Unify concepts of biology within the Satoyama integrated landscape of Japan! Students will learn about environmental ecology linked to human impacts on the environment. Study alongside biologists at the Satoyama Research Center, exploring cultural nature. This course will examine the biological basis for the long-term success of the Satoyama integrated agricultural systems of Japan. We will study the networks of ecological and societal interactions within these systems that exemplify sustainability in action. Topics to be covered include nutrient cycling, soil health, watershed protection, pollination, plant variety development and the importance of maintaining biodiversity within the Satoyama landscapes to ensure consistent and productive crop yields. Plus, learn about Japanese culture and its ties to nature and sustainability!


  • 06/10/2019 to 06/19/2019


  • Ground transportation
  • 4 nights hotel accommodations & 4 nights in student dorms
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • Guide/Assistant
  • Admission fees
  • Embedded medical insurance
  • 24/7 emergency support
  • Country guidebook and pre-travel docs

Info Session

Where: Please email Michael Cohen for details: cohenm@sonoma.edu

Learn more about this program at our upcoming info session! Details to be announced soon! Please note that this travel program is linked to a 2-weeks course on-campus at Sonoma State University. As such, students participating in this program will need to enroll in and attend the on-campus course prior to traveling to Japan.

Scholarship & Financial Assistance

In effort to assist you in affording to travel, there is a Scholarship available, along with financial assistance:

  • International Financial Assistance (IFA): If you are on financial aid, there are limited slots for you to earn up to $500 in funds for your program! Learn more about how this works here: https://fundraising.worldstrides.com/international-financial-assistance-program/. 1) Request a customized application by emailing IFA@woldstrides.org 2) Be sure to apply for need-based assistance at 90 days prior to your program departure date. (Your deadline is March 10, 2019) 3) There is a limit of 2 students per program, no more than 4 students per university in an academic year.
  • Higher Ed Traveler Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship offers $3,000 to up to 3 undergraduate and graduate students (per each tour year). Apply online for this scholarship and submit the required supplementary materials. Our scholarship committee at WorldStrides ISA Custom Programs reviews the student applications and awards them. This scholarship also resets each tour year. The four things to know are: 1) You can learn more and apply at https://www.worldstrides.com/higheredtravelerscholarship 2) Your application must include: university transcript, letter of recommendation, and personal statement 3) There are 3 individual awards per academic year

Meet the Faculty

Michael Cohen

Biology Professor
Course instructor Michael Cohen has been a professor in the Department of Biology at Sonoma State since 2005. Prior to coming to Sonoma State he had lived in Japan for four years, teaching Biology for the University of Maryland University College, Asian Division and conducting research on plant-microbe interactions at the University of the Ryukyus. Most recently he spent a year in Japan as a visiting scientist at the Biological Systems Unit of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology to develop sustainable systems for concomitant treatment and bioenergy production from agro-industrial wastewaters. He teaches a variety of courses, including Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology, Bacteriology, Molecular and Cellular Lab Techniques, and introductory Biology for majors and non-majors.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

WorldStrides is committed to making international travel accessible for students. To find out how to apply for $500 in need-based assistance or our merit-based $3,000 Higher Education Traveler Scholarship, click here.

Gift of Education

Looking to fundraise? Personalize a Gift of Education eCard to request contributions from friends and family. A great way to celebrate your birthday or holidays, and so much better than another ugly sweater!

For Parents

Thank you for considering this global opportunity for your students, and for trusting me with the important responsibility of educating them. In addition to building their resume and their network, I believe a program like this builds essential perspective that will set them on a path to becoming more global citizens!

I have chosen WorldStrides as an educational travel partner because of their reputation for excellence in logistics, educational content, and most importantly, safety and security. Read more about WorldStrides.


Questions? Click here to see answers to commonly asked questions about WorldStrides educational travel programs for university students.