Psychology in Kyoto

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore
Location: Asia, Japan
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

This 2024 program is now full and officially closed to new applicants.


Spend four weeks in Kyoto, Japan with UO Professor of Psychology Jeff Measelle and Assoc. Professor Jennifer Ablow exploring the psychology of human mental health, development, and the science behind a meaningful life in a global context all while experiencing this iconic and beautiful country and its cultures. By studying these subjects in another country, students on this program will leverage better insights into their home society's conception of mental health and a meaningful life, as well as learn how other culture's conceptions compare and contrast. Japanese cultural values differ in many ways to that of American culture. Studying in Japan will provide first-hand, unique exposure to these contrasts which will be incorporated into the course teachings and assignments.

Kyoto was once the capital of Japan and is famous for its temples, shrines, gardens, and traditional wooden houses. Located in Japan’s Kansai region, Kyoto is one of Japan’s most popular tourist destinations and is home to many iconic cultural sights, including the red torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera temple, and Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion. Kyoto’s location also offers easy access to other parts of Japan: Osaka, Kobe, Nara, and Nagoya can be reached in less than an hour by train, and Tokyo is just 2.5 hours away by high-speed Shinkansen (bullet train).

Scholarship Opportunity:  Applicants to this program will have the option to apply for a program-specific scholarship. Five awards of $1,000 each are available. If interested, please refer to the Scholarship Essay in the program application, and speak with your GEO advisor if you have questions. Award recipients are chosen based on their scholarship essay, GPA, overall program application related to academic merit, and level of financial need as determined by the UO Financial Aid office. The due date for the Scholarship Essay to be submitted is February 15, 2024.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Summer 2024 3/15/2024 6/22/2024 7/20/2024
Academic Details

See "View All Courses" in right-hand menu for more details and course syllabi.

PSY388: Psychology of  a Meaningful Life (300 level Psychology Elective)

Approaches the science of a meaningful life with three themes: scientific basis of a meaningful life, cultural variations in approaches to a meaningful life, and implementing practices in one's own life to promote happiness, meaningfulness, and well-being.

PSY388: Global Mental Health and Development

Examines a collection of global health problems deeply rooted in changing social structures. This course is interdisciplinary and ideal for students wishing to explore careers in public health, anthropology, economics, epidemiology, medicine and psychology.


Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Application process

This program has a rolling admission application processGEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application.

There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.

Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application.  This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement.

Faculty and Staff

Jeffrey Measelle is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon. His research primarily focuses on he effects of early adversity on young children's development, in particular, the effects of prenatal and postnatal stress on the developing brain.  Much of this work has been carried out with at-risk communities in the United States, including families contending with extreme poverty, trauma, and social isolation. Prof. Measelle is a member of the University's Global Health faculty, as well as Co-Director of the UO Center for Global Health and Co-Director of the Oregon Public Health Corps.

Jennifer Ablow is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon. Her research interests are in the area of prenatal and postnatal stress, prenatal and parental mental health, intergenerational transmission of well-being, attachment relationships, social determinants of health, and parent-infant prevention and intervention. Dr. Ablow is also a licensed psychologist and a certified Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) clinician on the international CPP roster.

Housing Description
Students will be housing in hotels in Kyoto and hotels or traditional Japanese ryokans during excursions. You will be in shared rooms with other students on the program of the same gender.