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Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

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Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Toriyama » Fri 03.23.2007 8:27 pm

My family will be hosting a Japanese exchange student this summer and she will be between ages 16 and 18 and she will know some very basic (broken) English.. I don't know what to expect. I am a bit nervous about it, but excited at the same time. Can anyone tell me what I should expect?

PS. I am male, 17 years old.
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Dehitay » Fri 03.23.2007 8:50 pm

I'm tempted to give a stupid remark like 'prepare to be hit on constantly' but I probly shouldn't. However, it's too late for that.

It's best to think of it as "how would you feel if you were home staying with her Japanese family for 4 weeks?" A majority of the thoughts that will run through her mind are going to be the same as what runs through yours.
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Tspoonami » Fri 03.23.2007 9:02 pm

Dehitay wrote:
A majority of the thoughts that will run through her mind are going to be the same as what runs through yours.

... but in japanese.

:D

She can help you studying Japanese! And, you might be able to help her with English...
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Kisshu » Fri 03.23.2007 10:01 pm

Hah.. i had one for a month last august.. and we are getting one again this august. Basically, I can't tell you what to expect. Most likely, she will be very shy at first, but you can never know for sure. I thought I could learn Japanes from her, but keep in mind that she is here to learn English, not the other way around. However, if you can say even one or two phrases in Japanese, she will think you are awesome.

DON'T KEEP OFFERING FOOD TO HER. For some reason, the exchange students keep accepting. Until they get fat. I am NOT. KIDDING. lol.. not fat fat, but she probably gained like 10 pounds before we realized out mistake.

Ask a lot about Japan, for that is the main thing you have in common. It will be one of the easiest things to get a conversation going. Expect her to be awkwardly quiet in the car because they don't usually talk while traveling in Japan. Most likely, you will think her quiet at first (keep in mind this is not always true) but she will open up after she gets to know you. AND HAVE FUN WITH IT!!!!!!
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby anikaliki » Fri 03.23.2007 10:13 pm

Kisshu wrote:
...because they don't usually talk while traveling in Japan.


Who told you that?
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 03.24.2007 12:22 am

Expect her to be awkwardly quiet in the car because they don't usually talk while traveling in Japan.


Yeah, who told you that?

Being quite in the car just means that she's nervous. :/
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby zengargoyle » Sat 03.24.2007 12:36 am

Kisshu wrote:
DON'T KEEP OFFERING FOOD TO HER. For some reason, the exchange students keep accepting. Until they get fat. I am NOT. KIDDING. lol.. not fat fat, but she probably gained like 10 pounds before we realized out mistake.


lol, i wonder if this is a regional thing... we used to tell guests for granny's sunday lunch to *never ever* clean your plate, if you eat everything, it means you want more.... if you eat all of the green beans on your plate -- granny will put another serving on your plate. (don't fret, leftovers go to the dogs :) )

but i've read a few places that Japan-wise, you're supposed to eat all of your food, down to the last grain of rice in your bowl. i don't know how true this is.
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby AussieB » Sat 03.24.2007 12:42 am

I don't know about the no-talk while travelling policy but I have hosted many students and they tend not to speak in the car, but I think it's more because it is difficult to hear you and they don't tend to speak very loudly (if they can at all avoid it!)
But, yes, they are all shyand quiet at first - most open up, some don't.

As Kisshu said try and get them to talk about something they know or like. Ask open ended questions otherwise you will get Yes / No responses all the time.

Also where possible I reccomend avoiding negative questions as culturally the way they answer this question is opposite to English so it gets confusing for them :

For example : " Don't you like milk?"

In English we respond YES if we like it, and
NO if we don't like it
BUT in Japanese the natural response is
YES (what you said is correct i.e. I don't like it)
or NO (that is not true, i.e. I DO like it)

Good luck, have fun, try to communicate but also recognise when they need a bit of space to themselves.
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby Kisshu » Sat 03.24.2007 1:31 am

Harisenbon wrote:
Expect her to be awkwardly quiet in the car because they don't usually talk while traveling in Japan.


Yeah, who told you that?

Being quite in the car just means that she's nervous. :/


Actually, both the people who were in charge of the program, and she herself said so O_o
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby sdhaku » Thu 05.17.2007 12:52 am

I would like to do some type of exchange program but I'm already out of college. Do I have any options where someone could come stay with me and then I could go to Japan and stay at there place? I do live at the beach in California so I would guess most Japanese would love that!
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby TsukimiyaAyu » Thu 05.17.2007 12:54 am

ちょっとドラマみたいね =3
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby keatonatron » Thu 05.17.2007 9:30 am

zengargoyle wrote:
but i've read a few places that Japan-wise, you're supposed to eat all of your food, down to the last grain of rice in your bowl. i don't know how true this is.


It is considered polite to eat every last grain of rice.

However, it is rude to drink all your tea!

The reasoning is that the host is supposed to notice you are running low on tea and refill it for you before you run out. If your glass is empty, it means they are not a good host (and so if your glass is low and you finish it off before they get a chance to refill it, you are showing that they are a bad host which, strangely enough, means you are rude)

EDIT: I guess it's similar to authentic French restaurants, where it is considered improper for a guest to touch the wine bottle...
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby lalaith » Thu 05.17.2007 9:51 am

keatonatron wrote:
However, it is rude to drink all your tea!

The reasoning is that the host is supposed to notice you are running low on tea and refill it for you before you run out. If your glass is empty, it means they are not a good host (and so if your glass is low and you finish it off before they get a chance to refill it, you are showing that they are a bad host which, strangely enough, means you are rude)


So that's the mistake I kept making. Every time I drank my tea, I'd get more until I finally couldn't drink anymore. I had so much tea poured for me my teeth were floating.
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RE: Japanese Exchange Student - What to Expect?

Postby two_heads_talking » Thu 05.17.2007 11:55 am

yes, leave some tea in the glass or don't touch it after they fill it last.. that is proper.. (in america, it's like turning your coffee cup over in a restaurant... stating you don't need anymore)

i was not aware of the eating everything even the last grain.. I had been told that digging around your bowl for the last grain of rice with ohashi was considered rude.. guess from that explanation that my info as bad.. doh!!
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