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January in Japan: BioScience Beyond the Border BIOT 675

Tokyo Tower

Program Highlights:

As part of our global immersion course, “Biotech Beyond the Borders”, students will participate in and experience the Japanese culture.  With the ever-changing nature of business world-wide,  it is imperative for students entering the Life Science industry to have sound understanding of different global cultures, customs, practices, and traditions. Living and studying in another country will expose PSM students to international lifestyle and business practices and broaden their understanding of their field and themselves. Local excursions and events will enable students to explore new places and cities while guest lecturers with industry leaders and company visits will expose students to real-world scenarios in the life sciences. 

Academic Calendar:

Program Dates:  December 19, 2023 to January 18, 2024

Travel Dates:  January 6 - 18, 2024 (depart January 6 from the US for arrival at Tokyo Haneda or Narita airport on January 7)

Courses Available:

  • BIOT 675:  BioScience Beyond the Border


  • Class level:  Open to current 2nd Year Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology Students
  • Satisfactory Academic Performance to departure
  • Current COVID-19 vaccination (at least the initial vaccination(s) plus at least one booster if eligible) is strongly encouraged for participation in any of CSUSM’s international travel programs due to the increased risk of contracting COVID while travelling.  


BIOT 675, 2 units.


All students will stay in shared accommodation coordinated by the program and located near site visits. Students will be accommodated in twin rooms with private bathrooms.  Daily breakfast is included with the program.

Arrival Hotel:  Tokyo, Shinagawa or Shinjuku District; exact property to be confirmed by late November.

Anticipated Site Visits:

  • Hiroshima Site Visit & Cultural Sites
  • Kobe Visit & Industry Engagement Lectures in Biomedical Research
  • Tour of Tokyo University of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences (TUPLS) & Guest Lecture
  • Visit to Meiji Innovation Center & Cultural Activity
  • Student dinner hosted by TUPLS
  • Hakone Tour
  • Takeda Visit (or other local biotech company), Nihonbashi
  • National Museum of Science and Innovation, including lab tour
  • Free time in Tokyo & cultural activities

Estimated Total Cost:

Normal EL tuition fees + $150 Program Deposit due to Global Education

Additional Expenses to Budget:  
Airfare:  $1,200-$2,200 (recommended flight flies into Tokyo Narita (NRT) and departs from Osaka (KIX))
Meals:  $300-$600 (some meals covered as part of group travel; only some meals on own)
Spending money:  $400 (depends on the individual, could spend more or less)

Faculty Led Cancellation Policy

Some Useful Airfare Search Engines:

Please be sure to read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, luggage restrictions, etc. before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airline and include trip cancellation insurance.  Do NOT book flights until Global Education has given you the authorization to do so. 


An adult passport book with at least 6 months validity until expiration is necessary for overseas travel.  First-time passport book applicants can expect processing times up to 4 months.  Plan to submit your passport applications early if you enroll in this program as withdrawals due to passport delays will not be refunded.  Non-US travelers are responsible for researching entry requirements and possible visas through their country's consular pages.

To Apply:

  1. Attend a required information session led by the Program Leaders for your course: Dr. Betsy Read ( and Professor Debbie Galasso (
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below.   All application materials must be completed by Friday, November 3 along with your non-refundable $150 deposit.  Online payment preferred through Transact.  Please be advised to choose E-check and enter your checking account details to avoid the 2.65% convenience fees applicable to all non-checking account payments. Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted via the Cashier's Office in Cougar Central, but must include this deposit form to track the payment.
  3. Attend a mandatory Health & Safety Meet and Greet with Global Education to discuss travel, practical planning, & health and safety, date TBD.
  4. Submit your flight details to Global Education:  Flight Information Form
  5. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation with your Program Leaders to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming course.  Some course requirements/sessions will take place prior to leaving, beginning in December.  

January in Japan:  BioScience Beyond the Border Application