Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program
91% Rating
(15 Reviews)

Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program

Please direct all questions to your local JET Program Office.
-For US Citizens: https://jetprogramusa.org/contact-us/
-For Non-US Citizens: http://jetprogramme.org/en/howto/

The Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program invites young university graduates to participate in a professional international exchange position throughout Japan. Participants are invited to Japan as representatives of their home countries, and play an important role in promoting understanding between nations.

JET offers two main positions:
Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) work in public K-12 schools and team-teach English with a Japanese homeroom teacher. Duties include assisting in making lesson plans, leading activities and games, and motivating students to study English.

Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) work in local government offices. Primary duties include localization / translation, assistance with international exchange programs, and community event coordination.

Locations
Asia » Japan
Length
1 Year+
Salary / Benefits
JET participants are hired on a yearly contract basis for up to five years, and will recieve a salary of approximately 3.36 million yen their first year. This increases to 3.6 million in the second year, 3.9 million in the third year, and 3.96 million for the fourth and fifth year. Furthermore ALTs who are U.S. citizens do not pay Japanese taxes for their first two years on the program. Additionally, all JET program participants are enrolled in national health insurance, recieve 10 to 20 days of paid leave a year, and are provided free transportation to and from Japan. For more information, see the JET Programme homepage.
Accommodation
Apartment
Currency
USD

Questions & Answers

Thank you for your question! Spouses of JETs can apply for a 'Dependent Visa', which will allow them to live in Japan along with the JET. The Spouse can also apply for a work permit, which will allow them to pursue part time employment in Japan if they so wish. However, while JET participants' initial flights and hotel fees are covered by the JET Program, spouses and other dependents are liable to...

Program Reviews

  • Benefits
    88%
  • Support
    83%
  • Fun
    73%
  • Facilities
    90%
  • Safety
    96%

Program Reviews (15)

Default avatar
Erin
Female
30 years old
Kennesaw, GA
Kennesaw State University

Found my Second Home in Hiroshima

10/10

JET Programme was the single greatest adventure of my life! I taught in three high schools in Hiroshima for three years. My placement was perfect for me! Not only was the support network great, but my colleagues became a part of my extended family.

I was lucky to live in the suburbs, have my base school in a rural community (the "inaka") and have two visit schools in the big city. This afforded me a chance to experience the different lifestyles Japan has to offer. My base school was small, but I came to know each of my students (plus their families) and integrated into the local community. Their triumphs became my triumphs; their tears, mine. There is nothing better than joining your school and community in cheering your students all the way through their summer baseball tournament and joining them at the Koushien.

The compensation was great, but the memories were better. I HIGHLY recommend the JET Program for anyone looking for a "home away from home" in Japan.

How can this program be improved?

I truly have nothing to add here. If anything, I would encourage the JET Program to become more selective, because it is such a jewel and I hope that those chosen as representatives to serve as ALTs bring more prestige to it.

Default avatar
Simon
Male
27 years old
San Francisco, CA
Oberlin College

A Japanese Sandbox

10/10

The JET Program is hard to describe or review because the experience that each participant has is uniquely theirs. You can't generalize the program as a whole because you could end up in any prefecture, and in any living situation. Obviously your experience is gonna be vastly different if you're in a small apartment in a lager city than if you were in a giant house all on your own with nothing but rice fields around you for miles and miles.

I was about halfway between those extremes (which is where most people end up, honestly). I was in a well sized government subsidized apartment, in a decent sized city. I was lucky in that I was a half hour train ride from a major city, and 15 minutes from the biggest city in my prefecture. I was also in a prefecture with a large number of JET Program participants, and I was close enough to most of them, and the JET community in my prefecture was vibrant enough that I had a large and close-knit group of friends. In addition to that, thanks to being close to some big cities I found it easy to pursue the hobbies that I was interested in.

