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How Should I Prepare for the KCP Program?

Studying abroad is an exciting, life-changing experience. It’s important to be prepared for the adventure you’re about to embark on. Japan is ranked #2 as a study abroad destination and is one of the best places to begin your travel adventures.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for your upcoming participation in Japan.

Health coverage while studying abroad

Students who are going to study abroad should make sure to have the right international health and travel insurance plan in place. KCP provides students with minor medical and accident coverage that begins the day after arrival in Japan and lasts through the last day of the program.

However, KCP coverage is designed as a “top up” policy only. Students staying for more than a term are required to participate in Japan’s National Health insurance. If you do have insurance elsewhere, make sure it covers you in Japan. Get insurance and understand your policy, and keep the phone number handy in case you need to contact them in Japan.

If you do not have health insurance or wish to purchase additional insurance, you can consider the following:

CISI—Cultural Insurance Services International / 800.303.8120

UnitedHealthcare Global / +1.410.453.6380

HTH Worldwide / 888.350.2002

Some travel essentials to consider

Know what essentials to pack when travelling to Japan. Consider what season it will be abroad as you decide on the necessities (i.e. winter clothing or summer clothing), an attire for more formal occasions and casual gatherings.

Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson

Bring gadgets that will help you with your studies, and stay in touch with family and friends in Japan and back home such as a laptop computer, tablet, and a cellphone

Make sure that your phone can make landline calls while in Japan. Set it up for international calling, or get a SIM card that will work in your phone. Skype and other apps have options for calling regular numbers.

It is also important to know how to stay connected with people in Japan, especially in emergency cases when you may have to call local phone numbers to reach hospitals, emergency services, KCP administration or staff, or any Japanese local number. There are several apps you can download to call local landlines and mobile phones in Japan.

Don’t rely solely on Wi-Fi. In case of emergency, you may need to contact the landline number of a medical clinic, hospital, or KCP, so it’s best that your phone is well-equipped to quickly connect.

You’re also encouraged to bring hand sanitizers, 70% rubbing alcohol, and face masks. Please check with your airline as to the limits and kinds of items you can bring in your carry on or check-in baggage.

For students who are beginners, it would be to your advantage to memorize the basic writing systems of hiragana and katakana. A little self study goes a long way!

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