JET Program to hold informational meeting on October 31st
- Madeline Kinser
- Friday, October 25th, 2019
On Thursday, October 31st, the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Coordinator from the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville will be holding an information session from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in HCIC 1011. An initiative created by the Japanese government, the JET Program invites participants to live in Japan for several years and to serve as either an Assistant Language Teacher or as an interpreter for the government. Participants are also cultural ambassadors from the United States to Japan. The 2020 JET Application is available on JETProgramUSA.org until November 15th.
WKU alumnus (2017) Claire Hopkins of Adairsville, KY was recently accepted into the JET Program. Hopkins will be an Assistant Language Teacher, helping to teach local students English in the classroom. When asked about what inspired her to apply, she said that travelling overseas has always been a goal for her.
“I’ve always wanted to travel and live abroad,” says Hopkins. “The JET Program is a great opportunity for me because I get to combine two things I am passionate about: new experiences and the English language.”
Hopkins will join the ranks of other WKU alumni who have participated in the JET Program. One of those alumni is Dr. Sandra Hughes of the WKU Department of English.
“The best thing about the job was the kids themselves,” says Dr. Hughes. “It was wonderful to teach classes. You team-teach in a classroom with a Japanese teacher of English. You do not have to know Japanese; you’re not supposed to use Japanese. The point is to encourage the students and the teachers to use English with a native speaker. They’ll have that for the rest of their careers after you’re gone.”
The application process is completely paperless, so applicants will need to create a JET Portal account on the program’s website. The guidelines for applying are laid out online, and applicants can see what documents are required to submit with the application.
For students who wish to apply for the JET Program, Hopkins advises interested students to be patient and open to adventure.
“Waiting is such a large part of this program,” Hopkins says. “You don’t have to speak Japanese or have experience teaching. I think what’s more important is to be comfortable with the idea of leaving familiarity and jumping into something like this.”