My time on JET was excellent for the reasons I already mentioned, but I suppose the point I want to make lies in the title of my review. People's experiences in Japan, and certainly on JET, are what you make of them. JET is challenging, for sure, and living abroad is not for everyone, but if you want to live and teach in Japan, it's a challenge that's well worth the effort. While your opportunities will be limited depending on your living situation, there are so many things to do and ways to spend your time, that JET feels like a big Japanese sandbox, where you can create your own Japanese experience.

How can this program be improved?

The program has recently cut back on its support network, and while JET communities in individual prefectures are still an excellent resource, the official resources that JET program participants have to draw on have been severely cut back. There is little in the way of mental health support, and the Program's interaction with AJET, the unofficial association of JET participants that attempts to represent them, has also been scaled back.

Default avatar
Debbie
Female
25 years old
Temple City, California

Unforgettable year in Japan -- Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

9/10

Out of all the teaching English in Japan programs, I think JET has the best benefits and support system. They pay for your flight from your home country to Tokyo Orientation, your hotel for orientation, and your transportation to your placement. The monthly salary is pretty high - in my first year, I would get 240,000 yen directly deposited in my bank account each month (and this is after paying for Japanese pension and National Health Insurance). With my rural/suburban placement in southern Nara, I only had to pay about 35,000 yen per month for an entire apartment to myself. It was more than enough money for me to eat out almost everyday (I was too lazy to cook most of the time), buy random cute Japanese trinkets I'd see in stores, going out into the city with friends some Saturday nights, and traveling to different neighboring prefectures on the weekends. (One of my friends had an entire HOUSE to himself and didn't have to pay any rent at all! His BoE covered it all. And then there were my northern Nara friends--the ones who live close to/in the main city, and have to pay about 50,000 yen a month for their small studios/apartments)

The work I had was fairly easy--I would plan and teach 13-15 classes a week at three different elementary schools. Since most of the teachers I worked with didn't speak much English, our lesson-planning meetings were conducted mostly in Japanese. (I was really glad I had five years of Japanese background. Knowing the language helps so much in daily survival and interactions.) I believe that JET places people with higher Japanese ability in elementary schools, where students and teachers speak minimal English, and people with lower/no Japanese ability in high schools, where the teachers and students know more English. The kids I taught, grades 1-6, were bright, energetic, curious, and a joy to teach. They constantly asked me if I were Japanese, and why my English is so good. Since I'm Chinese (but have been told I look Japanese or Korean), I didn't fit their image of the "foreigner." Even after a year, some of the students still didn't fully grasp that I'm of Asian descent, but born and raised in America and fluent in English.

One of the best parts of JET for me was being able to travel on the weekends. It would take me a full hour to get to the city than my northern Nara friends because of my rural placement and infrequent train times (only twice an hour). I loved traveling in Japan because the trains were always clean and quiet, and I felt safe even when I was venturing out alone at night. Also, the food (even fast food) is so much healthier here, almost all of my friends here lost weight while living here. (On the other hand, I discovered the amazing variety of unique chip flavors Japan has to offer, and gained some winter fluff while I was here) Since I lived in the "inaka" (countryside), me and my fellow inaka friends in the area would hang out a lot. Our area was called "Yoshino-gun," so JETs living in our area were affectionately dubbed "The Goons." We would have midnight runs to the nearest McDonald's after my evening eikaiwa (adult conversation class) on Thursday nights, drive to each other's villages for spontaneous sleepovers (called "goon spoons"), and participate in alcohol-fueled karaoke sessions with the locals. The best thing about living in the countryside is the small town, community vibe. Anytime I ventured out in my town or to neighboring places, I'd run into some of my students or colleagues. My friends and I became regulars at the local okonomiyaki restaurant.

