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Health Concerns and Insurance

Student Health and Emergency Treatment Authorization Form:

JCMU requests students to disclose information regarding any health condition, medication, disability, allergy or dietary restriction in the Student Health/ Emergency Treatment Authorization Form. This form is provided to students after acceptance to the program. It is in violation of American Disabilities Act (ADA) to deny a student admission to an academic program for which they are otherwise qualified on the basis of disability. ADA also protects individuals with many pre-existing health conditions from similar discrimination. JCMU separates the application process from the disclosure of this information to protect students’ rights. Nonetheless, in order for JCMU to help you manage any health conditions, medications, disabilities, allergies or dietary restrictions and to plan for any medical emergencies while you are abroad, it is essential for you to disclose as soon as possible any condition that might directly or indirectly affect your stay in Japan. Properly managing pre-existing conditions will hopefully allow you to have a trouble-free experience abroad.

Physical Examination:

It is a good idea to have a thorough physical medical exam by your physician before you leave for Japan.  This is to make sure that there are no health problems of which you might be unaware, and helps to prepare you to deal with ongoing health conditions (e.g., allergies, diabetes, etc.) while you are in Japan.  For similar reasons, it is strongly recommended that you see a dentist and an optometrist before going to Japan.


If you take any medications even occasionally, or if you regularly use a special over-the-counter (OTC) medication, bring a supply with you. Although the Japanese have a highly sophisticated pharmaceutical industry, you might not be able to find the precise equivalents of OTC or prescription drugs there. In general, Japanese medications differ from American products in that they are subject to different regulations from those in effect in the US, and that they are marketed with the diet and physiology of a Japanese populace in mind. Common over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen-based pain relievers and cold medicines are available in the Hikone area, but often at a higher cost than you would pay in an American discount drugstore. 

Most prescription drugs are permitted in Japan, including drugs that may not be available there. However, drugs that are hallucinogenic, narcotic, and/or psychotropic may be confiscated except in extenuating circumstances where prior approval has been obtained. Assuming a medication is not restricted or prohibited, you may usually bring up to a one month's supply with you without needing additional approval. For Japanese regulations regarding the importation of medications into Japan for personal use, please visit the following page on the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare website:

Whatever medications you take to Japan, you should always take them in the original containers. It is also always a good idea to have a copy of the prescription and/or letter from the prescribing physician explaining the nature of the medication, the purpose of taking it, recommended dosage, and the frequency of use.

*Please direct any further questions or concerns regarding bringing medication to Japan to your local Consulate General of Japan.

Accident and Sickness Insurance:

All students participating in JCMU study abroad programs are covered by an accident and sickness program administered by GeoBlue for the duration of the program. All students are automatically enrolled by the JCMU Office. Please note that this program only covers students while they are abroad and will not cover students if they are in the United States. We recommend students maintain their US insurance policy so they will be covered when they return to the US.  Students and parents should carefully review the policy to ensure they fully understand the coverage and its limitations. Details on GeoBlue coverage is available on the Office of International Health and Safety website.

Flight and travel insurance are not included as part of the program fee. Flight insurance may be purchased at most international airports. Flight insurance covers you only when you are on the airplane and will not remove the need for more inclusive coverage. Should you wish to secure travel insurance for your luggage and other personal effects or cancellation coverage, an insurance agent or travel agent can provide you with this information.


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