At Home in Japan
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Module 14.1
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Assessing Your Situation

In this module we provide three tools to help you assess your situation at two different time points:

  1. Before you enter a Japanese teaching job, workplace, or other situation: Are your goals and expectations appropriate, or do you need to take a harder look at why you’re thinking of doing this?

  2. After you arrive in your Japanese situation: what if your situation isn’tworking out? How do you assess whether you should stay or go? And if you need to leave, how should you go about doing this?

These three modules all focus on homestay guests. But having come this far in the course you should now be able to relate these modules to your own situation as well.

Hint #1: The focus of the course is making a transition from your entry point to ‘uchi’ and from “cultural child” to cultural adult. The cases in Part 4 that show how a variety of newcomers made these transitions also make clear that the transition pathways for homestay guests are very similar to those for all the other newcomers. These similarities should allow you to relate the guidelines for homestay guests to other newcomer situations.

Hint #2: In addition to answering the questions in the Homestay Checklist, think of the newcomer cases you just saw in Part 4. Does the process of encountering—and getting through—“cultural hazards” intrigue you? (or turn you off?) Do you think you could manage something like this? (or does it seem more than you could handle?) Would you like to be challenged like this? (or is this really remote from your expectations for living in Japan). If you answered “No” to all of these questions—and were urged to rethink your plans after answering the checklist—then you may seriously want to reconsider them.

 
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