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  • Locations: Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
In 2005, Japan passed Shokuiku Kihon Ho (Food Education Law) to address a wide range of problems at the intersection of health, food systems, and culture— increasing rates of diet-related chronic diseases, shrinking agriculture and fishing industries, low food self-sufficiency, and loss of traditional food culture due to globalization. This groundbreaking piece of legislation recognizes that a food systems approach that considers the many intricately related factors involved in feeding a population is needed to advance public health.

More than a decade since its inception, the Japanese government is eager to spread shokuiku, the foundational concept of the legislation, around the world. Could Japan’s novel approach help to expand and accelerate the impact of related work in the United States, which is grappling with many of the same problems?

In this fast-paced course, we will use Japan as our classroom to learn about shokuiku (food education) and how it is implemented through community nutrition policies and programs and by people who work in this exciting and evolving field. We will apply community nutrition terminology, principles, theories, and models to real-world situations and urban and rural settings in Japan while building critical thinking skills and gaining cultural competence. This two-week course will include field trips to schools where we will observe shokuiku lessons and eat school lunch, community nutrition organizations that support the health and well-being of older adults, farms that practice sustainable agriculture, and businesses that promote traditional food culture. We will also learn about hunger in Japan where an estimated 20 million people live below the poverty line and tour facilities designed to promote food security among individuals and families. In addition to field trips, students will learn about community nutrition in Japan through lectures given by people who work in the field of community nutrition (e.g., dietitians, researchers, business owners and employees, farmers), small and large group discussions, readings, videos and films, and podcasts.
Site Visits may include:
  • A visit to Second Harvest 
  • A visit to Kodomo Shokudo (Children's Cafe)
  • A visit to a school lunch center
  • Tour of the Hachijo Dairy Industry
  • A visit to a meal delivery service 
  • A visit to a traditional Japanese home
  • A visit to a Japanese elementary school
  • A visit to Ajinomoto with tour
  • A visit to a local fish market with tour

Education Abroad Advisor Make an appointment with Alyse Collins at any time!
Get Started Watch Ed Abroad 101
Faculty Leader Betty Izumi PhD, MPH, RD
Associate Professor of Public Health
Portland State University
Travel Dates Summer 2022
Pre-Departure Sessions Students will be required to attend 2-3 pre-departure sessions during Spring Term. These sessions will be scheduled when all students are confirmed in the program. 
Areas of Study
  • Public Health
  • Health Promotion
Course & Credit Undergraduate: PHE 410 (4 credits)
This course counts towards the Public Health Major and Minor elective requirement.

Graduate: PHE 510 (3 credits)
This course counts towards the MA/MS in Health Studies elective requirement.
This course counts towards the MPH in Health Promotion elective requirement. 
Language of Instruction  English
Host Country Language  Japanese*

*Knowledge of Japanese is not required to participate in this program
Housing Hotel located in Makuhari, a modern city in the Greater Tokyo Area
Participants are housed in shared accommodations (no more than two students to a room)
Class Standing Eligibility
  • Sophomore 
  • Junior
  • Seniors 
  • Post-Bacc 
  • Graduate
  • Students from other universities*
  • Community members*
*Preference is given to PSU or OHSU degree-seeking students
Minimum GPA Requirements Undergraduate: 2.75

Graduate: 3.00

Must be in Satisfactory Academic Standing.
Considerations This program is capped at 10 participants. Application screening and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. This means that as soon as we reach a group size of 10, the program will be considered full and further applicants will be placed on a wait list.  Please note: the program may be considered full prior to the priority application deadline. Therefore, it is highly encouraged to submit your application as early as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to fully participate in this program, please contact the Education Abroad Advisor responsible for this program. 
Application Process
(PSU Students)
  • $50 Application Fee
  • Unofficial Transcript (from banweb)
  • 2 short essays
  • 1 Recommendation Form (submitted electronically via VikingsAbroad)
    • This is not a formal letter of recommendation, rather your recommender will need to fill out a short questionnaire about you with space for comments. 
    • This cannot be submitted by the program leader
    • These must be Professional or Academic in nature
  • Interview
Application Process 
(Non-PSU Students)
  • 4 undergraduate or graduate credits 
  • Accommodations in a shared hotel room in Tokyo (2 participants to a room)
  • Some meals
    • Breakfasts are included
    • Welcome & Farewell dinners are included
    • Several lunches are included
  • Site Visits, these may include:
    • A visit to Second Harvest 
    • A visit to Kodomo Shokudo (Children's Cafe)
    • A visit to a school lunch center
    • Tour of the Hachijo Dairy Industry
    • A visit to a meal delivery service 
    • A visit to a traditional Japanese home
    • A visit to a Japanese elementary school
    • A visit to Ajinomoto with tour
    • A visit to a local fish market with tour
  • Orientation upon arrival
  • Site visits
  • Cultural Tours
  • 24/7 student support 
  • Education Abroad Service Fee
  • International Health & Travel Insurance
  • International round-trip airfare (estimated at $1,200)
  • Additional meals (estimated at $10 per meal, for a total of $220)
  • Personal spending money (estimated at $200)
  • Additional Transportation (estimated at $25 each way to/from the Tokyo airport)
  • Immunizations
  • Passport or visa 
    • US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program
    • US passport holders must have at 6 months of passport validity beyond their expected return date to the United States

*Please note, all students enrolling for PSU credit are charged the PSU Rec Center Fee. For a current listing, please refer to PSU Fees.

*Application Fee: All applications include a $50 non-refundable fee due on the application deadline. Students who do not intend to complete a program application are required to withdraw before the deadline, otherwise, the $50 application fee will be assessed to the students' account. 


This program is currently not accepting applications.