Japanese Pre Departure Training Cultural Studies Essay

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Pre Departure Training (PDT) is important for the person before he or she go into another country for international assignment. In order to complete the assignment, PDT is needed in for improving the performance and skills in work. In addition, PDT also helps the expatriates to adjust with his or her environment either in work or daily life.

The main objective of PDT was to make the expatriates reflect on their stay in another country (foreign country). Also teach them to handling their challenges and problems in their work and daily life. So basically, PDT is made for provide the expatriates with the skill and how to deal with the challenges and problems that they face during the assignment.

The methods used in the PDT are base in the non-formal educational type; which are workshop, seminars, discussion, and presentations. The PDT will be conduct in two days program training. The expatriate will get a day off from their work in order to follow the PDT program. For more extensive language training, the expatriate will be going after the work hour (twice a week in one month) before the expatriate leaving for the assignment.

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The first step of PDT is to know about the host country in doing the international assignment. The participants must find out about the host country economics, cultural, society, government, regulation, and many things about the country. The more information the participants get before he or she go to the country can help him or her doing the job in that country.

The next step is how to learn about the language that use in the host country. Communication is an important factor to build a relationship with other people. So basically, by learning and using the local language, we can build more relation with the local people. If our communication can be done, then it will easier our daily life and work life. So PDT is one key of success to doing the international assignment.

Daily program

Day 1

Hours Session

Time

Day 1

8.00 - 9.30

Introduction

9.30 - 11.00

Country profile

11.00 - 11.30

Coffee Break

11.30 - 13.00

Watch the movie

13.00 - 14.00

Lunch Break

14.00 - 16.00

Travel Procedure and Tips

Health and Safety

Financial Literacy

15.30 - 16.30

Coffee Break

16.30 - 18.00

Expectation and fears

Language Training

18.00 - 19.00

Evaluation of the day

Day 2

Hours Session

Time

Day 2

8.00 - 9.30

Business Etiquette

9.30 - 11.00

11.00 - 11.30

Coffee Break

11.30 - 13.00

Case Study

Intercultural learning and Culture shock

13.00 - 14.00

Lunch Break

14.00 - 15.30

Game Simulation

Conflict and Crises management

15.30 - 17.00

Personal project planning

17.00 - 17.30

Coffee Break

17.30 - 19.00

Final evaluation

19.00 - 21.00

Closing and Preparation to Dinner

Detail of Training

Day 1

Introduction

The introduction is divided into 3 parts:

The welcoming part.

First is the introduction about the trainers and introducing the practicalities on arrangements of the place. Give the brief explanation about the aim and objective of the PDT. And also, give an explanation about the schedule of and activities planned in the PDT.

Getting to know each other: "interview".

Divide the participants into couples and asked them to interview each other and get the data about their partner as many as possible. Each participant got 5 minutes to interview their partner in couple. After 5 minutes they swap role. After they are done with the data, the interviewer has to present each other in front of the group.

Country Profile

Laws, culture, and customs of the host country.

Movie

The objective is to understand the Japanese culture by watching a short movie from YouTube. After watching the movie, the participants will be asking to form a group and do some discussion about the movie or making the movie review.

Movie:

Japan - The Strange Country

Japan - What do you think?

Brief summary: The video is about the fact in Japan. Out of 100 people there are 2 Japanese that having the longest life expectancy in the world. It also tells abut the worrying factor of the Japanese society like food wastage, water importing, and suicide. Japan is also the safest developed country in the world and having most reliable public transport in the world. The video also mention about how Japan condition and about how Japanese people pick themselves and their economy up countless times after bombings and earthquakes.

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The second video is about the missionaries in Japan. This video shows some of religion part in Japan. Even in the country that develops well like Japan, something bad can also happen. So, basically there will be a good side and the bad side of the country, just like the two side of the coin.

The Japanese Tradition

Travel Procedure and Tips

Aim:

Giving the information about the transportation.

Giving the information about the Japanese accommodation : Luxury hotels, Budget hotels, and Japanese-style inns, Ryokan, Capsule Hotels, Guest Houses in Japan

Giving the information about the favorite tourist place to visit in Japan.

