“I experienced workplace bullying as the first foreign nurse in my hospital and it gave me anxiety attacks. My body would quiver at the thought of going to work. The other nurses would tell me to stop doing my job because I was incapable of anything, that I was a danger to the patients. I’d even get the silent treatment and people would avoid me while passing me in the hallway. I’d also get asked to speak only in Japanese and get reprimanded whenever I’d forget a technical word in Japanese and say it in English. I’m from Myanmar. I went to nursing school there but I’m qualified to work as a nurse in Japan, after passing the exam and having studied here as well. My Japanese isn’t native level but I’m fluent enough. Sometimes the words just don’t come out naturally. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do my job. So I suffered in silence until I could endure no longer. I talked back. My performance spoke for itself as my supervisors began entrusting more work to me. I even got promoted to be a team leader. Also, patients gave good feedback about me, so in the end, perseverance prevailed. Now I’m happy with my career. I just wish someone would warn us about this before we go abroad. They’re really good at extending invitations to study and do internships here but the lack of support once you’re here is disheartening. I actually haven’t even been paid for work that I did as an intern years ago.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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