Japan, with its long history, mysteries, extraordinary culture, and incredible inhabitants, is fascinating, but also very often misunderstood. There is so much more to Japan than the clichés, including natural disasters, mangas, video-games, and all the crazy things you might see reported in the media. If you give Japan a chance, you will be stunned by how beautiful the country can be, both literally and figuratively. If you are looking for “endless discoveries,” you will be in the right place as an intern in Japan.
A country like no other.
Japan is a small country with a lot of people, but contrary to popular belief, you will not feel suffocated. If you want to travel around, the train is the best way for you to go anywhere, whether discovering hidden gems or seeing incredible panoramas. Even if you intern in a larger city, like Tokyo, as long as you take time to leave the main streets and touristy areas, you will find something unexpected around every corner and there will always be a small patch of nature for you to relax in. If you like urbanism and architecture, Japan is the perfect example of a civilization that is mastering its environment and available space!
If you like winter sports, you will find the best snow in the world in Hokkaido. If you like the sea, you will enjoy tropical weather in Okinawa or beautiful scuba-diving spots in Izu. Just keep in mind if you like nature, around 72 percent of the country is made of mountains and 12 percent is made of crops, so that leaves 15 percent for cities and towns. And don’t forget the whole country is 11 percent smaller than the state of California!
Japanese people are among the nicest in the world. They will go out of their way to help you in nearly any situation! It is not unheard of for a Japanese person to spend 30 minutes or more helping foreigners find their way around. This also applies to the work environment, where most people will be helping each other for the greater good of the company. They understand that if the company wins, everybody wins. That’s why whenever you have a problem, you know you can ask your colleagues and they will be here to help you.
If you want to befriend Japanese people during your internship in Japan, you need to understand that trust is of the utmost importance in Japanese culture, so it will take some time. But, once they feel they can trust you, you will have friends for life, even if you live in different countries. A very simple way to make friends at your internship placement is to participate in the events organized by your company or to go for lunch or drinks with your colleagues. If you are on a budget or don’t like drinking, don’t worry; just talk with your colleagues whenever you can (without interfering with both your workloads) and you will end up finding things you have in common!
A serious society...
Japanese society has very strict rules, of which some people may have trouble adapting too. This is especially true when it comes to interning in Japan, where a hierarchy is still very much omnipresent and heavy in the workplace.
If you choose to do an internship in Japan, it will be a great way for you to discover your true personality. As long as you persevere, work for the greater good of the team (instead on focusing on yourself), and make efforts to respect the culture, then the rewards of your internship in Japan will be formidable. Whether you stay to work in Japan full time or go off on another adventure somewhere else, if you can make it as an intern in Japan, you can feel confident that you can make it anywhere!
…which still knows how to have fun!
Whatever your passion is, you will find someone during your internship in Japan to share it with you. The great thing about Japan is how intensely people follow their passions and how little judging there is. Whatever your passion might be, you will be able to express yourself as long as you respect the law and do not cause harm to anyone while interning in Japan. Everybody is giving their best at the office, but they still understand that after work everyone needs a way to relax, no matter what that may be.
Japan never sleeps, so you will never be at a loss of what to do, whether alone or in a group. You can choose to go for dinner at one of several thousands of themed restaurants after work and then take some time to enjoy an onsen (natural hot spring) before going home for the night.
An investment in your future.
Getting professional experience through an internship in Japan is a very important move, and one that will easily change your life. It will give you an edge over your peers in the global job market of today, in which companies are strategically looking for bright, young people with an international mindset that are capable of adapting to different cultures effectively.
Having internship experience in Japan on your resume will get the attention of future employers and recruiters, because they will know that you are not afraid to take on professional challenges.
You will not only acquire new skills and knowledge that you would never be able to learn in your home country, you will make extremely valuable connections for your future. Internships in Japan will give you the opportunity to grow your network and learn how to nurture it. When the day comes that you need professional advice or assistance, you will no doubt feel the power of the networking you accomplished during your internship in Japan.
An opportunity to grow.
Doing an internship in Japan is not only a way for you to grow as a professional, but also as a person. All the experiences and memories will change your way of thinking about yourself, the world, your future, and how to solve problems.
You will enter Japan as someone with potential, and leave as a professional who has proved your worth in the eyes of a whole new world!
What are you waiting for? Find an internship in Japan and apply now!
This article was brought to you by Internship in Japan, an historical agent with a proven track record of placing young and bright students on internships in Japan. Internship in Japan is part of the International Cross-cultural Committee, which was founded in Japan in 1973 and has since then sent thousands of students abroad for studies and internships through its offices on four continents.