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Providing a global perspective to pharmacy students with an exchange visit to Japan

Deborah Berlekamp


It has been just over a year since our return from one of the most memorable experiences of our lives: a trip to Japan through the exchange program offered by The University of Findlay (UF) and The Kyushu University of Health and Welfare (KUHW) in Nobeoka, Japan. The purpose of the program is to broaden students’ understanding of pharmacy education, practice and research, as well as enhance their cultural and global perspective.

Participants included one UF College of Pharmacy faculty member, another Board Certified pharmacist who has over 40 years of hospital pharmacy experience, and four college of pharmacy students, of which two had completed professional level courses, and two were in the first and second year of our six year PharmD program.  Although none of the UF travelers spoke Japanese, we prepared ourselves for the trip by having regular meetings with our international students and faculty, learning some important manners, customs and phrases, putting translation apps on our mobile phones. We also regularly practiced using chopsticks, as it is customary in Japan to use these for all meals.

While at KUHW in Japan, we were escorted and educated for two weeks, by a well-organized group of faculty at KUHW. We participated in research lectures, presented our own research, attended lab and participated in a variety of laboratory experiences, toured four local pharmacies (including hospital and retail), enjoyed Japanese food, culture and hospitality, and came back to the US as better people and pharmacists. This is an account of The University of Findlay’s visit to KUHW in May, 2017; the plan is to have KUHW faculty visit UF annually each fall.


Pharmacy, Study abroad, International, Cultural exchange



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