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My future possibly in Japan

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I am a high school student, and I am considering a future as a clinical psycologist and living in Japan. The only problem is I have absolutely no idea how much schooling Japan would require me to have. I would work in both English and Japanese and whatever other languages I acquire before establishing an office. What type of schoolings will I have to go through before being a registered clinical psycologist? What type of arrangement would I have to make to study abroad? And how difficult would it be to get into a Japanese school of psycology? I do imagine it isn't straightforward. Please help, if anybody has any idea about that and any other information, please tell me.

-X-
 

Tiger

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>I would work in both English and Japanese and what
> ever other languages I aquire before establishing an office.

Do you speak fluent Japanese? From your comments about "aquiring" languages, it seems that maybe you underestimate the amount of effort required to learn a new tongue. In order to use a language professionally, you need to be pretty fluent, particularly when your chosen profession (clinical psychology) means it is essential that you can speak to your clients clearly.

One more bit of advice... I don't want to sound mean, but perhaps it would be a good idea to learn how to spell "psychology" if you're serious about your chosen career.

Tiger
 

Mandylion

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You will probably need to enroll in a university that has a track for your field. To do this you will need to sit a Japanese entrance exam to a good school which means your Japanese will need to be fluent, perfect, and highly technical. If you want to get into a Japanese school you will be sitting an exam against some of the smartest people Japan has to offer. I have never heard, granted in my limited experience, of medical schools in the US training doctors to work overseas or having exchange programs that will get you ready for setting up a practice in another country. As for foreign doctors setting up residency, for a hospital to gamble on taking you in, I think you would need a fair amount of experience before they even think about your application seriously.
 

Mandylion

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I hope the smile at the end is to indicate the self-effacing irony of your post?
 
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Well you see, I really don't know, I love Japanese culture, and I think I would really enjoy living there. I am not positive about my future, and I am currently learning Japanese. I plan to spend a lot of time studying abroad in Japan and becoming very skilled in the language. I plan to reach fluency while visiting for a long period of time or possibly while studying there. The languages I might be acquiring refers to my interest in many other languages. I don't think I will learn many more languages. Still, I plan to be fluent in Spanish and have a good, excellent (if now fluent) idea of Chinese. The only thing I really need to know is how possible my idea is, and if so, what type of grades will I need? This is what I need to know, don't get pissy. All I am doing is thinking about my future. Maybe it is really, maybe it is impossible. It is better to find out than to live my life dreaming of what could have been.
 

Mandylion

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In short, you will need to be an amazing prospect. If we are talking grades, try 4.0 or 3.99. You should have passed the highest level of the Japanese Proficency Test, which means you have the basic fluency of an average high school graduate. Since it is a technical field, you will need to know all the basic vocab for your area, or, you will have to be much better at Japanese in all areas (reading, speaking etc.) than an average high school student. You should be at the level of having a realistic shot of getting into John Hopkins or the like if you were going to go stateside. Again, you will need to sit the schools entrance exam, which are usually only given once a year and in Japan, in Japanese. Your Japanese will need to be perfect. What Tiger was trying to point out, though a bit roughtly, is that true fluency, idioms, expressions, absolute perfection needed to be a doctor takes years of living in Japan. Books will only get you so far. I think Tiger was trying to point out that you might be a little schort on time if you want to be in school before you are 26, 27 or even 30. You want to be a doctor, and doctors hold a special place in most all societies. You will need to be perfect.

Given the level of xenophobia in Japan just about common issues, I can imagine the problems many people would have visiting a foreign doctor for mental problems. On top of that, you are dealing in a field most Japanese people won't use due to the stigma attached to it. You have to first overcome your foeign-ness, which some people will never get past no matter how brilliant you may be, then overcome the social stigma of psycologic disorders. IMHO the best shot you have is to go to school in the US, get some years under your belt, then start looking at the more international oriented hospitals in big cities. They will get you set up on your visa and facilitate your getting through governmental loggerheads. Additionally, hospitals might take more favorably to your application if you train in the US and spend a year or so on exchange in Japan. I don't know of any such programs off-hand, but most the top-notch doctors in Japan have spent time in the US. Also, if it works for medicine like it does in some other fields, I think if you ever want to go back to the states and still work as a doctor, you will find it much easier to find a job with a degree from a US institution than a Japanese one, unless of course you go to some wonderful Japanese school. Then after all that, if you really love it here, you can look into the nightmare that is setting up a your own business in Japan (once again, your foreign-ness will work against you, unless you become a Japanese citizen first).
Is it possible? Yes, anything is possible if you work hard enough. You wanted to know what you might be up against and I took a crack at it. I'm not trying to break down your dream. But success will take an amazing, amazing effort from you, a good deal of time, and a good deal of luck along the way.
 