Health and Safety

Aim:

Giving the information of medicine commonly use in Japan

Giving information about the nearer hospital and health

Giving the information about important contact number and the place of Indonesia embassy in Japan.

Little practice about the first aid

Financial Literacy

Aim:

Giving the information about the exchange rate and currency (YEN)

Giving the standard price

For the session of the topic travel procedure and tips, health and safety, and financial literacy; there will be a guest speaker from Japanese embassy. The objective is to share the real experience and condition of Japan directly from the Japanese people. The participant is asked to participate in the question and answer session with the representative of the Japanese embassy.

Expectation and fears

Participant is asked to share their own expectation and fears toward the international assignment and PDT. The objective of this session is to know more about the participant motivation and also hope or fear that participant feels. Help them to understand each other more and to build more relationship between the participants. This session is more into group discussion.

Language Training

Language is important to build a communication between people. When the host country have a different language than the home country, it is important to learn the other language. In order to make the communication better, the participants will be given basic language training. For the basic language training, we used computer as the supporter to help the process of learning. The basic conversation will be taught to the participants and having it repeated in a small group. At least the participant can speak and understand the basic conversation and word used in daily and work life. But in order to understand the Japanese language more, the participant is asked to follow intensive language training outside the PDT.

Evaluation of the day

For the evaluation, the participants will be asked to sums up all the material that has been given within the day. The summary can be done in report or in the quick answering type of question. The trainers can use the summary of the entire slide that has been used.

Day 2

Business Etiquette

Japan has a high-context culture, group-oriented society, and collectivism, due to high-context culture, Japan has certain cultural norm that are prohibited and understood by business people in Japan.

Second, expatriate must consider about social etiquette in Japan. For appearance, Japanese clothing is more on the conservative end. Due to their group oriented, dressing alike is important because it shows harmony. For greeting, the typical Japanese greeting is a bow with palms down on the sides of one's thighs. Exchanging business cards is important in Japanese and this card is present with both hands and slight bow. For verbal communication, expatriate must learn about Japanese language because they must understand what people talking with do not speak English as their first language. Expatriate also learn about nonverbal communication (Facial expressions).

While conducting business there, it's important to know that Japanese keep facial expression at minimum and not showing their anger in front of their client. Workplace behavior offers group office with no partitions in which everyone can be seen signifying the rejection of secret. For the meetings, Japanese are punctual and take place in office, restaurant or bar. Preparation is very important before the expatriates go to another country for the international assignment. Expatriate also must learn about the daily life in host country. They are not only to finish their task, but also how expatriate adjust with daily life. If they can't adopt the culture on host country, they will have trouble on finishing the assignment.

Case Study

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Story:

Ms. V love Mr. D who lived on the village in other side of the river. But unfortunately, a flood come and destroyed the bridge that connected between two villages. The only option left was to having a boat to cross over. So, Ms. V asked Mr. X, which is the owner of the boat, to bring her to the other side of the river. Mr. X agreed by expected a return from Ms. V which is she had to sleep with him.

Ms. V did not know what to do and run to her mother (Ms. T) and asked her what she should do. Her mother told her that she did not want to interfere with her business. In her desperation Ms. V slept with Mr. X who, afterwards, brings her across the river.

Ms. V runs to Mr. D to happily embrace him and tell him everything that has happened. Mr. D pushes her away bluntly and Ms. V runs away. Not far from Mr. D house, Ms. V meets Mr. F, whose Mr. D best friend. She tells everything that has happened to him as well. Mr. F hits Mr. D for what he has done to Ms. V and walks away with her.2009

Detail:

The participants were asked to give a rank to the worst personage based on the story above. They were given 5 minute to thinking individually and write down the ranking (e.g. 1: Ms. V, 2: Mr. D, 3: Mr. X, 4: Ms. T, 5: Mr. F).

After that the participants had to form a group and discuss to each member about the rank and the agreement on the common list. The objective of this case is to stimulate a discussion on the values, different perception of behavior, and cultural aspects.

Intercultural learning and Culture shock

After doing the case study and discussion, the participants was asked to held debriefing of the exercise and was made theoretical input in culture, intercultural learning and culture shock.

The objective is to help the participants to understand and adapt the cultural differences. Because the cultural in home and host country have differences, it is necessary for the participants which is we should DO and which is DON'T. It is important to know about the host country culture because it can be used in our life and work while doing the international assignment.

