“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” — writer Terry Pratchett
This month, thousands of Japanese students will begin the often life-changing journey of studying abroad, hoping to have an experience like no other.
According to the Institute of International Education’s Project Atlas, there are around 65,000 Japanese students studying overseas in any given year. A quarter of these students (24 percent) choose the United States as their destination. Of course, that could have a lot to do with pre-established relationships between universities and agencies, but the point is that many Japanese students are experiencing American culture, and, consequently, experiencing the sensation of leaving behind their home country.
In the last five years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have taught hundreds of Japanese students studying abroad in the state of Washington. I wanted to dig a bit deeper into why exactly they chose to leave the comforts of Japan for another country. To do this I created a survey, and received over 60 results from students whose age range was between 19 and 40.
Choosing to live abroad is no small decision. I’m sure the majority of people reading this have at least exercised this concept hundreds of times in their minds. Many other readers are probably experiencing it right now. Still, I thought I would show a standard graph used quite commonly in American universities to illustrate the emotional ups and downs of living abroad (on right).
How long a student experiences each category varies case by case. For example, in the surveys I received from students who had lived in the U.S. for only one or two months, many of them expressed more of a fascination with the culture — an innocence, I guess you could say — than other “long-termers.” Below are a few representative quotes from surveys by students going through these stages.
• “Dogs and cats can get on buses.”
• “(I can have) small talk with unknown person.”
• “Blue-colored food … (we don’t have blue food in Japan).”
• “People are friendly and open-minded compared with Japan.”
From my experience, the honeymoon could even be called “the calm before the storm,” since it is followed by the titanic disappointment of culture shock.
For some, culture shock can occur suddenly. Perhaps dreadful experiences with customer service at a bank or on public transport begin to build up, like a snowball gathering mass down a mountainside. Eventually you succumb to the depression, and you begin to believe that you simply “do not fit” this culture. You are not as flexible or adaptable as you once believed. This despairing thought — that you are not limitless — leads to many silent walks alone, an experience that is both melancholic and therapeutic.
2. Culture shock
• “My host family doesn’t flush the toilet, to save water. It was not acceptable for me.”
• “Sometimes people ask me, ‘How’s it going?’ or ‘How are you doing?’ But some of them actually don’t care how I am doing. Or when I ask it, some people answer, ‘I’m great,’ even though they are not great. That makes me confused many times.”
• “They (Americans) take only 10 minutes or less to take a shower! I cannot refresh in only 10 minutes.”
• “Why don’t people make a line at bus stops?”
Some never escape the plummeting sensation of culture shock. Some simply return home and keep that feeling of inadequacy forever. Others, however, decide to resist the shadows of despair and force themselves to see the culture with a new, adjusted point of view. They refuse to believe that they cannot change enough to enjoy a place where millions of other human beings live. This is the comeback phase.
3. The comeback
• “As long as I am honest with myself, I don’t have to act. I don’t have to follow the majority!”
• “It’s a good experience to understand another culture.”
• “When I first came here, I felt like I couldn’t communicate with others because of my English. But now I have a lot of friends and I wanna communicate with them more and more, so I will try hard.”
This category, at least from my own observations, is the most admirable. As someone who has lived abroad in both Japan and Switzerland for extended amounts of time, the comeback is vital to better understanding culture as a global construct. The comeback does indeed involve elements of denial; however, by pushing yourself out of the seductive comforts of gloom that indeed is culture shock, you are pushing the limits of your resilience — an act of courage you can draw from for the rest of your life.
After enough time, however, unresolved issues you had denied in the past come back to haunt you, and you begin once again to surrender to the reality that this culture does not bring out your very best. This leads to a few hard-earned truths: You need certain aspects of culture in your life. Even though you now understand that culture is quite malleable, you’ve accepted the preferences you wish to have in your day-to-day existence.
4. Unresolved issues
• “If Japanese people behave too modestly in the U.S., it makes American people confused.”
• “I think Americans always want to decide something quickly. When I went to the coffee shop with my American friends, my friends ordered quickly and they said to me, ‘Didn’t you order yet?’ I was confused at that time.”
• “What (truly) is an ‘independent society’?”
There is no shame in leaving at this point. In fact, it can be considered a “badge of courage”: You endured — you gave this culture your best shot and, although it was not ideal, you are proud of your journey.