The hardest part of the program was definitely when teachers and students found out I was leaving, and then all the ensuing goodbye/last lessons and assemblies in my final months there. It was heartbreaking... I've never cried so much in my life. Every class I had taught made me personal handwritten cards, letters, posters, and some students gave me little gifts that they had made for me. They chorused "Thank you and see you again" to me after my final lessons, and ran up to hug me goodbye. We took commemorative photos. Some students cried, which of course made me start crying too. They told me to take care, and wrote in their letters, "We won't forget you, so please don't forget about us."

Whether you stay on JET for one year or five, make sure to cherish every moment of it. My JET coordinator told us before we departed for Japan, "Going to Japan means saying goodbye a lot." You will meet a ton of new people, make new friends, bond with your students and fellow teachers, and most likely have the time of your life while on JET. (of course, every situation is different, but almost everyone I know on the program embraces their unique situation and set of circumstances, makes the best of it, and enjoys their time in Japan) But your time on JET and in Japan is limited, and eventually you'll have to say goodbye. But the unforgettable memories I made while on JET, and the time I spent with the people I met there, will stay with me for a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?

Being more lenient with vacation time. At first, I thought that we as JETs would get winter vacation, spring vacation, and summer vacation off, since the students won't be in school and there are no classes to teach. However, unless we used our paid days off, we were required to go to school and sit at our desks with nothing to do. (One of my friends was lucky and not required to do this. But most of my JET friends and I were stuck at school. We had to save our days off for bigger holidays like Christmas) I wish there were the option for us to have winter/spring/summer vacation days off along with the students, and simply not get paid for those days we aren't at school.

Default avatar
lostinplace
Female
32 years old
chicago, il
Other

Small Town Charm

9/10

I was on the JET program for 3 years. Most JET positions are ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) positions and you are placed in either Middle Schools or High Schools. (There are also a few placements that are Elementary school only. They are not as common but probably increasing since Japan made English education mandatory from 5th grade, rather than 7th grade.)

I knew JETs is such a variety of situations. I knew people who lived in towns of 400 and knew the 30 kids they taught extremely well, spending their weekends at the students' basketball games and being invited to their teachers houses for dinner. I knew other JETs who worked in big cities and had hundreds of students. They couldn't know the name of each student. Some students they would only see once every 6 weeks. That's only a few times a semester.

While the national support system is strong, the local support can vary. Many JETs find themselves in places where almost no one speaks English. They may have to co-teach with someone who speaks no English (this should only happen in Elementary school, where the homeroom teacher co-teaches with the JET rather than a Japanese teacher of English). My friends described pantomiming with their teachers during lesson planning and being frustrated with being unable to get their point across. If you know Japanese before you go over, you will be able to communicate better and you may have a smoother transition.

Social life varies a lot. But in every prefecture there are JET groups planning events throughout the year and even if you live in a rural area, you have opportunities to socialize if you choose.

Lastly, the image of a typical JET is someone just out of college but I knew many people who came to Japan in different circumstances. Some had been out of school and working for a while. Some were married. I know that some people bring their kids. Anyone who is a citizen of an English speaking country and has a bachelors degree is eligible, so don't think you have to be a fresh faced college grad.

How can this program be improved?

One difficult thing for people who go on the JET program is that you need to be open to a placement anywhere in Japan. You are required to accept a position before knowing where it is. If you accept the position and then back out after finding out your placement, you are forbidden from reapplying for several years. If you really want to be in a big city or in a certain region, then JET may not be the best option for you. If you are open to going anywhere in Japan, then apply to JET.

Default avatar
rebeljonny
Male
24 years old
Southampton, UK
University of Warwick

All depends on the luck of the draw

9/10

One phrase you will hear countless times; and very quickly learn to hate, whilst applying for and working on the JET programme, is ESID (Every Situation Is Different). I didn't truly appreciate the appropriateness of this phrase until I started my work as an ALT here in Japan. This variety in what your JET experience might include makes a general review somewhat difficult, although I will do my best to give a balanced account of my experience so far! However, I hope that from this review you'll get an idea of why that phrase constantly rings true!

