Program Funding

Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students
Program Funding & Student Costs

Costs Paid for by the Program

Tuition & Fees: Application, registration, OISS processing fee, & tuition fees for enrollment in a 3-credit research course through the Rice University for visiting undergraduate research students.
Insurance: Health insurance for duration of time in U.S. that meets minimum federal requirements for J-1 visa holders to include accident/illness, medical evacuation, and repatriation coverage. Insurance will also be provided for all program activities that take place within Japan.
Domestic Travel in Japan: For travel to/from program activities held in Japan including weekend trip in May with U.S. Fellows (optional), Pre-Departure Orientation in July in Kyoto (required), travel to/from city of departure for international flight to U.S., and travel to/from Kobe for the Closing Ceremony.
International Airfare: International Airfare to/from the U.S. departing from Tokyo.
Travel Within the U.S.: Airfare and related airport shuttle/charter bus transportation costs for final week trip on the East Coast.
Class & Seminar Costs in U.S.: Including the Pre-Departure Orientation in Kyoto and Introduction to U.S. Research, Culture/Society, and Communication Skills Seminars at Rice University and final week site visits and seminars.
Hotel Lodging: Includes all rooms/taxes. Students pay individually for incidentals/fees.

  • Weekend Trip in May with U.S. Fellows (optional)
  • Pre-Departure Orientation in Kyoto (required)
  • 5-week Research Internship in Houston
    • Hotel rooms will include kitchens so students can cook meals on their own. 
  • Final week program on East Coast
    • No kitchens but free daily breakfast provided. 

 Partial Meal/Living Costs Stipend While Abroad: This is a partial stipend that will cover most, but not all daily living expenses. Students will receive these funds in two disbursements while at Rice University.  Funds will be issued to the students via a Rice University check which can then be cashed at a nearby into cash (USD).  Funds are to be used for food/meals and other necessary/required daily living costs. Stipend provided will be about $20 – $25 per day while in the U.S.  

Meals in Houston: Daily breakfast is not provided at the hotel in Houston. Students must cook or purchase all meals individually using their stipend and/or personal funds. Hotel rooms in Houston will include a kitchen and students are strongly encouraged to buy groceries and cook meals on their own to save money.  The hotel shuttle provides free transportation to a nearby grocery store.

Meals During Final Week: During the final week program on the East Coast, breakfast will be provided at the hotel but students will need to use stipend funds to pay individually for most lunches/dinners.  

U.S. Cell Phone: The program will loan each student a mobile phone and U.S. SIM card to be used to make/receive calls while abroad.  This will enable participants to remain in communication with in-country program staff, their host labs, and make calls domestically or internationally in an emergency situation.  Students will be expected to reimburse the program for any lost/damaged phones or excessive usage charges.

Data is limited on the U.S. mobile phone provided. Students are encouraged to use wi-fi whenever possible to access services like LINE, Facebook, Snapchat, Google, or other high-data usage apps. Free wi-fi access is widely available in the U.S. including at Rice University, hotels in the U.S., restaurants/coffee shops, and many other public places.  Use wi-fi whenever possible to conserve the data on your U.S. mobile phone.

If you choose to bring your Japanese mobile phone with you to the U.S., call your cell phone provider prior to departure and inquire about the fees charged for using your Japanese mobile phones to make calls or use data while abroad.  To avoid a high cell phone bill, it is recommended you turn the data roaming off on your Japanese mobile phone and only use this phone in wi-fi mode. 


Estimated Student Costs 

Estimates below are provided as helpful guidelines but actual costs will vary widely based on individual spending habits and preferences. Selected participants will be assigned an Alumni Mentor and are encouraged to ask their mentor for advice about their recommended budget for personal costs in the U.S.
Passport Application/Renewal Fees (if applicable)
All selected participants must have a valid passport that is valid for travel at least six months after your date of departure from the U.S. If you do not currently have a passport if your passport will expire prior to March 22, 2019  you should apply for or renew your passport as soon as possible.
J-1 Visa Application & SEVIS Fees 
See our U.S. Visa page for more details. Be sure to check with the U.S. Embassy website for the most up to date cost information, but estimated costs for a J-1 visa application include:

  • Visa application costs for J-1 visa (~ $160)
  • SEVIS Fee (~ $180)
Immunizations (if needed)
Students under the age of 22 as of the start date of the program in the U.S., will be required to provide proof of meningococcal vaccination per Texas State Law. No other immunizations are required to enter the U.S. See the Centers for Disease Control Health Information for Traveler’s to the U.S. website for more information. 
Meal/Living Costs Above Partial Stipend Provided
The stipend provided will cover basic meal/living costs, but is a
partial stipend and students should budget for costs that may exceed
the stipend provided. Actual meal/living costs vary and are
highly dependent on each student’s personal habits.

Eating out in the U.S. is comparatively more expensive than
eating out in Japan. Low cost restaurant options are typically
limited to fast-food (e.g. McDonald’s). Students can save money
on meal costs, and maintain good health, by cooking on their own
at the hotel while in Houston. All hotel rooms will have a kitchen.

Low: $210 (+ $5/day)
Mid: $420 (+ $10/day)
High: $630 (+ $15/day)
Daily Transportation/Commuting Costs
Students will be able to use the free hotel shuttle or walk to Rice
University campus during the five-week research internship program.
The hotel shuttle also provides free transportation to a nearby grocery
store and restaurant/shopping area called Rice Village.

Students who  wish to visit other areas/restaurants/sites in and
around Houston during their free time will need to pay individually
for travel via taxi, Uber/Lyft, or the Houston Metro bus or
Metrorail System. During the final week on the East Coast,
students will need to pay individually for some travel via
subway for site visits in and around Washington, DC.

Low: $150 ($25/wk.)
Mid: $250 (~$40/wk.)
High: $300 (~$50/wk.)
Gifts/Shopping/Sight-seeing/Personal Expenses
Be sure to budget for omiyage, shopping, independent
sight-seeing/activities, and other personal costs.  Exact
costs vary widely based on individual student so consider
your personal spending habits carefully.
Low: $300 (~$50/wk.)
Mid: $450 (~$75/wk.)
High: $600 – $750
(~$100 – $125/wk.)
Independent Travel & Sight-seeing Costs
Students will have some free time while in Japan for
independent sight-seeing or travel.  During the 3-week
orientation in Tokyo, there will be 1 – 2 free days/afternoons
and students will have free time most evenings. During the
research internship period, students will have most evenings
and weekends free.  Exact costs will vary by student based on
individual preference and travel/sight-seeing plans.
Low: $150 ($25/wk.)
Mid: $250 (~$40/wk.)
High: $300 (~$50/wk.)


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