A re-entry shock orientation design for Japanese students at the Boston Institute of Intercultural Communication

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

William Hoffa


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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