In this research, five Muslim international students took part in a follow-up interview after an initial interview two years prior (Nakano et al., 2015). These interviews explored changes over time in relation to cross-cultural difficulties. The results showed these students have continued to face difficulties in the past two years in their social life and interpersonal relationships with Japanese individuals. However, the details they provided regarding these difficulties changed across the two interviews. This research revealed that the frequency with which they confronted difficulties and the degree to which they were affected by these difficulties changed. The issues in their social life had been reduced as they adapted to inconveniences and acquired coping skills. However, in terms of interpersonal difficulties, some informants reported new kinds of difficulties as they gained more experience interacting with Japanese people.
It was revealed that their difficulties consisted of three elements related to: themselves, the people around them, and society more generally. In other words, it was found that the amount of support from people around them and the obstacles they faced, as well as the coping strategies towards cultural differences they developed, affected the degree of their issues. Thus, controlling the negative points and emphasizing the positive points of relation to these three main elements would reduce these students’ difficulties.