Orientation Module 1

The Entry Point Dilemma

Going to live abroad confronts one with the unknown.

Suddenly you find yourself inept and awkward—in speaking a new language, finding your way around, and even relating to people in ordinary situations.

Somehow you’ve become like a child—but this time around it’s not physical—you’ve become a cultural child. Yet neither you nor your hosts realize this has happened.

Most hosts will gladly help you learn the obvious. But no one even thinks to mention other—hugely important—things. Why not? Because these are things that everyone knows. They assume that you already know them too. Yet, not knowing the things that everyone is supposed to know is precisely what has made you a cultural child in the first place!

Caption: How can you—the cultural child—manage to “grow up”? How can you learn the things that everyone is supposed to know, but no one thinks to tell you?

This is the entry point dilemma for newcomers from abroad to Japan. It is also the focus of Part 1.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5