Why I chose to move to Japan

Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

Welcome my readers! As I prepare to move to Japan in less than a month, I wanted to document my life and perspective in moving to a different country. I have always wanted to live abroad but never pursued this opportunity until this year. So to start the beginning of my journey to Japan, here are the reasons as to why I wanted to live abroad, and why I chose Japan.

  1. Meeting people from different parts of the world

While attending university in Toronto, I met so many people that were from all over the world. It made me curious as to why they are willing to spend so much money to go to school in a different country. I wanted to have that same experience and learn how to adapt to a different culture. But I also wanted to meet people all over the world. I heard that teaching English is a good opportunity to mingle with other English speakers besides Canada and I wanted to also learn their country too. This is the reason why I am curious to work abroad.

I had encountered a potential opportunity to study abroad for a semester but I didn’t finish completing the application only because I wanted to stay with my boyfriend at the time. After we broke up, I used my feelings to channel it into something else I love, which was to work abroad. After researching for 3 months, I applied to a private English school and got accepted after 3 interviews.

2. Japanese culture

Japan wasn’t my first choice of country to work abroad. I initially chose China and actually did do interviews for a few schools there. I was never into Japanese culture and wanted to go China as I knew some Mandarin instead of Japanese. However, my family wanted to go to Japan as a vacation and I had to do lots of research to plan my trip. While reading about the festivals, cuisine, and history, it made me more curious about Japan. My love for the country sparked even more after travelling there. I loved how Japan was so technologically advanced yet, it still preserves its heritage. Coming from Canada, we are considered “New World” so our history does not date that far back compared to Japan. So my reason for choosing Japan as the country to move to was its rich history, and its highly sophisticated technology.

3. Immersing myself into a collectivist culture

I am Chinese-Canadian so I understand the collectivist culture from my family. However, I am completely Canadian so my experience is just Canadian culture and going to school/work in a individualistic society. I am intrigued about how Canada and Japan would be different as I know just looking at them from an nature point of view, they’re pretty similar. Toronto and Tokyo are big cities with similar building structure. But I know the values and culture are different. We’ll find out as I start living there.

4. Growing Up

This is what I struggled the most as a 20-something person. I’m at the awkward stage of technically an adult, but not really acting like one. I still live at home with my parents, I still depend on them for my daily living expenses. So I wanted to move to a different country to learn about independence and essentially, to grow up. Ever since I finished university, I was so focused in studying that I forgot who I was. People would ask me during interviews, with the question “Tell Me About Yourself” and I would never know where to begin. Even during dating I didn’t know how to answer this question! My career consultants tell me this is the hardest question for every interviewee. However, I believe it’s because we as students are not given the chance (to some extent) to learn about ourselves. I understand it’s not the school’s responsibility so this could be the reason as to why many people struggle with our identity. And it’s not something that should be the school’s responsibility. So I hope that living in a different country on my own will give me the opportunity in expressing who I am and hopefully, I can confidently tell people who I am!

This is just the beginning and I’ll be sure to write more once I move there. I have many exciting topics I want to uncover!

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