Tips on surviving an internship abroad
Although these tips might not apply to everyone it is something that most interns have to deal with when coming to Japan. Japan is quite different than most countries around the world, so it is important to do some research and be prepared as much as possible before coming.
1. Be open minded.
Coming to Japan is definitely a big change, therefore it is good to come without any expectations or speculations. Reading about Japan and actually living in the country are two very different things. Doing research never hurts and reading about the culture in order to make sure that you don’t do any mistakes is important. However, you won’t really know what is like to live in Tokyo until you arrive. Try to come with an open mind and willing to accept everything that comes at you. Be willing to embrace the culture and try new things since it is that place where you will be living for the next couple of months. This will not only help you to learn more about Japan, but it can also tell you a lot about yourself! It will also help you enjoy your stay in the country more since you will most-likely gain a lot from trying new things!
2. Step out of your comfort zone!
Linking into the previous note of having an open mind, leads us to stepping out of your comfort zone. Not many people get the chance of going abroad for an internship. Therefore, it is important that you go out and explore as much as you can! Avoid staying in during your free time, in order to learn more about the culture as well as taking advantage that you have the possibilities of traveling and getting to know a pretty cool city. Tokyo has many things going on all the time, whether it is events, festivals, really unique places to visit, restaurants, etc. It is definitely something you do not want to miss out on!
3. You are here to work
Although traveling and having fun is important, remember that the main purpose of doing your internship abroad is to gain professional experience. Hence, it is important to take your internship seriously and make sure that you are responsible during it. Show up on time, be as diligent as possible, and make sure you are doing your best at all times! In Japanese culture all these factors are extremely important, so make sure to show that you respect them and that you actually do want to work there and learn as much as possible.
4. Learn how to budget your money
Depending on where you are from, Japan tends to be cheaper than other countries. Although it is good to go out an explore and try new things, try to budget your outings and food; since if you’re not careful you can run out of money really fast. If you plan things out, it is easy to have fun and live on a budget. Do research on where you can buy cheaper food, clothes, or souvenirs. Certain areas in Tokyo might be cheaper than others when it comes to those things, so ask us or your friends in order to find out about where to go in Tokyo.
5. Do not be afraid to ask for help
In case you have never been to Japan before, you will definitely have a few questions when coming here. Not many people speak English so getting used to how things work here might be a bit more difficult unless you speak Japanese. Please do not hesitate to ask questions to us, your supervisor, or even friends and people you meet. Everyone will be happy to help you and you will have an easier time than trying to figure everything on your own.
We hope that these tips help you in some way! We will provide more tips on what to expect when coming here when we do the Skype sessions as well as when you when arrive here!
Remember we are here to help you and make sure you have a great experience participating in Internship in Japan!