AFS Philippines would like to announce the final qualifiers for AKP+ 2023-2024 program cycle. Out of hundreds of paper applications we received for our first stage of selection, our team was able to get 30 students to proceed with our panel interviews.

To ensure transparency and unbiased selection, we have assigned 4 interviewers per applicant, and the feedback per interviewer was collected and highly considered. The selection team was composed of staff, alumni, and volunteers that are part of AFS’s inclusive global community. 

As mentioned as well in our information session, AFS PHI has considered all applicants enrolled in grades 8-12 as long as they meet the eligibility criteria of the funders, which are;

  • Filipino citizens residing in the Philippines, at the time of application, selection, and preparation for travel, must have spent more than 50% of the last 5 years in the Philippines and with current family plans of returning to the Philippines after the program. 
  • Between 15 and 18 years of age born after April 2, 2005, and before April 1, 2008. 
  • Be among the top 25% of academic performance in grade level. 
  • Have an equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades. Obtained a minimum of 60% marks in principle in all subjects in the latest examination at school and an overall minimum average of 60% marks in all subjects for the past two years. 
  • Strong academic and social skills, openness, and flexibility. 
  • Demonstrated Japanese language ability sufficient to study in a native Japanese-medium setting; must be willing to learn how to speak Japanese before the start of the program. 
  • Sufficiently healthy to participate in the program. No previous significant travel to Japan on a Japanese government-sponsored program. 
  • Committed to cultural immersion in Japan through a homestay or dormitory experience. 
  • Able to meet cross-cultural challenges with maturity, humor, and an open mind. 
  • Plans to share his/her experience with his/her home and community upon return. 

In addition, since we have a tight deadline with our partners, those first 30 applicants who passed the first selection were the ones who were able to submit the COMPLETE documents required by AFS PHI. 

Considering applicants enrolled in grades 8-12 in the Philippines is not a misalignment of purpose because qualified students will be placed mostly in junior high schools in Japan regardless of their grade level in the Philippines. Qualified students are expected to be immersed in Japanese high school classrooms and learn the Japanese way of living, culture, language, and traditions, which they should share with their local communities upon return. We would like to ensure the public that there are NO DISCREPANCIES nor misalignment of purpose in our selection process. 

AFS PHI was transparent and consistent in following the funder’s eligibility criteria, which were stated in our memorandum with the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, and AFS Japan. 

AKP+ program cycle 2023-2024 will begin in November 2023 and end in March 2024. Finalists are expected to be high-quality leaders who will best represent our country, the Philippines, their local communities, and schools in Japan during the program.

All finalists will be given 24 hours to confirm their acceptance of the scholarship, otherwise, alternates will be advanced.

Alternates are not guaranteed to participate in the program unless one of the finalists has been disqualified, withdrawn their application, or cannot submit the required documents on time.

The AFS Philippines selection process does not and shall not discriminate against any applicant based on their race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, ethnicity, and disability. As an inclusive organization, we ensure the fairness of our selection process by following the selection criteria of our partners, and funders.

If you have any questions or complaints, please contact [email protected]

Thank you for your understanding and support! 

Check the full memo of the results here.

AKP+ Finalists Pub

Final Selection Results

Final Qualifiers for 2023-2024


# Last Name First Name School
1 Kawamata Ashlee Haruka National University – Laguna
2 Meñeza Frederick Concepcion L. Cazeñas Memorial School
3 Miranda Meryll Fiona General Santos Hope Christian School


# Last Name First Name School
1 Alarcon Shanessa Andrea Salvacion National High School
2 Belarmino Jade Zianaya San Pablo City Science Integrated School
3 Rama Dizzeus Leira Kidapawan City National High School

Alternates are reserved candidates that may be advanced as finalists should one of the finalists had troubles in passing requirements, have been disqualified, and/or decided to back out.