I work in Niigata prefecture in what I would call a small city on the coast, with a population of around 200,000. I am employed by the local BoE (Board of Education) to work at two local Junior High Schools as well as two Elementary Schools. This is a fairly standard set up for the ALTs working in my area, although some have as few as two schools and others as many as eight, so it really is ESID (told you). At my Junior High Schools I typically have three lessons in one day and will be expected to run the majority of those lessons, but at my Elementary Schools I will have a much busier day, sometimes a full six lessons, although on the flip side I am given complete lesson plans and materials and effectively just follow the script. This is something that is so dependent on your situation, as I live next to ALTs that have the exact opposite teaching experiences!

Housing situation is also varied in my area, but most ALTs live in accommodation owned by the BoE. This tends to be fairly far out from the city centre, and the houses are also on the old side, but we pay a lot less than others and get more space than those in the centre, so overall I'm happy with it. I got fairly lucky in that my longest commute is a mere fifteen minutes, but others have to content with upwards of an hour, which can easily become two once the winter sets in.

I came to Japan with almost no Japanese language ability and although I have definitely improved, I have been surprised by how easy it has been for me to get by with the little that I do know. A lot of this is down to the fact that the majority of my JTEs (Japanese Teachers of English) have sufficient English that we can communicate without much trouble (WARNING - this is by no means always the case!) and that I am fortunate enough to live in a city with a very large number of other ALTs relatively close by. In total there are nineteen ALTs employed by the local BoE, and a further four (I believe) employed by the prefectural office (they work in the Senior High Schools) and even a handful of other private ALTs. Because we all have cars, that means nobody is further than forty five minutes from anyone else or the centre of town, and as a result, I spend the majority of my free time socialising with the other local ALTs. This has been a fantastic source of support for me during my time in Japan, and is something that I am incredibly grateful for. However, it has definitely given me a very different experience on the JET programme to what many might have that live more rurally or further away from other ALTs. I am sure that for me, had I not had this support I would not be staying a second year, but for others, this constant contact with other English speakers may well be a turn off, as plenty of people come to Japan wanting to meet Japanese people and get immersed in that culture, something which I am yet to truly achieve.

Overall, I am really enjoying my time on the JET programme and it is something that is full of possibilities to try new things, see some amazing places and of course meet some brilliant people. Although it is definitely a risky application to make, because you really won't know until last minute what exactly it is that you've signed up for, I would still very much recommend this to people who are interested. You get paid well, have a relatively easy job (shush, don't tell anyone) and get to enjoy some fantastic new experiences that you won't soon forget.

How can this program be improved?

Although it is almost impossible to achieve, the programme, and peoples' confidence in it, would improve drastically if there was more security in knowing exactly what job you are applying for. Too many times have I heard of hugely contrasting experiences from ALTs placed only a matter of miles apart. This to me seems entirely unfair when everyone starts by applying to exactly the same programme and until the last minute has no idea what they have signed up for. Thankfully, I think most people get a mostly positive end result, but a lot could still be done to even the whole process out for all ALTs across Japan.

Default avatar
Suejk
Female
42 years old
Barrie, Ontario CANADA
University of Western Ontario

An Awesome Program

9/10

I was in Niigata-ken, Japan for 3 years from 1995-1998. I went with my husband. We had an amazing experience. The Board of Education staff were very welcoming and helpful. We made many friends in the small city where I lived. I worked in 2 Junior High Schools, as well as 8 elementary schools and several kindergartens. The culture is fascinating, although obviously culture shock happened (as it does to everyone). I renewed my contract twice because our experience was so positive. I would recommend the JET Program highly!

How can this program be improved?

Obviously, it has been many years since I lived in Japan and completed the JET Program. It's hard to think critically now, as my memories are overwhelmingly positive!

Default avatar
snowfrog
Female
42 years old
Gifu, Japan
University of Northern British Columbia

So good, I did it twice

8/10

I am currently on my 3rd year of the JET Programme, again. I was also a JET from 2002-2005.

