FAQ: International Field Trip

For all questions about general study abroad, please contact the Office of International Affairs (oia@pdx.edu) or visit their website. For information specifcally regarding this course, please see the following FAQ. 


Are there any prerequisites for this course? Recommended prerequisites?  

There are no prerequisites for this course, though having an understanding of the Japanese culture and language would help.

Do I need to be able to speak Japanese in order to go on the field experience?

No. Some of the sessions and site visits in Japan will be conducted in ENG. Also, we will provide interpretation whenever needed during this program.

Are non-students eligible to take the course? How do practitioners apply to the course?

Non-students are eligible to take the course however they must be enrolled at PSU. In order to register for the course, you must have a PSU ID number. For more information please refer to this page:  https://www.pdx.edu/admissions/other-applicant

Are international students eligible to take the course? 

Yes, please speak to your Scholar Advisor or the Office of International Affairs about visa qualification details: oia@pdx.edu

Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. Undergraduates must have at least a 2.75, Graduate students must have at least a 3.0.



What is the total cost of this course, including the trip?

Total Fixed Expenses: ~$3,200

Total Estimated Expenses:   ~$5,300 *

OIA Program Fees (Includes: Course and credit fees, lodging, abroad service fees, international health insurance) 

Additional Estimated Expenses (Costs will vary) ~$2,300

  • Airfare

  • Ground Transportation (Transporation within Tohoku provided)

  • Meals (8 days, most breakfasts provided)

  • Spending/Sightseeing 

  • Visa Fee (Please consult your International Student Advisor)

*Please note, this should only be used as a reference. Depending on the season, prices may rise during the summer, please prepare for this in your budget. 


Am I required to go on the field trip if I’m enrolled in the course? Are refunds available in case of an emergency?

If there is an emergency or any other issues regarding your ability to go on the field trip, please contact Hannah Fischer (hfis2@pdx.edu) at the OIA office. 


Are there funding options available for this trip?

Yes. Some of your PSU or other local scholarships may be used for study abroad programs. See the Education Abroad scholarship page or contact the Office of International Affairs for more details: oia@pdx.edu

*Note: The deadline for spring course scholarships is Dec. 15th! Please see the Office of International Affairs webpage for details.

*For non-fulltime students, there is no scholarship available from PSU for your status; however, please ask your employee if there are any professional development grants available to you.


Academic Information

What is the program like? What are the day-to-day activities?

The program will take place in Tokyo, City of Kesennuma, and City of Ishinomaki. In Tokyo, we will have lectures and learn about the basics of how the Great East Japan Earthquake caused issues throughout the region. In Kesennuma and Ishinomaki, you will meet local community members, city officials, and NPO representatives to learn more about how those communities got affected by Tsunami and how their recovery effort have been. More details are coming soon!


What are the schedule expectations for this course? (E.g. Will we have classes every week, pre-departure meetings/orientations, etc.)

There will be 2 pre-trip sessions on April 28nd and May 26th, these sessions are required and part of the course. The sessions will cover a lot of necessary information for the trip including class expectations, introduction to disaster resilience, and course requirements. The trip itself is June 23- June 30, 2018.


How many credits does this course have?

PA 510 is 3 credits, however PA 410, ECON 410, and ECON 510 are 4 credits.*

*If you're not a PA or ECON major, please speak to your advisor about having these credits count for your major, credits can be very flexable. For example, if you're and International Studies: East Asia major, this course may be counted as part of your Regional Development requirements.  


Registration/Required Documents

When and where should I apply for this program?

The application deadline for this course is Sunday, March 4th. Online application is available here through the PSU Vikings Abroad Portal.

What is a student visa? Do I need one for this program? If so, what is the process for obtaining one?

A student visa generally comes in the form of a stamp in your passport that gives you permission to study in a particular country. You do need a Japanese visa in order to participate in this course.

You will receive information from your Education Abroad Advisor and/or your program provider about how to acquire a student visa for your program. For international students or questions about obtaining a visa, please contact Hannah Fischer at the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for more details or check out their Student Resource Webpage.


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