Daily Life & Schools

Dealing with the Stress as a Japanese Language School Student
Daily Life & Schools
Dealing with the Stress as a Japanese Language School Student
February 2, 2024  |  By Amélie Marie Nishizawa

Living in a new country can be a challenging experience, especially when adjusting to a different culture and learning a foreign language. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or depressed due to cultural differences, but remember, you’re not alone. 

Many Japanese language school students have faced similar challenges, and resources and support are available to help them navigate difficult times.

The Initial Four Weeks: A Crucial Period

The first four weeks of your language course can be the most challenging. As coordinators with years of experience, we’ve observed that students often encounter difficulties initially. 

The course can be overwhelming, and students must also handle housing, banking, insurance, and other aspects. 

We believe that it is very important not to isolate yourself. Don’t be afraid to share challenges or problems with your school’s faculty, friends and our GaijinPot Study team. We consider no question silly, so email us anytime and about anything.

Recognizing Signs and Seeking Support

Beyond the initial challenging weeks, you should feel more confident in class, connected with peers, and at ease in daily life. However, if you experience the following signs, it’s essential to seek support:

  • Frustration with Language Understanding: Making you feel stagnant in your studies.
  • Depression from Separation: Being away from familiar faces in a culture where meeting people can be challenging.
  • Communication Challenges: Feeling helpless and struggling to communicate, with others seeming indifferent to your concerns.
  • Adjustment Realization: The novelty of being in Japan wearing off or realizing that living here differs from expectations.
  • Escaping to Japan: Running away to Japan to escape something, only to find it may have followed you or worsened.

While not exhaustive, these are common feedback points from students facing difficulties.

Maintaining a Positive Mindset: What to Do

The key is to maintain a positive mindset and not let depression take over. Focus on the following:

  • Pride in Your Journey: Be proud of yourself for learning a new language in a foreign country.
  • Avoiding Perfection Pressure: Avoid pressuring yourself into perfection; it’s normal to find learning Japanese overwhelming.
  • Communication with Support: Communicate with teachers or staff members if you encounter problems—they are there to help.
  • Building Connections: Make friends by befriending classmates or attending events where Japanese people are interested in meeting foreigners.
  • Staying Occupied: Stay occupied by joining clubs or taking weekend trips for a change of scenery.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Tokyo English Life Line offers free counseling services and comprehensive support to English speakers in Japan: http://telljp.com/.

You’ve Got This!

Remember, setbacks happen to everyone. It’s okay to ask for help; you don’t have to go through things alone. People care and want to support you. Keep pushing forward—you can do it!

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