The JET Programme is great because they help you get ready for Japan life before you leave, keep you informed of things happening in the country, and give you an excellent support system - both professionally and personally.

One common misconception is that you work for the JET Programme, however, it is more of a placement. You work for a separate contracting organization in Japan, and that can change your experience. Some people get free housing, a car, etc. whilst others are given nothing. It is just luck of the draw. However, the pay is quite good, and although Japan is considered an expensive country, it is easy to live a good life, and still pay off bills, travel or save money.

I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a flexible, easy going nature. Not just recent grads, but for anyone up for a challenge

How can this program be improved?

I would change the application to say that you need some Japanese to apply (OR to have to sign up for a class upon acceptance).

Anyone coming should at least be committed to learning the basic alphabet and conversation before coming (you have a long time from application to arrival, you can learn Hiragana and Katakana by then!

Default avatar
lemonzest
Female
32 years old
Pittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh

Good for someone, bad for others

9/10

I did JET 2005-2007 in the southern part of the main island. I had a great time as an elementary school teacher with only 4 junior high days per month, but it was a lot of work. If you go into JET without any teaching skills or experience in K-12 classrooms, you will be getting a crash course, and if you have minimal or no Japanese, you will probably have a rough time in your personal life, even if you can get by OK at school.

If you DO have teaching experience, it's both a curse and a blessing. On one hand, you will be able to make lesson plans, have a good sense for the pedagogy appropriate to the age level, etc. On the other, you will be working within a system that may not want your expertise, or with a teacher who lacks all enthusiasm or ability. These can drain you if you aren't prepared to find entertainment and satisfaction in the students, outside curricular activities, or your personal life. You also may want to come with a nice little nest egg of at least US$1,500 to get yourself started, as you may not be paid for several weeks and may need to buy stuff for your apartment and pay for food until then.

I recommend JET to people who have some ability with Japanese and willingness to keep learning the language, who are adventurous and enjoy traveling and could live in rural or suburban areas, and who are generally cheerful/friendly with strangers and OK with touchy-feely kids. I do not recommend JET for people who have medical issues that may be tough to treat in Japan (several friends had to quit early due to this), people who aren't prepared to step back and take a neutral look at bad situations/cultural clashes, or people for whom being a virtual "camp counselor" sounds horrifying. If you are bringing a spouse along, it may be hard for them to find a job, so please take it into consideration.

That said, I had a blast, taught over 3,500 kids in 2 years, and had classes ranging from 4 kids to 120 kids at one time, and I loved inventing new games to get them excited and hanging out with them on the playground or after school. I also loved traveling around the country (I had 20 days' vacation + national holidays) and taking part in local events and festivals with my students.

How can this program be improved?

I would have bought some books on creating lesson plans or teaching foreign language to get myself prepared before going - I found this book INCREDIBLY useful for getting ideas and understanding how to work with kids of all levels/abilities, but learned about it too late: http://www.amazon.com/Differentiated-Instruction-Foreign-Language-Teachers/dp/1596670207 !

Default avatar
Fox
Female
24 years old
Hiroshima, Japan
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Every Situation is Different, but the support is guaranteed

9/10

The JET Program is the most competitive program for teaching abroad for several reasons. Though the application process feels a bit grueling (partly because it's so competitive), getting accepted immediately puts you in contact with a vast and experienced support group. This is easily the most valuable part of the program, and was my main motivation for applying two times to get in.

Compared to other programs, we're pretty spoiled. The flight to Tokyo is covered, as is our later transport to our final destination. There is a 3-day orientation in Tokyo, which has a mix of useful and not-so-useful seminars to deal with as you cope with your jet lag. There is training at other points of the year, as well. The support system is easy to reach, at national and local levels. Because the program has been around for a few decades, most (not all!) new placements are moving into well-prepared housing and going to schools and boards of education that are used to ALTs.