For others, however, the culture begins to grow on them naturally. Language barriers are brought down or at least minimized. You love the way people in this culture interact with others. You truly wish your country had this outpouring of warmth and hospitality.
5. Feel at home
• “(At first) I was most surprised (at how) people in Seattle didn’t use umbrellas when it rained. However, I already (have gotten) used to life in the U.S., and I’ve not noticed surprises (recently).”
• “People here are friendly and open-minded compared with Japan. It’s a good environment (in which) to live.”
• “I don’t know how to say this, but I feel like I was born here.”
This moment, when you begin to “feel at home,” is both harmonic in spirit but also dangerous, because you sense, in the back of your mind, that you are “supposed” to return home. You are expected to fall back in line with your original culture, and that expectation — and those departure concerns — can be frightening.
It can also be empowering. To know you are able to not just adapt or tolerate another culture, but to flourish within it, is a sensation not many have had the privilege to experience. You are not stuck inside the mechanisms of your native culture — you have options.
6. Departure concerns
• “I think Japanese should live abroad. When I was in Japan, I seldom met foreigners. But in America, there are lots of people, culture, different (ways of) thinking … so I think I can (now) accept the differences and be more flexible. Also, if someone lives abroad, he/she has to adapt to the culture, customs or situations. It is a great opportunity to improve themselves.”
• “Being the minority will be a valuable experience for me to have felt.”
• “We Japanese don’t have the culture to hug …”
Many expats I’ve talked to over the years have also expressed the fact that having that option — to live here or there or everywhere — can be dangerously addictive. You’re becoming boundless, rootless, and now that you have, for lack of a better phrase, transcended culture, you have become your own, and the loneliness from this, the aerial solitude, can at times seem unbearable.
Gone somewhat are the insights from your family, who perhaps are now more rooted to the earth than you will ever be. Gone somewhat are the friends who chose not to live a life divided between cultures. What is gained, however, is a globe of human beings, who you can now see are more alike than you ever could have imagined.
If there was one shared benefit throughout all the surveys, it was the idea of perspective. According to dozens of answers, seeing your native country “from the outside” allows you a chance to analyze it objectively — without having to face the obligations of that particular society.
Patrick Parr (www.patrickparr.com) is a lecturer for the University of Southern California’s International Academy in Los Angeles. His work has previously appeared in The Humanist, USA Today and The Writer, among others. You can contact Patrick by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments: email@example.com
Netflix Case Study
...Analysis of Strategy Analysis of Strategy Netflix Lauren Lane Strategy 10.15.12 Netflix Lauren Lane Strategy 10.15.12 Netflix was born from an idea in 1997 from Reed Hastings, in conjunction with his partners Marc Randolph and Mitch Lowe. As a company Netflix has derived its profits from a consumer’s ability to stream DVDs online as well as have them delivered to their house, completely remodeling the idea and process of video and television rentals. Netflix created a product that filled the void of instant media access to consumers, and created a product that makes video and television viewing a service that everyone could access and afford. For a monthly subscription fee, subscribers can rent as many DVDs as they would like and keep them for as long as they like while also being able to stream movies and TV shows online, giving them access to hundreds of thousands of options of what they want to watch. There are no due dates or late fees for the DVDs which was a change from the traditional way of movie rentals. 1. Identify the key elements of Netflix’s strategy. What competitive advantages is Netflix trying to achieve? Netflix created the perfect storm of a company that encompasses and produces a product accessible from multiple different mediums for consumers. A consumer of Netflix has the ability to keep to a more traditional way and continue to watch DVDs of their favorite movies, keeping to a tradition held in the world for many years. However...
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Netflix Case Study
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Netflix Case Study
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Netflix Case Study
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Netflix Case Study
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Netflix Case Study
...Netflix Netflix Inc. had its start in 1997 when it was incorporated by its current CEO and founder, Reed Hastings. It was not until 1999 that Netflix finally began to rent movies to its customers. At its origin, Netflix was a DVD rental service that only rented through the mail. With this type of service, customers would pay a membership fee that determines the number of DVD movies that they were allowed to rent at a given time. Once the customers would choose their desired movies, the DVD’s were mailed to them and then returned whenever the customer finished watching them. In 2007, Netflix introduced the concept of streaming on-line videos to its customers which allowed for instant access to their inventory that was formatted for such viewing. With the on-line streaming, they were still offering their original DVD service through the mail. Netflix introduced this new service in the attempt lower their overall costs that was brought on by paying for the shipping and handling of the mailed DVD’s. In 2010, Netflix introduced only their on-line streaming service internationally to over 43 countries. In 2011, it was announced that Netflix would stop the combined services of streaming and DVD rental and instead offer these services in separate subscriptions. Their customer base was displeased and the company’s stock prices had experienced a major drop in a short period of time. During the same year, Netflix sold a portion of their stocks to mutual finds causing their......
