I’m now studying for JLPT N3 and I’m a graduate student studying in Japan. I live in Kobe. I can do a (not-so-fluent) daily Japanese conversation, but I’d like to improve my Japanese fluency. It sounds weird, but I don’t really have much opportunity to speak Japanese in Japan. My graduate school is a research-based English language program, and most of my time has been focused on research. And, with my current Japanese skills, it’s still difficult to speak technical terms in Japanese.
So, I have been attending many “language exchange” events. But, I don’t really feel like I’m benefitting from them (even though I thoroughly enjoyed every conversation). Most of the Japanese people who came to language exchange were expecting to speak in English. Even when they were willing to speak in Japanese, not all the foreigners who came have a conversational level Japanese, and we all had to switch back to English. Usually, I found that, contradictorily, events unrelated to languages, like hiking, dinners and even pub crawls, were better for practicing Japanese.
Any similar experiences relating to language exchange events in Japan? Please share.