An American Pharmacy Student in Japan

While USC was hosting pharmacy students from abroad, a USC pharmacy student had an international experience of his own. Jarett Gatchalian spent several weeks in Japan as part of the competitive International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation exchange program, which has facilitated international study for nearly 70 years.

Gatchalian says that in the cities of Fukuoka and Kyoto he had chances to observe the daily life of a pharmacist and learn how pharmacy works in hospital, community, industry and wholesale settings. He notes that Japanese pharmacists have fewer patient care privileges — for instance, they cannot administer vaccinations — but they must master Kanpou, or Chinese herbal medicine. “They have whole pharmacies dedicated to Chinese medicine instead of Western medicine,” he says.

The experience was a positive one for Gatchalian. “The memories I made will always be dear to me because of the people I met. I definitely recommend that students go to Japan if they have the chance.”