Internship in Japan vs Taiwan

Internship in Japan vs Taiwan

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Doing an internship in Japan


An internship in Japan is a great opportunity for international exposure and the discovery of a totally different culture. Japanese society is strict and has many rules, such as hierarchy, which are omnipresent in the workplace. By respecting the culture and working for the interest of the company, you will learn a lot about yourself within the company. 


In return you will also learn from the Japanese society, making valuable connections and travelling to amazing places. Japan is incontestably an economic superpower and therefore offers many opportunities for those seeking internships. Tokyo is a dynamic city where many companies are evolving in the field of marketing and hence, opportunities for internships are near infinite.




Doing an internship in Taiwan 


Surrounded by beautiful nature, foreigners in Taiwan are living their expat life to the fullest. This land of opportunities and adventures sometimes forgotten (due to the political situation) has a lot to offer and many students looking for amazing experience choose this island. 


There are many internship positions available for foreigners in Taiwan, especially in Taipei. Taiwan, even though still troubled by the Republic of China, has different customs and business often appears to be more formal. 




Main differences between Japan and Taiwan (lifestyle, organizational culture, market challenges)


Japan and Taiwan are two busy territories which are both exciting, yet very different. 

In Japan, people are more polite, formal and most cities are very sophisticated. 


Taiwan is more traditional, with a stronger presence of religion and temples. 

The island is very different from Mainland China as the impact of communism is less present and people seem more open-minded. The cost of living in Taiwan is on average (transportation, markets, nightlife, rent) much more cheaper than in Japan. 


Taiwan is more manageable for those on a student budget, but this doesn’t mean Japan should be excluded as a possibility and shouldn’t be a reason not to experience the amazing Japanese culture. 




The main challenges of doing business in Taiwan are:


  • It is a relatively small market with a lot of competition
  • Language barrier, Mandarin is the main form of communication and it can be hard to find English speakers
  • Hard to build a strong network 
  • Adapt to the food and drinking habits for partner and client meetings



Whilst in Japan:


  • Understanding the outcome of a conversation (hard to understand if they mean “yes” or “no” in a business related agreement)
  • Few Japanese people speak English fluently (3%-5%)
  • Very bureaucratic country (regulations, permissions, certifications can make it hard to do business)
  • Many business manners to take into consideration (business cards, dress code)




Your decision 


After all, it is your decision. You are the only person that knows what is good for you. An internship in Taiwan allows you to discover a different side of the Chinese culture, with beautiful get away places and an interesting, dense market. An internship in Japan immerses you in a dynamic driving market with many opportunities to boost your career and the discovery of an amazing culture. 


Now it is all on you, but we still have one tip for you: do not hesitate, take the plunge for an amazing experience in Asia!

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