Medical Preparation

Medical Information Form

All admitted students are required to submit a completed Medical Information Form, which is available on your AIU Online Portal after you are accepted. The information provided will be used exclusively for student health care and for providing necessary information to medical personnel and/or a hospital in the case of an emergency. All information will be kept confidential. Please review your Medical Information Form with your home university coordinator before sending. Your home university should also know about any conditions you have so that we can work together to provide you with support in case of an emergency.

Support on AIU Campus

There is a “Health and Medical Care Room” and a “Counseling Room” on campus. For more information about the support and services offered by these Rooms, please see the Medical Care & Counseling page. Please note that there is no medical doctor stationed on campus.

Bringing Medications

1) Preparing to Bring Medication to Japan

Students who intend to bring medications or continue using medications in Japan should prepare to bring all required medicines with them upon arrival, as it may be difficult or impossible to acquire the same medicines in Japan.

However, it is illegal to bring some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States or other countries to Japan, including some inhalers, allergy, and sinus medications. Some foreign prescription medications cannot be imported into Japan, even when accompanied by a customs declaration and a copy of the prescription. To find out which medications are permitted or prohibited, please consult the Embassy or Consulate of Japan nearest your home or the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare for details. Please understand that it is your sole responsibility to make sure that the medication you plan to bring with you is legal and that you follow all proper procedures to bring it.

In the event that your prescription or over-the-counter medication cannot be brought into Japan, you should consult with your physician to switch to a legal alternative and give yourself sufficient time to adjust to your new medication before leaving your home country. Any students taking medication are highly encouraged to contact the Japanese Embassy in your country as soon as possible to confirm whether you will be allowed to bring the particular medication into Japan.

2) Bring enough of your regular and emergency medicine for your entire stay in Japan

Foreign prescriptions and diagnoses are not valid in Japan, and many medicines offered in other countries are not available here. If you run out of medication while in Japan, you will need to be re-diagnosed by a Japanese doctor (in Japanese) before you can get a new prescription. Sometimes, this can take weeks or more. If you are unable to obtain the necessary medicine here in Japan before you run out or if the amount of time it takes to obtain new medicine poses a risk to your health, it may result in you having to return home early.

3) Required Documentation for Bringing Prescription Medication to Japan

If you plan to bring more than 1-month’s supply of any medication, you will need a “Yunyu Kakunin-sho” issued by a Pharmaceutical Inspector in Japan and you will have to apply in advance by post for this certificate. The application process generally takes at least two weeks, so please follow the instructions on the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare website to apply in time for your Yunyu Kakunin-sho. Be sure to download the “Q&A for those who are bringing medicines into Japan” from the web page above in word or pdf format, as that document includes the Yunyu Kakunin-sho application procedures and forms.

You can also find a list of controlled medications (by component name) on the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare website at this link. The page is in Japanese, but if you scroll to the bottom, you will find a link to an English PDF file titled “Import/Export Narcotics by carrying [PDF]” in section 6. All medications listed in this document can be hand-carried into Japan only by the patient with a prescription and Yunyu Kakunin-sho. They may not be sent by post or carried by anyone else. So please be sure that you bring enough with you to cover your entire stay in Japan.

Should you have any inquiries about the Yunyu Kakunin-sho application, please directly contact the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (contact information is available on the website at this link).

4) Bringing Your Medications to Japan

Please bring a sufficient supply of all medication you will need in the original containers, clearly labeled. You should also carry a signed, dated letter from your physician describing your medical condition and listing all medications prescribed to you (including generic names) in your carry-on luggage to present to customs inspectors on arrival. If you need to carry syringes or needles, be sure to carry a physician’s letter documenting in detail their medical necessity. Pack all medications in your carry-on luggage and carry an additional supply of prescription medicines in your checked luggage.


To prevent the risk of infection, AIU strongly requests all students to receive the following vaccinations before arriving at AIU:

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Vaccine
  • DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus)

AIU does not require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccination before coming to campus, but you will be required to follow all Japanese immigration policies at the time of your arrival to Japan. Students enrolled at AIU during the fall semester will be strongly encouraged to receive the influenza vaccine on campus (at their own expense.)

Common Misconceptions

I’ve been getting better lately, so I should be fine without treatment or medication.

Study Abroad can be more physically and mentally demanding than being at your home university because the systems and requirements are different. Many students experience additional difficulties while adjusting to culture shock, especially after the “honeymoon period” ends.

I can manage my condition on my own, so I don’t need to share any information.

You may have been managing on your own in your home country for a long time, but Akita is a new and different environment. Off campus, there is little to no support available in English, and trying to get information from the internet has resulted in disaster for more than one student here in the past. AIU’s staff have experience dealing with many conditions in this environment. If we do not have enough information and cannot help you in time, you may have to return home early and lose a semester of credits and financial aid.

I can get my prescription refilled in Japan, or get a similar medication.

Absolutely not.
Foreign prescriptions and diagnoses are not valid in Japan, and many medicines are not available here. If you run out of medication in Japan, you would need to be re-diagnosed by a Japanese doctor (in Japanese) before you could get a new prescription. Sometimes, this can take weeks. You must bring enough of your regular and emergency medicine for your entire stay in Japan.

My medicine is controlled and I cannot get a long enough prescription.

There are exceptions to prescription limits for international travelers.
If your primary caregiver is unwilling to help you with this process, contact a doctor who specializes in travel medicine. If your medication is illegal in Japan, then you will need to change to a legal medication under your current doctor’s care immediately.

If I run out of medicine, I can have my parents mail it to me.

Many medications cannot be sent through the mail.
They can only be brought by the patient with a prescription and a “Yunyu Kakunin-sho,” a kind of import certificate.

If I get sick and miss a few classes, it’s no big deal.

At AIU, you are expected to attend every class and attendance/participation are included in grades. Missing classes can result in an automatic failing grade. As an international student, attendance is also mandatory to maintain your student visa status required for all exchange students in the regular semesters and some short-stay visa holders in the special programs such as the Summer Program and J-CIP:A Program.

Center for International Affairs
Akita International University
Yuwa, Akita-City 010-1292 Japan
Tel. +81-(0)18-886-5927, +81-(0)18-886-5937
Fax. +81-(0)18-886-5853
Inbound Students:[mail international]
Outbound Students:[mail studyabroad]
Office Hours (Mon – Fri) 9:00 – 12:00 and 13:00 – 17:00