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Study Abroad Profile: Kelly Skillman

Kelly Skillman overlooking Tokyo from more than 300 meters above

Program: Public Health Perspectives – Japan 
Location: Japan 
Rank: Senior 
Major: Public Health

"I chose the Public Health Perspectives – Japan trip not only to fulfill my capstone graduation requirement, but also to satisfy one of my own curiosities. In a US and international health care course that I had previously taken, I completed a comparative analysis on the healthcare systems of the United States and Japan. I was interested in the astounding health outcomes of the Japanese, and therefore wanted to see the system in action, so that I could ascertain what the United States could learn to improve their own system.

Participating in the coursework and field trips, in addition to exploring the cities in a group, not only fulfilled my desire to find out what was effective in the Japanese healthcare system, but also allowed me to become a more culturally aware and competent individual. This newfound sense of cultural competency will not only allow me to succeed in the field of public health where it is so important to be able to cater to the needs of all groups, no matter their cultural background, but it has also Kelly Skillman and fellow Buckeyes abroad pose for an O-H-I-O photoawakened my desires to learn an additional language and travel to other locations around the globe.

My favorite memory from the trip, which actually occurred one day after class, was visiting the Tokyo Skytree – the second tallest building in the world – at night. Visitors have the opportunity to take an elevator to two separate floors, the first at 350 meters above the ground, and the second at 450 meters (so this is definitely not for those who are afraid of heights!) I was fortunate enough to be able to visit both floors – and the views were absolutely breathtaking. It easily qualifies as one of the top 10 things that I have ever done – I recommend it for all who visit Tokyo!"