Relationships

Meeting People

This is probably the source of greatest frustration for American students abroad. It can be hard to meet local students. For homestay students, take advantage of the opportunities you have to spend time with your host family and their circle of relatives and friends. In any new situation, use your discretion when meeting people.

Do be careful of individuals wanting to develop your acquaintance quickly—they may have an ulterior motive. Meet people in public places during the day, preferably with a friend or two of yours.

Tolerance

While abroad, you are likely to encounter a significant range of attitudes on gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues. As within the U.S., these attitudes may vary widely. Whatever your own sexual orientation, please keep in mind that there may be gay, lesbian, or bisexual students in your program group and in groups you encounter. Some may just be coming to terms with their sexual identity. Sensitivity to this diversity within your own group as well as the diversity of host culture can help enrich your overall study abroad experience. Sensitivity to racial, religious, or other differences is also commendable. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual students who are not familiar with the legal status of and cultural attitudes on sexual orientation in Japan may want to visit this website on issues when studying and living abroad.