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Netflix Case Study Hbr
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The Netflix Rollercoaster
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Netflix Case Study
...but larger companies do have the upper hand since they can order larger quantities to get a better deal. Rivalry among Competing Sellers There are very few competitors in the movie rental industry of which consist of Netflix, Blockbuster, and small businesses. These few control overall market share of the industry. The main competition is between Netflix and Blockbuster. Blockbuster is currently the leader in movie rentals until Netflix introduced their DVD’s by mail program and subscription based business model. Potential New Entrants There are little to no potential entrants into this industry. A recent entry into the movie rental industry is Red Box; they are a vending machine style movie rental. This market requires entrants to have large capitals to acquire movie rights along with fresh new ideas of movie delivery options. In my opinion, they are not strong at all. There are very few competitors that do control market share and a number of small businesses represent the remaining market share in the movie rental market place. Rivalry among competing sellers is common; the top competitors are Netflix, Blockbuster and local movie stores. Large stores such as Blockbuster have physical stores, unlike Netflix, are able to stock their stores with a larger number of available rentals for new releases, while small stores order much lower quantities. The threat of Potential new entrants into the movie rental marketplace places......
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Case Study - Netflix Rollercoaster
...Megan Welshymer BA 370 9/29/15 Extra Credit # 1 Case Study: The Netflix Rollercoaster 1. Netflix’s original marketing strategy offered several flat-rate monthly subscription options; in which, members could stream movies and shows via the Internet or have disks sent to their homes in a pre-paid and pre-addressed envelope. Free from the despair of due dates and late fees, members could keep, up to, eight movies at a time. Upon the return of a disk, Netflix would automatically mail out the next movie from the customer’s video queue. Members were able to change and update their queues as frequently as they liked. The sheer innovation of Netflix’s strategy encouraged several competitors to enter the market to compete directly, forced existing competitors, such as Blockbuster, to extend their services to include mail delivery, and inspired the very creation of Redbox. Regardless of all the competition, if Netflix can remain on the cutting edge of their craft, by continuously offering the latest releases and the most far-fetched options; they should be able to maintain their competitive advantage, because they offer a valuable, reliable service at a consistent price. 2. Reed Hastings’ strategic change and rapid reversal affected Netflix’s fourteen million customers in several ways. First, the company launched a streaming-only plan for $7.99 per month in November 2010, and increased the cost of each DVD plan by $1. Customers interested in both services, were...
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Netflix Case Study
...Abstract The following is a case study of Netflix, Inc. an American-based company that provides the streaming of online media to consumers in North America, South America, and parts of Europe. This case study will provide a brief overview of the company’s history along with four present-day challenges that the company will face as it tries to stay ahead of the competition. In its discussion of the present-day challenges that Netflix, Inc. faces the discussion will also relate the proposed challenges to the managerial challenges of globalization, diversity, and ethics. After each of the four anticipated challenges have been addressed then this paper will provide an analysis of the steps that Netflix, Inc. has already taken to keep the company on the frontline of online media streaming. This paper will also provide suggestions as to what can be done in order for Netflix, Inc. to become the number one competitor and innovator in the market. Keywords: Netflix, challenges, analysis Past to Present In 1997 Netflix, Inc. was founded in Scotts Valley, California by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph initially offering weekly DVD rentals online. Within two years Netflix, Inc. transitioned from offering weekly rentals to offering a subscription service that allowed consumers to rent movies as frequently as they pleased for a monthly fee. In a matter of ten years Netflix, Inc. began to offer the online streaming of media for a subscription fee and ended the year with......
