New students and new places
Put a Japanese person in a new environment and it’s amazing how disoriented they get. When I took a bunch of students to NZ earlier this year it was quite noticeable, they don’t know where to stand or what to do and the end up getting in the way of other people. For a people that is so good with caring about not getting in the way of others, I was quite surprised to see this phenomenon.
Then it happened again. And actually it’s still happening, it might take a while to readjust, but the new students are pretty good at blocking the quite wide hallway and getting in the way of people who want to get past, because they are oblivious to those around them.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t limited to Japanese students, I just happened to notice it more with them because I’m around them more often, and because it was so out of the ordinary for me.
But I think it has something to do with the freedom they have suddenly been given. After 12 years in a school system where they are told how to do basically everything, is it surprising that it takes them a while to catch their bearings? With a little more effort in the real world, they’ll be fine. I just wish this exposure to the real world happened sooner and more frequently.
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