HHS 350 – Japan

Want to visit the island of Japan and see its neon-lit skyscrapers, anime shops, beautiful cherry trees, and the Imperial Palace? Apply in the Japan section of HHS 350 and experience it firsthand! HHS 350, Japan section, is a 3-unit course that fulfills the CHHS International Experience Requirement, SDSU GE Explorations Area B (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Cultural Diversity, and includes a 9-day instructor-led international experience in Kyoto, Japan!

Lectures from SDSU faculty during the ONLINE course will include the following topics:

  • historical aspects of international health and human services
  • economic development and health and social science
  • nutrition in a developing country
  • globalization, health, and HIV/AIDS


  • ONLINE course in the Spring 2020 semester
  • Students who have been accepted must attend 2 mandatory, in-person, pre-departure meetings on the SDSU campus: 
    • Mandatory Pre-departure meetings:
      • Friday, November 8, 2019; 1:00pm-3:00pm, EBA 408
      • Friday, November 22, 2019; 1:00pm-3:00pm, EBA 408
  • 9-day instructor-led international field experience: 
    • Tentative Dates: Friday, January 10, 2020 – Saturday, January 18, 2020 (students typically depart the U.S. on Wednesday, January 8, 2020)

Field Experience

9-day instructor-led field experience in Japan. Tentative activities include:

  • Tour of Hishiyama District
  • Academic Visits: Public and Private Healthcare visits, Service learning project visits, Non-profit Organizations
  • Cooking Class
  • Guest Lectures on Japanese diet and Mental Health Care

Activities are applicable to all majors

DRAFT HHS 350 Japan Itinerary

Armin Ronaghy, HHS 350 Japan 2017: Youtube video of his HHS 350 experience abroad

Housing & Meals

  • Kyoto: Centrally located twin or triple occupancy apart-hotel (2-3 students of same gender per room, separate beds)
  • Meals: Breakfast, group welcome and farewell meals


HHS 350 Spring 2020: 3 units of SDSU resident credit.  This course satisfies SDSU’s GE Explorations Area B (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Cultural Diversity and CHHS International Experience requirements. ONLINE course throughout Fall 2019 semester. 


Estimated Program fee for Spring 2020 (Winter Break 2019-2020 travel):  $1,795-$1,975 (Fee will be based on final enrollment).

  • Program fee includes accommodation, some meals, in-country transportation, and activities
  • Program fee excludes airfare, SDSU tuition, mandatory international health insurance (approximately $60), and personal expenses

Non-refundable program fee due in full in order to hold your space in the class.

NOTE:  Payment options include credit card (with an added convenience fee) or electronic check.

Japan Winter Break 2019-2020 Budget Sheet 


  • Application required. More details can be found HERE
  • Majors outside of CHHS are welcome to apply, however priority is given to graduating seniors in the following CHHS majors:
    • Exercise & Nutritional Sciences
      • Athletic Training
      • Kinesiology
      • Foods & Nutrition
    • Nursing
    • Public Health
    • Social Work
      • Social Work
      • Gerontology
    • Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences

FAQs for the Spring 2020 (Travel Winter Break 2019-2020) Instructor-Led HHS 350 program

Group Leaders for HHS 350 – Japan:

Francisco Velazquez, M.A
Frankie currently serves as the Assistant Director for New Student and Parent Programs and is a proud alumnus of San Diego State University. He earned his bachelor’s in Psychology (2008) and his master’s in Postsecondary Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs (2010) both from SDSU and is a proud Aztec for Life! Previous to his current role, Frankie spent his first few years as a professional working in Residence Life at various institutions across the U.S., including the University of Maryland, College Park and California State University, Fullerton before returning to his alma mater. Frankie really enjoys supporting the development of college students as they transition to SDSU and they begin to get involved and make SDSU their home for the next four or two years. San Diego State is an institution that grants students opportunities to have an international experience and take part in a high-impact practice during their undergraduate career, which Frankie believes is a transformational experience that every student should have. Outside of work, Frankie enjoys running, food, and being a tourist in San Diego. Japan is the seventh HHS 350 program Frankie will co-lead and looking forward to traveling with another fantastic group of SDSU students. Get excited and And go Aztecs!
Melissa Bolthouse, M.A

Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and participated in a consortium program with the University of Washington’s Henry Jackson School for International Studies where she studied SE Asian History and Vietnamese language.  She earned her Masters in History from SDSU, focusing on psychological trauma in literary works by American and Vietnamese combat-veteran writers.

She has worked at SDSU for fifteen years and has five years of experience working in international education on campus.  She currently works in Office of International Programs and has served as program leader on HHS 350 programs to Vietnam, Italy, London, and Ireland.

Prior to coming to SDSU, Melissa worked in nonprofit fundraising for cultural and  health-research causes.  She continues to serve the charitable community as volunteer committee member and special events consultant.  She is an artist in her free time and is currently working with an SDSU faculty member to illustrate his book on Greek and Roman myth.  She enjoys listening to jazz, cooking, gardening, strength training, motorcycling, and most of all…traveling!

She describes study abroad as the most positive trend in academia and is delighted to discover the important and fascinating city of Kyoto with our students.