Global Emergency Management Course

Global Emergency Management

This short course, offered in conjunction with Ritsumeikan University and the University of Oklahoma, offers students professional, hands-on insight to emergency preparedness techniques with a global perspective. With a focus on human services and disaster relief, the course introduces the student to human rights issues on a global scale, and how the historical events in other countries might affect our local lives.

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In this course, students will gain knowledge of how human advocacy services are provided to victims of disasters in Japan, man-made or natural. This is global program was cultivated within the frameworks of Experiential and Transformative Learning theories, specifically for students to gain knowledge of and experience in global human rights aspects in public health and social work.

This course introduces the student to human rights issues on a global scale, and how the historical events in other countries might affect our local lives. Learning of the experiences of victims and NGOs, who have been helping victims of disasters in Japan, including the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will help students understand the differences between Japanese and American views and culture. Students will learn about the services provided to survivors of major earthquakes and the atomic bombs by visiting those sites and the NGO’s serving in those areas. During the visit to Ritsumeikan University, students will also be interacting with students at the Graduate School of Science for Human Services of Ritsumeikan University and work collaboratively with them. Discussions in regard to human services and disasters will be held. The course is further supported by the concepts of person-in-environment and the strengths perspective in learning realities of victims of disaster.

Students have the option to register for University of Iowa independent study credit. Students who opt not to take this course for credit will be provided with a certificate of participation upon completion of the course.

Travel Details

This course is offered every other year. The next planned opportunity will be in 2025.

This course will take place in May in Kyoto, Japan, with day trips to important historical sites, including Hiroshima. Course lectures from faculty at University of Iowa, University of Oklahoma, and Ritsumeikan University will be hosted on the Ritsumeikan University campus in Kyoto, Japan.

The University of Iowa program is led by Dr. Sato Ashida and Dr. Mark Van der Weg in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. Students attending the 2023 program will be accompanied abroad by Dr. Mark Van der Weg.

Program Costs

The 2023 course and travel are estimated to cost approximately $3,000, which includes:

  • Airfare
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals and other living expenses
  • CISI international travel insurance

These and other travel expenses are eligible for the Global Public Health Students Travel Grant.

Students who are registering for independent study credit will also be required to pay the tuition costs associated with receiving UI College of Public Health credit. Tuition costs are not eligible for travel grant funding.

Learn More About Travel Grants

Eligibility and Participation

All students at the University of Iowa College of Public Health are eligible to participate. For the 2023 program, only students with a specific research or practice interest in emergency management will be invited to apply. All students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing to be accepted. Participation should not hinder the student’s ability to graduate in a timely manner.

The deadline to apply for the May 2023 trip is Sunday, March 5, 2023.

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For additional questions or concerns, please contact Sophie Switzer at