I knew that I was going to be thrust into a homogeneous society, but I did not know how different it would feel.
Not only was everyone the same color, but they all spoke Korean and in some cases even dressed the same. With few people around that looked like me, my skin color and natural hair stuck out like a sore thumb—I remember heading to the local market one day, and a woman stopped in her tracks to gawk at me with a glare of anger in her eye.
Another method of bringing Japanese and foreigners together are "International Parties" that are often advertised in magazines and newspapers.
For a set fee of approximately 5,000 yen you're able to attend a prearranged party in a restaurant or lounge where you have an opportunity to mingle with others interested in cultural exchange.
If you're open to something long-term, let that be known too so they don't think you wouldn't be willing to put the hard work in for a real relationship if it became serious.
However you see the relationship going, just make sure to open up this conversation as early as possible.
There have been times where I've been asked how I get my hair so curly (many Koreans perm their hair for a curly look), and if they could touch my hair.Whether you're looking for a new passport or just wanting to have a short fling, make sure you're both on the same page from the start.At this stage, your relationship has an expiration date, so make sure your new squeeze understands you'll be leaving at some point -- and probably forever.Aside from the token “cool teacher” with whom I might occasionally have a personal conversation, I treated my teachers as distant authority figures and engaged with them through formal interactions.Though some students back home had closer relationships with their teachers, many of the interactions that comprise the teacher-student relationship in Korea would be grounds for dismissal in the States.