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Factors Affecting Decisions of Japanese Working Women to Study Abroad: Cases in Taiwan
Ted Shir-Tau Tsai
push and pull model
Under the global economy, employers in Japan are giving great interest in job applicants who have intercultural competences. There are increasing numbers of people who are interested in learning foreign languages than ever before. However the person whom companies really need is not the one with the fluency of foreign languages but the one with essence of being multicultural. Where companies do value people with study abroad experiences, there are more Japanese working women who chose to study abroad even that may require them to resign from their work once. There are many reasons and factors that motivate them to study abroad. This study uses ‘Push-Pull factor’ model, which views economic wealth and issues in a country as the major factors affecting their decision of studying abroad, to investigate on the research problem of what are the factors that are affecting decisions of Japanese working women to study abroad. Examples of ‘Push factors’ that occur within a source country include; issues in a society such as level of economic wealth, increased pressure in organization/economy, constraints for working women, and trends in society. Example of ‘pull factors’ that occur toward the host country include; Benefit of studying abroad, host country’s attractiveness such as desire to understand the host country, better courses provided, and intention of migration and recommendation from well known people. The life history of the qualitative research method with in-depth interview were used for this research in order for researcher to actively solicit the participants’ life experiences. After the deep-in depth interview with five research participants, it was found that there are three major push factors which are affecting decisions of Japanese working women to study abroad: Past work experience (6 major units in this part: (1) Recruitment, (2) job status/position, (3) income, (4) Duties/tasks, (5) Organization Culture and (6) Timing for resignation), Culture and society (5 major units in this part: (1) Male dominant culture, (2) Diplomaism, (3) Bad economy and unequal job opportunity, (4)Valued reputation, and (5) Bilingual Boom) and Experience of Failure(2 major units in this part: (1) Failed dream, and (2) Failed at making progress by learning foreign language). At the same time, there are 5 major pull factors which affect decision of Japanese working women to study abroad: Experience of others ((1) Others' study abroad experiences), Ambition for achievement (3 major units: (1) Career achieve, (2) Skill achieve, and (3) making turning point), Attractiveness of Taiwan (3 major units (1) Safe, (2) familiarity, and (3) close distance), Emotional Considerations (3major units (1) Curiosity of foreign country, and (2) admiration of foreign culture/language(3) fear/hate of china), and finally the Information from media. Factors other than push and pull, such as relational factors are also affecting their decision of studying abroad.
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