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For anyone new to Japan: Here are some things I wish I knew before moving to Tokyo! #メルカリな日々

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Hi, I’m Alex from GOT (Global Operations Team)!
This month, we welcomed a new group of April 2019 graduates. Several of these members are living in Japan for the first time, and moving to a new country is understandably an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. As someone who moved here from the US, I’d like to share a few things I wish I knew before moving to Tokyo!

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April 2019 graduates at orientation

Feeling homesick is a natural part of the adjustment process

Homesickness can affect anyone, and often surfaces at unexpected times. Sometimes, even the smallest inconveniences can lead to feelings of frustration or loneliness, making you want to just give up and go home. Keep in mind that this is very common – it’s not just you, and there are ways to deal with it.

Even if you’re an introvert like me, I think it’s really important to push yourself out of your comfort zone and just say YES to everything. Events, social gatherings, and any other invitations that come your way. Every single event is an opportunity to meet some amazing people and experience something new.

Mercari is home to a huge number of clubs (you can even make your own club if you find 5 people who are interested!) so there are always opportunities to meet new people in the company.

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Me with the bubble tea club

Tips for learning Japanese

Being immersed in a foreign language can certainly be overwhelming, but don’t worry! Constant input and exposure to the language WILL make a huge difference over time.

Learning a language is like learning any other skill – the more you practice, the more you’ll improve. It’s important to accept that you won’t be able to understand everything right away, and that’s completely fine.

My golden tip for learning Japanese is to use media. Watching movies and TV shows with Japanese audio AND Japanese subtitles is an amazing way to learn, and is much more fun and engaging than using textbooks. With the increasing popularity of online streaming services, we now have a nearly unlimited supply of resources to use.

Tokyo is well-connected to the rest of the planet

As a major hub in Asia, Tokyo is an amazing place to be if you like traveling. Japan’s excellent public transportation makes it possible to get almost anywhere by bus, train, or plane.

Other Asian countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea can also be accessed very easily, and sometimes cost even less than domestic travel! Also, almost every month has at least one public holiday, meaning you can easily spend a long weekend exploring a new country.

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Although moving to a new country certainly comes with its ups and down, I can confidently say that my time in Tokyo has been an incredible adventure, and I hope that everyone moving here will enjoy their new lives to the fullest!

See you again for more #MercariDays (#メルカリな日々)!

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