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Help How to improve foreigner/local ratio in a language exchange


2 Feb 2017
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Hello all!
I am organizing a language exchange in Machida, Tokyo.
So far we've had two events already, and had the same problem: the ratio of foreigners to locals is very low, about 1/6. That makes it hard to do the Japanese-speaking parts. We are supposed to speak English for 30min, Japanese for 30min, switch tables, English 30min and Japanese 30min. However, since the amount of foreigners is so low, it feels weird to do the Japanese parts (I feel weird having 5 locals talk to 1 foreigner in Japanese, sort of like they're wasting their time).

About 40 foreigners and 60 locals joined the group, but that ratio is not maintained in the events.

I have no simple way to limit the event to X foreigners and Y locals (I am using a website called MeetUp, where you just set up a global people limit).

1) Do you have any tips towards increasing that ratio in the events?
2) If that is not easy to do, do you have any tips for the Japanese speaking part of the event, in the case of having a low ratio (eg. 2 foreigners and 14 locals)?

Thank you so much! 🙂:
4 Apr 2014
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One workaround that comes to mind - is to create two events in Meetup. One restricted to foreigners and the other restricted to Japanese. Since you mentioned that about 40 foreigners joined last time - set the limit at 40 for both events.


Just me
20 Aug 2003
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Considering that the foreign population in Japan is only 2-3%, you're going to have a hard time no matter what you do. What kind of ratio did you want?
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