JET program recruits students at Pacific

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The Japan Exchange and Teaching program is a teaching outreach program in which participants go out in one year intervals to a selected area in Japan and teach English to young children.

The program is offered for anyone who has had a four-year degree as of July 1, has experience working with children and has an interest in other cultures.

“There are no real criteria for applicants, other than having a four-year degree. It doesn’t even have to be a teaching degree. But to be competitive, the board is going to want to see that applicants have something special to bring to the program that can forge a window into U.S. culture,” said Career Development Coordinator June Dresser.

Three positions are currently available in the JET program: Assistant Language Teacher, which no knowledge of Japanese is required to fulfill, Coordinator of International Relations, which requires fluent Japanese and Sports Exchange Adviser.

Pacific has been hosting JET recruiters since 1992 and holds a significant advantage through coordinator and ex-board executive to the JET program Kazuko Ikeda.

“Ikeda was on the board for the JET program that goes through the applications and selects people to participate in the program, so she has an insider view on what is good to have,” said Dressler. “She does interview preparation, which is huge in helping Pacific students with the process.”

Because of this unique advantage, an average of two to three Pacific students get accepted into the program.

If accepted into the program, participants should plan to be in Japan for a total of one year in a specific location chosen for them. Participants can expand for two years after their first, but by invitation only.

The program pays a yearly salary of nearly $43,000 and offers opportunities for cultural expansion and making connections in multiple places around the world.

“The cool thing about JET is that it isn’t limited to people in the U.S. There are people from Australia, New Zealand and Britain and they all travel together,” said Dressler. “It is an amazing experience. I have yet to speak to a person who has returned and not loved it.”

The application process begins Oct. 12 and will be due in November.

An informational meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 11 in the U.C. Fireside Lounge concerning the application process for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.


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