My name is Mai Yokota, a second-year student pharmacist at WesternU. I am helping with the Japanese program under Dr. Prabhu. My main task is to provide wonderful cultural experience to Japanese students in addition to learning experience and help them build up a strong relationship between AGU and WesternU though a PenPal program, TA program and activity program both on campus and outside of campus.
They stayed with us for a total 12 days. A welcome lunch party was held between the students with excellent presentations about Japan from AGU students. That was followed by an ice breaking game “Bean picking”, one of Japanese traditional games to check their chopstick skills. Four teams composed by AGU students and WesternU students competed.
In the classroom, they learned about health care system, pharmacists’ roles in various fields within pharmacy; community pharmacy, hospital and ambulatory care, pharmacoeconomics and evidence-based practice. They were also exposed to clinical experience through site visits to WesternU Patient Care Center, Citrus Valley Health Partner Hospital, and Casa Colina Hospital.
Some WesternU students were involved with the TA program to help with their team assignment. One of the topics was culture. By discussing expectations about the other country from their own perspectives and finding the gaps from the facts, both AGU and Western U students learned not only about other cultures but also their own culture as well.
On the last day, the AGU students presented what they have learned during their stay as a team. One of the teams discussed problems including aging society and health care system in Japan; providing their ideas to solve it. Certificates were given by Dean Robinson.
Farewell dinner party was filed with tears and love. What I saw on their face was no more confusion, but happiness and accomplishments. The students left with more than just certificates, they left with knowledge, cultural awareness, and most importantly friendship! Overall, this program ended with very successful influences. I would like to sincerely appreciate all the support given from WesternU faculty, staff, and students.
Posted by Mai Yokota, PharmD Candidate, WesternU College of Pharmacy