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Netflix Case Study
...Report Case: Netflix January 19, 2016 1. To begin with, at a first glance, Blockbuster and Netflix may be considered two quite identical firms, operating in the movie rental industry. Therefore, it could be inferred that their business models have many similarities, yet, that is not the case. Their core differences are most obvious on their respective levels of value propositions, resources, and the profit formulas that each company has adopted. Firstly, Netflix’s initial idea behind their business model was to become providers of a better home movie service, which become feasible, in 1997, with the introduction of DVD technology. On the other hand, Blockbusters, a well-established company since 1980s, continued to follow the traditional retailing outlet style. A basic difference is the resources of their business models. In 1998, a year after its founding, Netflix boldly adopted a very innovative attitude by launching a website while simultaneously operating online. Thus, Netflix targeted the revolution of new age technology adopters (purchasers of DVD players), while Blockbuster’s main target group was wider, focusing on anyone who decided to watch a movie, especially last minute. The two companies’ profit formulas are different, with Blockbuster’s following the common charging system (a fixed price for every movie rental and additional charges for delayed returns), whereas Netflix, in its early uprise a......
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Netflix Case Study
...Netflix Incorporated, Case Study Marketing 101-H1 Assignment 2: Case Study Analysis Group 4: Jagvir Bagri, Michael Catalfamo, Tina Hoang, Jason Rudzki Submitted to Dr. Youssef Ahmad Youssef Humber College Business School September 27, 2010 Introduction In the summer of 2011, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Netflix Inc. Reed Hastings, made the decision to separate the companies online streaming service from the DVD rental service. The DVD rental services mails out DVD’s to customers one video at a time and the streaming service allows customers to watch movies and television shows via the internet. Instead of charging each customer a flat rate for both services, as it had in the past, Hastings wanted to charge consumers for each service as its own separate entity. This meant each customer would now have two accounts (instead of one), pay considerably more in membership fees and still receive that same amount of content. Shortly afterwards, on July 12, 2011. Mr. Hastings, publicly announced the changes and informed his customers that they would come into effect in that coming September. In 2010, the business reported revenues of more than two billion dollars and had approximately twenty-million subscribers. After Hastings announced the split, his stocks fell by more than fifty percent from a one time high of more than three hundred dollars per market share. Stocks in Netflix continued declining quickly and before the end of the year,......
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Netflix Case Study
...Summary Netflix is the world’s leading online streaming media company. By entering licensing agreements with major film studios, Netflix is able to distribute movies and TV shows online for a low monthly price. The 57 million streaming members in 50 countries can watch as much as they want from the content library, as long as they have an internet connected screen. Since 2007 they have pioneered delivery of TV shows and movies on a newly developed ecosystem that enables consumers to enjoy TV shows and movies directly on their TVs, computers and mobile devices. The company has three reportable segments: domestic streaming, international streaming and domestic DVD. The domestic and international streaming segments derive revenues from monthly membership fees for services consisting solely of streaming content. In the United States, members can receive DVDs delivered quickly to their homes, which is an additional 5.7 million users and 32% of net income even though it is on rapid decline. The domestic streaming content membership is 39 million members versus the international which is 18 million. In today’s market, there are several risk factors that Netflix faces and needs to handle to be competitive in the future. Some of these risks are the high licensing costs for the content they host, high reliability on other sources for streaming to customers devices and the need to constantly improve and innovate their corporate strategies (Netflix, 2013). Netflix......
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Netflix Case Study
...differentiate service and build brand equity. There are also government policies to reinforce the barrier. For example, in addition to its red envelops, Netflix has patents to protect essential characteristics of its business model such as its “Max Out” and “Max Turns” approaches. This creates cost disadvantages through a greater learning curve for new entrants, especially when competing against algorithmic programs such as Netflix’s CineMatch, which becomes more effective at recommending movies as more subscribers provide feedback. Another governmental restriction is seen specifically with Amazon.com, whereby distribution channels are choked out in the US unless Amazon sacrifices its competitive advantage of avoiding sales tax. The second force of competition, the bargaining power of the supplier, is assessed as moderate to high. The movie studios and independent movie distributors provide the rights to distribute unique movie products, and can bargain for the prices as buyers want to diversify their movie library to satisfy consumer demand. In addition, studios have tried to integrate forward into the video rental industry though Movielink, which offered the broadest selection of movies through digital download; furthermore, its digital distribution was not windowed to all channels. However, Movielink had less than 4% of the titles of Netflix. The third force of competition, the bargaining power of buyers, is assessed to be moderate. Although the movies are unique, the......
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