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Foreign Exchange Student 2010/8/31 13:12
Okay, this year, at my high school, we have quite a few foreign exchange students. We have two from China, two from Germany, one from Taiwan, and one from Japan.

I already know two of them; one of the Chinese students lives with a family down the street from me (I love her, she's great! ^^) and I temporarily had the Taiwan student in my Chemistry class. However, something I noticed was that the Japanese foreign exchanged student was really shy and barely talked much.

She's in my physical fitness class and, ever since day one, I've been trying to reach out to her. So far, I think I've done pretty well. I've gotten her to sit with my friends and I at lunch last week (until then, she just sat by herself :( ). And I try to ask her about what she likes, dislikes, and just questions about Japan.
I've even used my supremely limited Japanese vocabulary to talk to her (yes, I take Japanese II; I don't watch anime for my vocabulary XD)

One thing I hope to do for her, though, is make her feel more comfortable being here. Is there anything else I could do to help make her visit to America even less stressful for her? Or should I just continue doing what I'm doing?
by Heather Jochens  

Japan's Views... 2010/9/2 04:10
I have a lot of friends from Japan because of my Summer Camp, and when I just come up and introduce myself in Japanese and tell them I know Japanese a bit, they open up immediately and start speaking with me Japanese most of the time, offer me to eat lunch with them, go to town with me, etc.

However, you did say that you have limited Japanese vocabulary. Did you talk to this girl at all in Japanese? Try asking her things in Japanese, like ''Shumi wa nan desu ka?'' Which means ''What are your hobbies?'' and when seeing her in the morning greet her with an ''Ohayo Gozaimasu!''. Also, offer to help her in English, and she'll be delighted. I helped my Japanese friends practice their English and they helped me practice my Japanese.

Some Japanese girls are extremely shy because they are afraid they will do something wrong in the wrong culture. Some Japanese people have watched Western movies and base their knowledge on Western Culture one them. I come from Asia and when I met some American friends, I asked them if High School life in America is really like in the movies. Maybe you can show her that it is not all like the in movies, but some things, of course, are true. Maybe she just feels uncomfortable because of that.

I say try to befriend her more and make her feel welcome, spend as much time with her but don't make her think you're annoying, she needs time to herself, after all. Also, she might have some trouble with communicating with boys. In my camp, all the Japanese girls would communicate with other girls from different countries, especially those who spoke Japanese, and most of the time stayed away from Foreign boys, although some did open up and become part of a ''gang''.

Hope I helped you :)
by Akira (guest) rate this post as useful

Thank you! ^^ 2010/9/3 07:40
I say ''Ohayou gozaimasu'' to her in the morning and ask her ''Genki desu-ka'' are you well, somethings that I normally say in English... only not really. XD But I also throw in Japanese words into certain things if i know them like colors, the word for school, friends, family, and some others that I can't remember at the moment. It's kind of awkward though because I feel like one of those people who comes into a foreign country and can only speak the native language in fragments. Would that annoy her too much?

I try and give her some space but I stay close to her in gym because no one else talks to her. Other than that, I try and give her as much space as possible so that she can make more friends. ^^

And thank you very much for the advice! :D
by Heather Jochens rate this post as useful

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