This course focuses on two areas that introduce Japan's resiliency: rapidly aging society and frequent natural disasters. Japan is experiencing a rapid increase in the number and percentage of older people. Students will have opportunities to learn and examine policies and services that have been implemented in Japan in response to issues and challenges surrounding its rapidly aging population. Japan also experiences various natural disasters, such as earthquakes, Tsunamis, typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions. This course introduces approaches to disaster response and focuses on mental health support/services and ongoing recovery efforts that are in place in Japan after recent disasters, such as Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995, Miyagi earthquake in 2005, and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Through a series of lectures and site visits, students will have opportunities to meet with people with firsthand knowledge of natural disasters and disaster response.
- This course provides students with knowledge of policies, programs, and services that have been implemented in Japan to address issues and challenges surrounding its rapidly aging population
- This course also helps students to gain skills and knowledge for natural disaster response focusing on survivors' mental health well being
- Students will have opportunities to participate in a series of site visits and lectures in several different major cities in Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kanazawa
This program has been designated as a Go GEO Challenge program for Summer 2018! If 15 students enroll, all participants will receive a $500 scholarship!
Go GEO Challenge
This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University.
- Minimum undergraduate GPA: 2.25
- Minimum graduate GPA: 3.0
Students will enroll in two 3-credit courses for a total of 6 credits.
- Social Work- SOCW 475: "Super-Aged Society in Japan."
- Social Work- SOCW 483: "Natural Disasters: Clinical Efforts in Japan."
- Social Work- SOCW 675: "Natural Disasters: Clinical Efforts in Japan."
- Social Work- SOCW 676: "Super-Aged Society in Japan."
June 25- July 23, 2018
||Arrive in Tokyo.
||Review of syllabus and group assignment
Free (Optional visit to Asakusa with an instructor)
Group welcome dinner
||Visit to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to learn about the long-term care insurance/system, social security, and disaster management/support
||Visit to Yokufukai (long-term care facilities)
||Visit to National Center for Child Health and Development to learn about psychological support for children after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011
Visit to Japan University to attend a gerontology lecture
||Train from Tokyo to Osaka
||Free day (Optional visit to Kyoto)
||Visit to the Osaka College for Older Adults
Visit to the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Museum to learn about recovery efforts after earthquake and to meet older volunteers
||Visit to Kwansei Gakuin University and attend a lecture on Aging
Give a presentation to students at Kwansei Gakuin University, School of Human Welfare Studies and then dinner with local students
||Visit to Kobe Gakuin University to learn about their efforts on disaster management
||Train from Osaka to Himeji
Visit to the company famous for work-sharing and actively hiring older workers
Visit to Himeji castle (sight seeing)
||Train from Himeji to Hiroshima
Lecture and discussion on aging atomic bomb survivors and services for them
||Visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and meet with older volunteer
Lecture on the challenges in implementing the Japanese Long-term Care Insurance
||Train Hiroshima to Fukuoka
Visit to medical and long-term care facilities to learn about coordination between medical care and long-term care.
||Visit to Kyushu University to attend a lecture on activities/services for older adults
||Train and bus from Fukuoka for Kumamoto
Participate in volunteer disaster relief activities/community education for survivors of Kumamoto earthquake with Nichibei Care (NPO that promotes the mental health)
||Participate in volunteer disaster relief activities/community education for survivors of Kumamoto earthquake with Nichibei Care (NPO that promotes the mental health)
||Train from Kumamoto to Kanazawa
||Visit to Kanazawa University to learn about their projects that started after Miyagi earthquake happened
||Visit to the Satoyama Umiyama Project to learn about their efforts to revitalize the community that suffers from depopulation due to an aging population
||Train Kanazawa to Tokyo
||Visit to Koriyama City to learn about services/support implemented after the Great East Japan Earthquake
||Visit to Kashiwa City to learn about the aging-in-place project (the community is geared toward older adults) conducted by the Institute of Gerontology, University of Tokyo
||Visit to Tsukuba University to learn about aging research/policy and activities of Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Team (DPAT) and Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT)
||Visit to CRASH Japan (NPO that sends psychological and spiritual caregivers to the disaster survivors)
||Group presentations and wrapping up the course
Group farewell dinner
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Summer 2018: $5,200
Included: Tuition for 6 credits, accommodations, cultural tours and excursions, some meals (breakfast daily and some meals), in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.
Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, most meals, personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials.
*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.
Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.
Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 11, 2018 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 8, 2018. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.
Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."
For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:
GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.
Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.
Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.
Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.
Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.
Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:
Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.
Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.
* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.