However, the program preaches "every situation is different," and while that makes me want to pull my hair out at times, it's very true. I'm based at one decently academic senior high school in a pretty rural area, and have one less academic visit school I go to once a week. I create all of my lesson plans, worksheets, and more or less lead my classes. I spoke no Japanese before coming here, and my coworkers are very helpful and patient with me - and my English teachers are very much fluent.

However, I have friends that teach at 5 to 10 schools of varying level, make no materials of their own, are expected to communicate in Japanese (though they have studied it before) with non-fluent English teachers, and are more or less glorified tape recorders. Some Japanese teachers simply do not like working with ALTs, but that's just like any job anywhere. I personally love my placement, my schools, and my coworkers.

Living in Japan is amazing. It's a clean, safe country, with deep cultural roots that are amazing to see first-hand. The wage JET offers is more than enough to survive the expenses you may face, while still having pocket money left over to travel the country. JETs are not expected to simply show up, teach, and go home. They want you to interact with the culture itself, be it with after-school clubs, personal trips, or taking a private class in tea ceremony. And even as someone who is only just beginning to learn the language, I find that it's easy to live here. People are sympathetic and patient in general, even when the language barrier is horribly inconvenient. Being immersed in a language is a new experience for me, and it's paying off with the speed at which I'm learning. If you don't speak Japanese, don't let that stop you from applying! Just be adaptable and open to everything, and you'll be fine.

All in all, I am loving my current experience on JET and hope to stay for a few more years.

How can this program be improved?

Though they rightly assess the fact that "Every situation is different," I think it would help people if they were allowed direct contact with their specific placement further in advance. Even just making it mandatory for leaving JETs to write a simple guide for their successor would lead to less surprises.

Default avatar
Vratar
Male
42 years old
Shizuoka, Japan
Other

JET Programme, 2000 - 2003

9/10

If you are interested in coming to Japan to teach English for a while, I would definitely recommend the JET Programme as your first choice. Going with JET, my transition into Japanese life and the workday was truly painless. Transportation to my hometown was arranged, I was given a nice house to live in and taken on a tour of the town - including the essential grocery stores and home centers. JET provides ample training for the novice teacher, both before departure from your home country and while you are here. The salary was plenty for a single person, especially considering that I lived rent-free.

There are a couple of negatives that I should point out. One is that teaching materials are not provided -- you will need to make your own activities, worksheets, handouts, etc. However, you will receive so many ideas from the training that it should not be a big problem. The other issue for me is that, after you have done it for a year or two, the training becomes a little excessive, and frankly gets in the way of productivity. Still, they are all mandatory.

One other potential down side is that you have little say over where you will end up in Japan. You may choose preferences on what prefecture or city you would like to go to, but it is not guaranteed, and you can be placed literally anywhere in the country. If you don't like your assigned location, your only option is to quit the program.

I taught at two schools in a semi-rural town in Shizuoka prefecture. I loved them both -- the teachers were all good to work with, and the students, with a few exceptions, were well behaved and receptive. The teachers were mostly open to working with me as a JET, and we were able to have excellent classes together.

As JET likes to say repeatedly, "Every situation is different." You may have to pay rent. You may have to pay for utilities. You may end up in a school with terrible behavior problems, or in a town you don't like. Still, even with the uncertainties of JET, I would highly recommend you try this route before considering alternate teaching organizations in Japan - some can be rather shady -- do your research!

How can this program be improved?

Less frequent training requirements for more experienced teachers.

