End of the year reflections - culture shock


Japanese students Yoshi and Haruka reflect on their nine months spent at ICTE-UQ learning English, studying at UQ and their adventures as they explore Australia.

Read the first in the series of blog posts.

Differences and Similarities between Australian and Japanese Culture

About two months have passed since I came to Australia. I feel time passes fast. During staying in Australia, I have experienced a lot of things I have never done, and at the same time, I could learn cultural differences.

The most surprising thing is almost all the shops in Australia are closed until 5 or 6 o'clock. When I heard that at first, I could not believe it. On national holiday and Sunday, they are closed more quickly than weekdays. However, shops in Japan are usually opened until 9 o'clock, so I used to enjoy shopping at night, but I cannot do that now. Our host parents come home from their work, go to bed and get up early. I think this lifestyle is very healthy, but I tend to stay up late...

In addition, fortunately, I experienced my host brother's 9th birthday party in April. It was so great and a quite different from Japan!! There were about 60 people included 30 children and 30 adults. It was held not in the house but South Bank. We enjoyed eating BBQ and many sweets. My host mother made a birthday cake for his son. It was very big to distribute to a lot of people and so sweet. In Australia, it takes a lot of time to prepare a birthday party in advance. For example, my host parents made letters of invitation, bought many foods and decorated the party place. They had lots of things to do and I helped a little. My host sister's birthday is June, so I'm looking forward to celebrating it.

There are a few similarity between Australia and Japan. I was surprised to see Australian's school uniforms because I thought they don't have them. These uniforms colourful and cute! I think the most similar thing is both Australian and Japanese people are very kind. They say "Hello, how are you?" with smiling faces even if we don't know each other. When I lost my way, Australian people were kind to teach me the way to get my home.

There are many different things, but I like Australian lifestyle and people. I'm lucky to experience a lot of cultural differences. And, I hope I will continue to have a wonderful time in Australia.

Sunday, 21 May 2017


My Culture Shocks!!

It has been about one month since I came to Australia. I found both similarities and difference from Japan. I want to share some of them with you!!

The most surprising thing I have faced is the time at which almost every shop close. Quite a lot of shops usually starts finishing their job on 4pm. It’s incredibly early compared with that of in Japan. Most of the students work after class to get money in Japan. I cannot imagine how Australian students earn their money despite the fact that many stores do not open!!

The second thing that I want to mention is the sceneries which I can see in Australia. It completely differs from sceneries in Japan. There are many trees in the city, and around my house. Never have I seen that much tree in Japan!! I wish our town had as much green as in here.

The lucky last is saying “How are you?” significantly. For the first time I went to apparel shop, I was spoken by one of the clerks, and I did not know what to say. This is my answer: “um... ahh... Hi...” It looked like foolish didn’t it? So, I asked my host family what I should say on that occasion. They told me that just “Good, thank you.” is enough. I was astonished, nevertheless, I think this is a wonderful habit.

Although there are a couple of differences between Japan and Australia, I really love to live in here. Fortunately, I am enjoying these differences. I am looking forward to finding other contrasts!!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Last updated:
12 March 2018