Japan Exchange & Teaching Program Shines Light on New Opportunities


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Photo by Austin Weaver

Abigail MacBain came to Jacksonville University Thursday afternoon to speak on behalf of The Japan Exchange & Teaching program, shining a light on all the program has to offer.

The JET program offers the opportunity for college graduates to work and live in Japan as teachers of the English language. The program allows graduates to experience Japan’s culture and witness its beauty firsthand. A starting salary of $40,000 and assistance to anyone in need of accommodation in the city is provided, with respect that he or she will reside for the one year term abroad.

MacBain explained that the freshly graduated college student’s usual primary concern is homesickness. She happily explained that there are at least 10 vacation days offered, not including the Japanese national holidays. However, depending on which city he or she will be living the number of vacation days may vary but there would never be less than 10.

“They are pretty lenient when it comes to taking time off,” MacBain said. “Just be sure to tell them a month or two in advance and there shouldn’t be any complications.”

The application for the JET program is accessible in mid October and due one month later in mid November. Though this opportunity seems to be the ideal experience for adventure seekers, the applicants are competing with thousands of others, making this opportunity extremely competitive.

“I always tell people not to get discouraged when applying,” MacBain said. “There will be a large number of applicants who turn in their application late, resulting in their elimination and on top of that, many other applicants just don’t have the experience the program is looking for, which also results in their elimination. The number of applicants you will actually be competing against drastically drops within the first couple weeks of the reviewing process.”

The program offers two positions. One will be an Assistant Language Teacher, which entails working in a public school, assisting Japanese teachers in introducing the English language and American culture to his or her students. The second available position is a coordinator for international relations. This job includes translating, interpreting and promoting international relations for local governments. However, this job requires advanced Japanese language skills.

The JET program seems to be making a difference in Japanese culture, allowing the people of Japan, especially its youth, to gain a respect for the United States and its American ways through Japan’s growing ability to speak the English language. Yet it also seems to be a life-changing experience for those who are selected to participate in the program and sent to teach abroad.

“I’d actually go and watch my boys do Sumo on the weekends,” MacBain said. “It’s truly amazing how much they teach us when, in fact, we’re there to teach them.”

Those interested in the program and who would like to apply can go to www.jetprogramme.org for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email