Publication Date

2001

Abstract

During the last two years of working with Japanese students studying English n the Boston area, I have begun to think about the cross-cultural difficulties students face upon their return home to Japan. These difficulties are sometimes referred to as re-entry shock, or reverse culture shock. This leads me to ask the question: What should BIIC, an institution dedicated to helping international students, do in order to help prepare BIIC students to return home and understand the process of re-entry shock? In order to answer this question, I firs look at literature on the subject of re-entry shock. I then look at literature regarding the Japanese culture to find specific problems Japanese students might face upon their return to Japan. Furthermore, in order to gain first-hand knowledge of the re-entry experience, I e-mail former BIIC students and ask them to share with me their experiences with regard to re-entry shock. The e-mail responses help suggest that BIIC students do experience re-entry shock and might benefit from some sort of preparation. The result is the design of a re-entry shock orientation that is tuned to the needs of Japanese students at BIIC. It encourages them to take the frustrations and torment that sometimes come with re-entry shock and learn about themselves and their own country, much in the same way they learned about the US during their stay here.

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