International Field Experience: Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis

Japan has endured numerous earthquake and tsunami over the centuries, yet found ways to regenerate a thriving culture and society. In March 2011, Japan experienced one of its worst disasters in history and continues to recover to this day. What can we learn from Japan? How are different sectors engaging in preparedness and recovery, and building resilience?

PA410/510, ECON410/510: Learn from Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the program has been postponed for 2020. Please contact Josh Metzler at to stay connected for future course opportunities.

Download the 2019 course flyer
View Trip Photos: 2017 | 2018

Practitioners & Community members
(enroll as Non-Degree seeking student)
Course Credits
Economics Undergraduate: 4 cr (EC 410)
Economics Graduate: 4 cr (EC 510)
Public Administration Undergraduate: 4 cr (PA 410)
Public Administration Graduate: 3 cr (PA 510

Course Description

This course focuses on issues related to emergency/disaster management, disaster preparedness, and community redevelopment and resilience. For that purpose, the main part of this course will be a mandatory trip to the Tohoku (northeast) region of Japan where the 9.0M earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011, also known as the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Crisis.

Participants will learn:

  1. Interact with region's emergency management experts, scholars, government officials, NGO/NPOs, business owners, and community leaders;
  2. Engage with local community members to capture the forgotten stories of struggle and hope in the aftermath of the crisis;
  3. Focus on the application of Tohoku experiences to the Pacific Northwest region.

Who Can Register?

PSU undergraduate & graduate students
Non-PSU undergraduate & graduate students


Key Dates & Cost

Info Sessions (Optional)

  • TBD

Mandatory Pre-Trip Sessions

  • TBD for 2021 (Two Saturday sessions, in April/May)

Trip Dates

  • TBD for 2021 (4th week of June in past years) 
  • TBD for 2021
  • 2019 Program Fees (fixed): $3,340

Includes tuition, lodging, group transportation & international medical insurance.

  • Personal Expenses (Not included in program fees):

Airfare & ground transportation to/from program location, some meals & other personal expenses.

  • Refer to FAQ page for more information on cost.


Scholarship & Funding Opportunities

PSU Education Abroad:

Note: Summer application deadline will apply for this course

Please contact the Office of International Affairs ( if you have any questions regarding scholarships and other funding options, or visit PSU's Education Abroad Scholarship Resources.

PSU College of Urban and Public Affairs:

  • The Dean's Fund will award $2,000 for up to two students.

Submit an essay up to 1,800 words (roughly 3-page, 11pt-font, single-spaced document) to answer the following "goals" questions: "How will your participation in this program contribute to your academic, career, and/or personal goals? How will your participation contribute to the overall goals of the program?"

Submit to Josh Metzler ( by the course application deadline.

Essays will be evaluated based on i) clarity in purpose, ii) alignment with the academic/career/personal goals, and iii) writing quality.


Please contact the Office of International Affairs ( for questions related to study abroad requirements. Or see our FAQ page for more details about the course.