Default avatar
gabraella
Female
42 years old
Tsuchiura, Japan
Oceania Polytechnic Institute of Education

Life changing experience

10/10

JET was my first professional job and first time living overseas. I had actually never been to Japan prior to this experience not even for a visit. I felt well taken care of, guided through the process every step of the way. They took care of all visa process before we left, had a bank account already set up, with a salary advance so we would have some money to get apartment and necessary items right away. We had a furniture rental for free once we got our apartments, and a home-stay family for the first few weeks or months until we had a place of our own, if we wanted. My host family became very good friends of mine, a family with whom I remain in contact. We had regular workshops where they would give us activity and teaching ideas and help us develop our skills and techniques. We also had Japanese classes upon arrival, a kind of week-long crash course.
I really believe the prestige of the program is well-known, and the program is respected by many people. I believe that many people are impressed with seeing it on my resume and confident that I am a good asset to their school or company. I feel I may have my current job due to the JET Programme experience.

How can this program be improved?

For BOE observations, it might be better to let the teacher ALT school base choose when and for what class they come to observe. Not all classes are very co-operative and not all teachers either. It didn`t work out well for my first observation which was at a school I was present at the least amount of time; however, I was lucky enough to be granted a second observation opportunity.

Default avatar
Laura
Female
32 years old
South Africa
Other

My experience

8/10

I had a great time in Japan, the people were friendly the sights were amazing and learning Japanese was challenging! I enjoyed all the AJET events organized for us and the prefectural conferences on teaching gave us a chance to interact and share ideas.

At times the culture shock was overwhelming but I did manage to get through this as well.

The salary and benefits were very competitive compared to what I would earn back home in South Africa and I managed to pay for my studies with my savings.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked the orientation program in Tokyo to be more of focused on teaching, there were too many random workshops about things we would have learned anyway or could be sent to us as webinars that we could view if interested e.g. how to save money in Japan.

I also think we could have covered basic theories of teaching and learning that I am now studying from Piaget, Vygotsky, Kohlberg, etc.

Default avatar
Chris
Male
32 years old
Osaka, Japan

The Jet Program

9/10

I first joined the Jet Program thinking I was going to live and teach in Japan for a year and that would be that. Well I wound up staying for the full five years and I am still currently living in Japan.

There is something about teaching English in Japan and stuck with me after that first year. If I knew the experience would be life changing I would not have believed it. But hear I am still teaching English and still in Japan.

The experience was great as I am still in contact with some of my first students and it is very rewarding to keep in touch with them even after they have graduated and moved on.

So Japan has played a major role in life's path. And as I look to the future Japan seems to be the place for me. It's a great and rewarding experience that is still having a lasting effect on my life and my future decisions.

How can this program be improved?

I would have tried to change more things then just went with the flow. I mean in my lessons and classes. I would have been a little bit more pro-active in my approach to teaching.

Default avatar
Kathy
Female
42 years old
New York City
Castleton University

International work experience broadens life outlook

9/10

I studied Japanese as an undergraduate, so the JET Program made sense even though I had no teaching experience. The training program provided me with extensive teaching materials, and I thus felt equipped to work with the lead English teacher in delivering content. In fact, this experience exposed me to classroom teaching and made me fall in love with it. After two years, I returned to the States to become a high school biology teacher!

Living abroad was amazing. Japan is such a clean and safe country. Its culture is deep and dynamic. I was very lucky to have lived near Kyoto City, so I admit I rarely felt isolated and there was always something new to explore.

I would advise that JET participants make a cognizant effort to befriend other Japanese, rather than English speaking friends. If your goal is to improve your language and integrate yourself into Japanese culture, it is the best [yet, sometimes hardest] thing to do!

Default avatar
Rural
Male
42 years old
Washington, DC
Saint Michael's College

You get out of it what you put in...

10/10

There can be a lot of free time as an assistant language teacher in rural Japan, but if you use that time to your advantage (i.e., studying the language/local culture, interacting with your colleagues and students) you returns will be tenfold.

About The Provider

Thumbnail

The Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program is a chance for young university graduates to participate in professional international exchange in Japan. Participants are invited to Japan as representatives of their home countries, and play an important role in promoting mutual understanding between nations and

Read more...