Will it be easy for me to adjust to life in Japan?

Expect to experience culture shock when you arrive in Japan. It is a completely normal reaction to an unfamiliar environment. Culture shock is personal; each individual may experience it differently. Likewise, effective ways to deal with culture shock may differ from one student to another. Here are the general stages most people experience when encountering a new culture.


In this early stage, you are busy with preparations and farewells. You are also preoccupied with thoughts of the host culture and how you will adjust.


A time filled with excitement, expectations, and vivid initial impressions.

Culture shock

After some time, the novelty of being in a new place wears off. You may experience mental fatigue, irritability, isolation, and frustration in coping with the language barrier and cultural differences.


As the culture becomes more familiar, you begin to settle into your new environment and establish friendships. Your language ability improves, and you feel more confident.



You become comfortable with the culture. You feel at home and accepted.

Return anxiety

Just as you are finally settled, you must prepare to leave your new friends. You realize how much you have changed and wonder if people at home will understand these changes.

Re-entry shock

You are expected to return to your previous role, but you are not the same person. Your family and friends may not fully understand your experiences nor share your enthusiasm.

See also How do I cope with culture shock?