Five years after Japan’s March 11, 2011 triple disaster and 21 years after the March 20, 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, University of Maryland students will travel to Japan to better understand the field of disaster risk reduction management (DRRM) and disaster recovery. For Japan, which is situated in one of the most geologically active and geopolitically complex regions on the planet, developing effective policies and practices for DRRM and disaster recovery is a major national priority. Japan’s efforts in this field have garnered worldwide attention, codified by its status as the only nation to host the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. This short-term study abroad program considers the relationship between disasters, political reform, and social reform, and provides students with the cross-cultural tools and knowledge to make sense of why and how major disasters—natural and man-made—affect societies long after the initial damage is done.
In March 2017, students will participate in a 5-week program that combines online learning with international exchange in order to understand recovery and reform efforts after two major disasters in Japan: the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster; and the 1995 subway sarin gas attacks. Students will participate in 2 weeks of pre-departure online and in-person coursework in the U.S.; 1 week of study and travel in Japan; and 2 weeks of U.S.-based online and in-person coursework, culminating in a public symposium in which students will present to the UMD community about what they have learned and make proposals to local organizations on disaster preparedness and recovery.
If you are interested in international or domestic careers related to disaster risk management and recovery, risk communication, social entrepreneurship, economic development, community resilience, or U.S.-Japan cooperation, this program will give you valuable experience in an international setting, learning first-hand how to address real world issues and develop potential solutions.
To learn more about last year’s program:
- Watch this video by 2015 Spring Break in Japan alumna Tong Wu for The Diamondback: www.ter.ps/T2T2015video (link is external)
- Read this article by START Communications Intern Samara Tu: www.ter.ps/T2T2015start