF Secretariat staff, all of whom are AYF Alumni, to act as a sounding board and personal guide throughout the year.

Fellow-Fellow mentoring and skill sharing sessions will also be planned and facilitated as part of the curriculum. In addition, a selected number of industry expert mentors will be available on call for more specialized advice.



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 are encouraged to take initiative in planning their own careers, and to use AYF effectively as a springboard taking them one step closer to the achievement of their own personal goals.

Without limiting the possibilities, some examples of common graduation pathways include:

  • Employment with a Japanese company domestically or abroad
  • Establishment of a business as an entrepreneur
  • Work with an organization involved in social business
  • Work or internship with a Japanese government agency
  • Further study based on new skills acquired at AYF
  • Internship with an international organization

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


Japanese Language

Support will be offered for online study of Japanese language on a fee basis.
Interested Fellows should discuss their needs and interests with the AYF Secretariat.


  • Graduated with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree
  • English ability of TOEIC 800 or equivalent for non-native speakers. (Fluent both in speaking and writing)
  • Japanese language skill (JLPT N1-N3)preferable
  • Commitment to solving society’s problems and contributing to the our projects.
  • Core values of hard work, discipline, and care for others
  • Flexible, perseverance and resilience
  • The ability and drive to translate ideas into concrete action

Membership and track record of activity in the AYF Global Community

Fees and

The AYF Fellowship has been designed so that Fellows will be able to enhance their skills and abilities without being burdened financially while in Japan. As an Awaji Youth Federation Fellow, you will be employed by the Pasona Group Inc. and enjoy the following benefits and conditions, while fees and government taxes are processed by Pasona. Applicants who are successfully selected need to fund their own travel costs to and from Japan.

Below you can see last generation’s financial breakdown

  • 1. Stipend JPY 70,000
  • 2. Government fees and taxes covered
  • 3. Program, Accommodation & Meals covered
  • 1. 5 days a week of working & learning
  • 2. 10 days of paid leave available six months into the Fellowship
  • 1. Individual room in either Japanese or Western style
  • 2. Utility costs such as electricity and Wi-Fi are included
  • 1. Although AYF attempts to accommodate Fellows with food allergies, special dietary needs or those following religious dietary practices including Halal diet, the dishes we provide are general buffet style.


2023 Applications have not started yet. Join AYF Global to be the first to know when the application process starts!

Applications for the 2023 Fellowship will broadly follow the timeline below. Once applications have been opened an application form will become available online.

The following schedule is for foreign residents. For applicants already in Japan with a valid working visa, the process will be different.

  • 01

    Month 1

    Applications Open

  • 02

    Month 2

    Overseas Candidates Application Deadline


  • 03

    Month 3

    Interviews / over skype

    Applicants passing the first round of interviews will be invited for a second round.

  • 04

    Month 3-4

    COE & Visa

    Take necessary procedures for immigration and employment.

  • 05

    Month 4

    Japan Residents Application Deadline

    Shortlisted applicants will be notified on a Rolling Basis

  • 06

    Month 5

    Fellowship Begins