For editors - Motivation




The desire to interact in with people, culture and language to which you may be new; the decision to step out of your comfort zone and the will to learn from any mistakes along the way.


All ICU students have already demonstrated some kind of motivation. The OYR students came from other countries because they wanted to study in Japan. April and September students passed rigorous entrance exams because they chose to attend ICU, a school with an international atmosphere.

Motivation is the most important factor in overcoming differences and barriers and creating friends outside one's native language/culture. Motivation allows you to continue learning even during setbacks, allows absorption of criticism and the ability to overcome of mistakes. Learning a new culture and meeting people in a new culture is often all about mistakes and learning, and without motivation, the setbacks can easily kill the energy required to interact in a new environment.

With enough motivation, despite all the hardships of acculturation, you will never lose hope!


My friend in Canada, who is originally from Hong Kong, loves Japanese movies and cars. He has never studied in Japan, but his Japanese is very good because he learns from watching movies and he so eager to speak Japanese to Japanese people. His high level of motivation is because he loves Japanese movies and cars so much!

Many people at ICU say they want to make friends with OYR students. However, when it comes down to actually going out and making friends, they are not very motivated. In order to make friends with OYRs, they would have to use their free time and put out effort that may result in embarressment. The potential outcome of making a friend is not worth the effort and the possiblity of being rejected.

When approaching a new person, Japanese people worry too much about what could happen, what language to speak in, and weather or not their initial comments may be considered rude. And by the time they have thought of all these things to worry about, they have completely lost their motivation to meet the new person!


A little encouragement and motivation go a long way. Japanese language students need to find motivation to speak in Japanese even when everyone in the immediate environment, ICU, can speak English. For example, joining a club or finding a boyfriend/girlfriend where the activities/relationships are conducted in your foreign language are excellent motivating factors.

As for Japanese students, they simply need to realize that the foreigners will not judge them and they do not have to worry about negative feedback. And in the even that they put out the effort to make friends with a new person but that person does not want to become freinds in return, Japaense students must realize this is not the end of world! They must not lose movtivation just based on one case, because if you keep trying, eventually all the effort will pay off and you will become good at getting to know foreigners.