Re: Terminology - Kyudansha?
I agree with Chris. When I hear "deshi", to me it carries connotations of being a 'disciple', implying more than just being a student. It carries more of a 'devotional' undertone.
I've heard mudansha used, meaning 'those without', meaning those without dan ranking. In my current dojo, they use the term "kyudansha", meaning all those below dan ranking (yudansha).
If you speak english - when in doubt, say it in english. It'll prevent misunderstandings.