Elizabeth

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Originally posted by Mandylion
You will probably need to enroll in a university that has a track for your field. To do this you will need to sit a Japanese entrance exam to a good school which means your Japanese will need to be fluent, perfect, and highly technical. If you want to get into a Japanese school you will be sitting an exam against some of the smartest people Japan has to offer. I have never heard, granted in my limited experience, of medical schools in the US training doctors to work overseas or having exchange programs that will get you ready for setting up a practice in another country. As for foreign doctors setting up residency, for a hospital to gamble on taking you in, I think you would need a fair amount of experience before they even think about your application seriously.

Actually, clinical psychologists (臨床心理士) need only show a doctoral degree in psychology, not an MD, for licensing a private practice, working in a hospital, mental health/counseling center, or most teaching jobs in the states. This site has some basic, start-up info for foreigners trying to get a foothold in the Japanese social work, mental health professions.

 
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Tiger

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I know people will probably moan at me for pointing this out, but I'm trying to instill a sense of reality in your mind.

Do you really feel it is realistic to talk (rather flippantly) about becoming fluent in Spanish, Japanese and Chinese, the latter two being amongst the most difficult mainstream languages in the world? This alone would make you a world-class linguist and would require many many years of intensive study. To try and combine this with a career in clinical psychology is a target which even the most gifted would find difficult to reach.

I'm guessing that you're still quite young, and to have ambitions and dreams is no bad thing, but perhaps this is setting your aim a little too high.

Have you visited Japan? How do you know that you would love working here? Perhaps it would be a good idea to take a study break before you go to college to travel and spend some time in Japan to see if it's really for you.

I wish you luck with your plan, and I like your positive attitude. I hope that one day you prove me wrong.

Tiger
 
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True, I am still young. The truth is I really like Japanese culture and its language. I am not saying right away that I am definitely gonna move there. But It is something I feel I'd like to consider when I'm older seriously. But of course, I'd need a profession that would keep me satisfied, and I am now very interested in psychology. I hope to be fluent in both Spanish and Chinese, and Japanese is, I have a lot of Chinese influence in the town that I come from. Therefore I have picked up the basics of the language, and if I continue conversating with my classmates in Chinese and also take Chinese in college, I believe I could come close to fluent (maybe I'm just dreaming about that, but it's a nice thought none the less). Spanish is that I have been taking Spanish in my school, and I plan to continue through college. And when I left middle school, I received the award for Spanish, so my hopes are high for my Spanish skills. Chances are, I'd probably only operate in English and Japanese (if it ever goes that far). I plan to spend a lot of time in Japan before deciding that this is the path I want for my life. Now the way I see this, I was curious about this idea of mine, and all I did was try to find out what is necessary to accomplish such a feat. The knowledge won't hurt me, only help me. Maybe this is only a childish dream, but I like to research my dreams to find out whether I'm better chasing them or dreaming about them. And I like to know those things so when I'm older, I'm not dreaming about what could have been. Maybe I'm just a big dreamer. I dream about learning many languages, and having a career as a psychologist in Japan, probably impossible dreams. But it is ambition and ambition for learning that can't hurt me, only help me. Maybe I'll end up a psychologist here operating in Japanese and English, or some other languages (who knows). All I know is that this ambition will help me, and all I tried to do is get through people seeing what I want as peculiar. Thank you to some who have taken me seriously, and **** you to the rest who just tossed me aside as a dumb kid without kindness. So **** you if you just gonna put me and my ideas down. It never hurt to find out how possible your dreams are, and that's all I tried to do. But to the rest who have informed me of the things I would need, those who have encouraged me (even if a little bit), but to you, all I have to say is thanks.

-X-
 
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