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Undergraduate Studies

Study Abroad - Japan

Study Abroad - Japan

Japan is considered one of the healthiest countries in the world. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture to witness first-hand why Japanese citizens enjoy some of the best health outcomes of any nation across the globe. This year we will collaborate with Gifu University and will have an opportunity for peer-to-peer interactions with students from the University.

This eight day program will take place in Tokyo and Gifu, Japan. Students will study a variety of public health issues and the cultural context in which they occur. Cultural immersion and field visits will provide students with an understanding of various factors that affect health outcomes in Japanese society. Topics will include healthy diet, disaster preparedness, aging populations, health care, mental health and environmental health. We will also have an opportunity to participate in community service. This program will have a service learning component to it.


Faculty Contact

Matawal Makut, MBBS, MPH, MBA, CPH

Matawal Makut, MBBS, MPH, MBA, CPH

Faculty, College of Public Health, Department of Undergraduate Studies

College of Public Health, 1039D  Dr. Makut co-led a public health study abroad to Japan in 2017 and the experience was great. I am a lover of culture and Japanese culture has so much unique attributes and great health outcomes that will be a beneficial experience to my students from a public health standpoint. This trip to Japan will be unique because we intend to introduce a service learning aspect to it, where we will volunteer on a specific project in the community.

Dr. Makut came to USF in 2010. He earned his medical degree from Nigeria in 2005 and was a medical officer in an OBGYN practice prior to USF. At USF, he earned a master’s degree in Public Health (Health Policy) and a graduate business certificate in 2012. He then proceeded to the Muma College of Business and obtained an MBA in 2015.

  • Undergraduate Study Abroad Course: PHC 4942 Public Health Seminar - Public Health in Japan

  • Program cost: $4,300 -$4,500 per student

    Program cost includes:

    • Airfare
    • Hotel stay for the duration of the trip
    • Some meals (all breakfasts and 2 dinners)
    • Comprehensive International Medical & Evacuation Insurance
    • 24/7 Emergency support
    • Program-related excursions
    • Mandatory pre-departure orientation at USF College of Public Health
    • Transportation within Tokyo, Japan

    Program cost does not include:

    • Some meals
    • Passport fees ($170 for a new passport if needed)
    • Personal expenses
    • Tuition & fees
  • Application Deadline: November 15, 2018.

    You are highly encouraged to begin looking for scholarships and funding opportunities (see information below). Scholarship deadlines may differ.

    Payment deadlines to be posted.

  • This entire course will take place in Tokyo and Gifu, Japan. Students will stay in double or quad occupancy hotel rooms with a private bathroom. Breakfast is provided daily. There will be restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel. Internet access is available in the hotel. We will have an opportunity to interact with students from Gifu University.

  • USF requires that program participants purchase emergency medical and evacuation insurance valid for the dates of the program. The insurance is provided by UHCG. Please note that the USF insurance does not include travel insurance, which includes things like: trip cancellation coverage, theft of luggage, additional costs due to delays in travel time, pre-existing conditions, or on-going medical treatment. Those who plan to travel independently, either in advance of the program or after the program ends, must ensure that they have insurance coverage valid outside the U.S. If not provided through your domestic health insurance carrier, this can be purchased separately through UHCG or through another agency.

  • There are many ways to fund your study abroad experience. It is never too early to research your options, start applying to scholarships, and save your money.

    • Apply to scholarships for FREE MONEY (see below).
    • Instead of holiday & birthday gifts this year, ask family and friends to contribute to your Public Health in Japan fund.
    • Use a fundraising website, such as GoFundMe.
    • Financial aid can be applied towards study abroad. Make an appointment with a Financial Aid Advisor to see if you are eligible.
    • Florida Pre-Paid can be applied towards study abroad.
    • The USF Federal Credit Union has loans especially for study abroad. This is a loan you must pay back with interest.
    • Click here for an article on innovative ways to fund study abroad opportunities.
    • Scholarship opportunities
      • If you are an Honors College student, you can inquire about their scholarship opportunities.
      • USF Education Abroad Administered Scholarships are partial scholarships awarded on a competitive basis to USF students. They are partial, not full scholarships.
      • USF has an Office of National Scholarships that helps students find scholarships of all kinds. You can create a profile on their website and let them help you find a scholarship that can be used for study abroad.
  • Participants' safety and well-being are paramount to USF. Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and enjoys much lower rates of violence and crime that the US. However, because of the added stresses associated with operating in a foreign culture and language, even the safest foreign locations may carry a risk to your safety and health. For this reason it is vital that you learn as much about the places you will be traveling to; the more you are familiar with the host country's geography, culture and language, the safer you will be. All participants will be required to attend this SA program-specific orientation and sessions. In addition to these sessions, the COPH office of International Program will provide other important safety information prior to and during the SA program.

  • US Department of State:

  • This study abroad program will involve a great deal of walking, and in some cases hiking and trekking. We will be using public transportation to get to all locations. Students will be required to climb stairs and walk a great deal.  If you have any concerns regarding your health (mental or physical), please consult your doctor, and the faculty and staff of the COPH International Program prior to this program!

    Generally, the weather in Tokyo for the month of May ranges between 70 degrees (at night) to 85 degrees during the day. Air-conditioning is widely available and will require dressing in layers to adjust to the heat outside.

    Travel & Health Links:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • No, U.S. citizens do NOT need a visa for short-term stays of less than 90 days. International students will need a visa.

  • No. We will have a Japanese tour director with us on all program outings. Americans visiting Japan usually agree that the country is easy to navigate since public transportation signs and many other signs are in English as well as Japanese. Ordering food is easily accomplished by pointing, gesturing, and smiling! Many restaurants have menus with pictures that customers can point to when ordering.

    Also keep in mind that all Japanese students have to learn English as their second language in school. Most of them understand some English words. Japanese citizens are incredibly polite and are very willing to help visitors. Translation apps can be very helpful as well, though not 100% reliable.

  • The weather in Tokyo during the month of May ranges from 70 degrees at night to 85 degrees during the day. Plan to dress in layers and be prepared to deal with rain if it occurs.

    You will be expected to dress business casual during program outings. You will not be allowed to wear very casual clothing (flip flops, athletic shorts, sweatpants, etc.).

  • Japanese currency is the yen, or JPY. You can exchange U.S. dollars (USD) into yen in the U.S. at many American banks. You usually get the best exchange rate if you exchange USD to JPY in Japan. The airport is a convenient place to exchange money.

    Credit cards are not as widely used in Japan as in the U.S. Many credit cards charge an international transaction fee. You can withdraw cash from your U.S. bank account in Japan, but there is often a fee associated with this.

  • You do not need to tip in restaurants or if paying for taxis (warning: taxis are VERY expensive in Tokyo). You will be expected to tip Japanese tour leaders about $5/day per student.

  • There are both expensive and inexpensive options for food in Tokyo. You can easily find inexpensive and healthy food options in Japan. Raman and noodle shops offer delicious, filling, and inexpensive options ($7-9 USD). You can also enjoy a bento box (lunch box) with rice, fish, meat, and vegetables for $4-5 USD. Here are some examples of prices in Japan:

    • Regular coffee: 200 JPY = ~$1.93 USD
    • Meal (inexpensive restaurant): 850 JPY = ~$8.20 USD
    • Big Mac Combo: 620 JPY = ~6 USD
    • Bottled water: 110 JPY = ~$1 USD