To assist students who have secured a placement in The Canada-Japan Co-op Program in gaining greater confidence and understanding of Japanese work expectations and culture, a unique one week program has been developed which is taken prior to a student’s departure to Japan.
The objectives of the non-credit, five day program conducted annually in May at The University of British Columbia is to provide Canada-Japan Co-op students with the following:
- An orientation to their work placement in Japan
- An overview of Japanese customs and culture
- Knowledge of Japanese business practices, etiquette and professional and social expectations
- An opportunity to get to know fellow students who will be departing at the same time and for the same/some of the same duration that you will be in Japan. The week program combined with four evening activities will help to create a group identity and promote strong feelings of friendship for the departing group. The importance of this bonding is that it results in the development of a strong support network for students in Japan.
COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM
As all students who have been accepted into the program have completed at least one Japanese course prior to the training week, varying levels of language skills from beginner to advanced will be in the group. To optimize the learning experience for each student, students will be divided into two groups: beginner, and intermediate; each group will work with a Japanese language teacher on conversational Japanese tips for business and social settings which will be beneficial based on their level of language ability. Only six hours will be dedicated to conversational Japanese tips with an emphasis on verbal skills (mandatory language course completion is required prior to the attendance of the training week), tips learnt will assist students in using language in various situations.
Various guest speakers will present information on: Japanese society and culture; history; geography; the work environment; orientations to the work place; transitioning from Canada to Japan; manners and etiquette. Guest speakers will describe the corporate and business culture in which you will find yourselves, as well as provide tips and advise for successful integration.
Work Term Orientation:
Work term introduction sessions will be conducted during the training course, providing each student a chance to learn about their respective host companies, expectations, and comments from employers and previous students.
Practical Knowledge on Life in Japan:
At least one Canada-Japan Co-op Program Alumnus will be present for the duration of the training week. The goal of the presentations is to share experience on how the alumni lived in Japan during their work terms, covering aspects such as general etiquette, typical work day, personal expectations, cultural shock, homesickness, travel, food, accommodation, as well as practical knowledge such as dealing with utilities, phone, and more. In addition, there will be other opportunities through the week to meet with previous program participants to learn more about their experiences.
Your fellow Canada-Japan Co-op students are most likely the first friends you will have in Japan, and being able to contact and help one another will make the transition to a new environment much easier. For this reason The Canada-Japan Co-op Program will provide a series of team-building exercises aimed to help students better know one another to establish a strong network prior to departure. Examples of exercises from past training courses include the UBC Ropes Course, classroom exercises, and social outings.
For more information or a full program outline, please contact Yuko Nemoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.