living abroad

The 5 phases of adjusting to life in Japan (from a Western expat point of view)

Today, we present five phases Western expats go through, from arriving fresh off the boat to thinking about retirement, when living in Japan.

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10 things one Japanese expat is always sure to stock up on when returning to Japan

Any expat, exchange student, or anybody who has otherwise spent a long period of time abroad will tell you that, while the local food is exciting and fun and delicious for a while, eventually you’ll start to experience intense urges for the comfort foods and products of your native land. For some, these urges may be occasional, mild pangs, but for many, the urges are so strong they can’t resist stocking up on boxes and boxes full of their favorite items from home every time they head back.

Recently, a Japanese female expat who has been living in America for years introduced our sister site to the top 10 items that she likes to stock up on when she visits Japan:

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Japanese expat turns frustration with ordering from Amazon UK into a comic

Moving to a different country can be fun and exciting, but it can also be tough. Most expats go through a period of culture shock where they realize that some of the stereotypes they were led to believe about a certain country may not be true, and that the way things work in their new home may not always be an improvement on the way things were done back in their old one.

We’ve presented some things Japan doesn’t get right from a Westerner’s point of view in the past, but this time we’d like to show you a comic drawn by a Japanese illustrator living overseas, detailing some of the not-so-pleasant points of living in the UK and how some in particular made her quit shopping at Amazon.

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Four Los Angeles “schools” closed for fraud, arranged visas for fake exchange students

It’s no joke that living and studying in the US costs a pretty penny. So, instead of paying the hefty tuitions of universities on top of living expenses, some young foreigners have been taking a sneakier route to staying in the States.

Recently some “students” have been opting for “institutions” like the four schools recently closed down for fraud in Los Angeles, which function under a “pay-to-stay” program, where the “students” basically pay for a student visa with no expectations of attending classes, wishing only to stay and work in the U.S.

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Why do so few young Japanese want to work overseas?

Back when my college days were winding down, my job hunting had turned up two promising leads. One was with a Los Angeles-based fruit exporter, and the other was with a chain of English schools in Japan. As appealing as the idea of having an inside track to some of the world’s finest citrus was, in the end, the siren song of living and working overseas was just too enticing to resist.

Seeing as how that decision eventually led me to some amazing experiences, a wonderful spouse, and a job that occasionally pays me to drink beer, I’d say it was a good call. Still, it’s not all intriguing discoveries and delicious food, as culture shock and homesickness are also parts of leaving the country you grew up in. As much as I love it, living overseas isn’t for everyone, including more than half of new college graduates in Japan, according to one recent survey.

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Foreigners reveal the moments they felt they really “got this whole Japan thing”

Expats in Japan, you know the feeling: After years of working towards your goal of somehow, someday living in Japan, you finally made it to the land of mochi and Harajuku. But you’re not really living in Japan, no, you’re drowning in it. It wasn’t what you expected it to be (how dare your years of research, whether in school or from anime, deceive you!). And you cry and you curse your naivety for ever thinking you could just pick up and move to such a strange land.

But then one day, you have a clear, identifiable moment when everything seems to come together and you just have to stop and smile to yourself, thinking, “I’m doing it. I’m really doing it.” It’s these little moments that eventually trickle together and without realizing it, you’re walking on water, swapping oyaji-gyagu with the best of them and craving sashimi for dinner. Let’s take a look at what 20 foreigners on Japanese website, Niconico News, identified as a time they really felt like they had gotten the hang of living in Japan.

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10 Japanese foods you can make at home!

If you’ve noticed, many of our writers here at Rocketnews24 have crossed the seas to make Japan their second home. Sure, we love the local flavor, but sometimes we just crave a solid meal that smells of our hometown. The same goes for Japanese nationals living abroad.

Even though Japanese cuisine has more or less infiltrated most of the major cities worldwide, domestic foodstuffs and condiments still remain mostly inaccessible and rare in most countries. Japanese blogger Madame Riri shares a list of 10 Japanese foods that can be made at home, no matter where that may be! We’d like to call it the lifesaver list for Japanese abroad, or the inspiration list for non-Japanese who would love an authentic taste of Japan in their own kitchen!

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