Beside the intercultural learning and culture shock, the participants will learn about the fact like history, religion, education, etc. To decreasing the culture shock and the mistake because the culture difference, the participants is needed to learn the differences in the cultural. By having a good understanding of intercultural and good communication skills, the participants can do the work more efficiently. So in the end, the participants can learn how to adapt and work together with the local people there.

Game Simulation

The participants are divided into 2 groups, which is one group, has the role to observe the other group and given a task sheets to the participants. The group has to simulate the negotiation process and reach and agreement according to the condition given by the instructor. In the end, they had to present the result of the role play to the other group.

Conflict and crises management

After the game simulation, the participant was asked to have a discussion and continue by presentation on Conflict Management from the instructor. For the session of the Conflict Management; there will be a guest speaker like the first day. The objective is to find out the problem and challenge directly from the real experience. The participant is asked to participate in the question and answer session with the guest speaker.

Personal project planning

Participant has to work individual and set up a little project planning. By choosing their specialty and skills, they have to make a set up of works that they will have in the international assignment. Also consider about the time and plan on what the participants want to archive in the end of their assignment. This is the same like make a scheduling while they are doing their international assignment.

Final Evaluation

The final evaluation is to sum all about the PDT. The evaluation is divided into two parts, which are written and oral.

In the oral evaluation, the participants were asked about: Which part is they liked? Which part is they disliked? And also the suggestions for the future trainings: Which part is need to improved? Which part is need to added?

Participants are given time to tell their feelings towards the pre‐departure training in general. Afterwards participants had to get back to the first day reflection on fears, expectations and contributions and evaluate how far their expectations have been met, how far they could contribute to PDT and how far their fears have happened.

After oral evaluation, participants got the final evaluation forms, which they had to fill anonymously and express their point of views about different parts of the training.

Closing and Preparation to Dinner

To make the final moment of PDT impress in the participants life. The last schedule is to have a dinner together. But this dinner is not a normal dinner; it is a unique dinner which is using a Japanese style. So, the participant here is asked to have a suite and dress of Japanese people when they are attending a business dinner. Before the dinner started, the participants will learn how to use table manner in Japanese way. Also with the dinner, the participant is expected to show all what have they learn in the PDT. In the closing and dinner, the participant can share about the experience in doing the PDT. The dinner will be done with the Japanese ambassador and representative, all the trainers, and also the guest speaker.

Interview

Mr. Yokozuka

Marketing Director of PT. SANYO INDONESIA

He had been assigned in Indonesia for five year. At first, he had PDT in Japan before he was coming into Indonesia. In that training, he excluded his family. But now, half of his family has been move into Indonesia. About the PDT he had back in Japan was management skills and intercultural differences. And after he arrived at Indonesia, the company told him about the basic service and living information. In Japanese PDT, there is much information that didn't given, so he didn't prepare well in Indonesia when he arrived. Now, even though the accent of Bahasa is still wrong, he can communicate with Bahasa.

Mr. Atsutane Ando

Chief of Executive of East Japan Railway Company

He does not prepare for anything or didn't take PDT before going to Indonesia. He learned a little bit about Bahasa in Indonesia from his friends. He mostly uses English for the conversation. He loves the uniqueness of the culture in Indonesia, the foods and people. His main difficulty is talking with Bahasa and the transportation; because he does not like the traffic jam. Currently, he asked for his friend or a translator to help him when doing business meeting.

Marco Giovanni

Student at Tokyo University / volunteer in PT. Geteka Founindo

When the first time he arrived in Japan, he felt a homesick. He couldn't adjust to the temperature difference because there are four season in Japan; probably he arrived when it is winter. The main difficulty for him is the communication. Although he took language training, he couldn't understand most of Japanese writing and language. So basically, he used English as his language in Japan. In doing the volunteer work, he got many new things to learn. The experience in working at Japan company make him understands that there is important to learn about the differences between two countries. So for the other expatriate, it is better to take a PDT and language training before going to Japan.

Conclusion

The successful of PDT program is determined by the activeness of people who doing the PDT. In order to success, the participant must be active and having a good response in following the PDT.