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JET(Japan Exchange & Teaching)



Before I became an ALT on the JET Programme, I had never traveled to Japan. Not having been to the country and only knowing about Japan from what I’d learned, I decided to take a leap of faith and try to live there for at least a year. I requested to live in Hyogo Prefecture because of its sister state relationship with Washington State. To my fortune, I was placed to live in Tamba, a medium-sized rural town in the center of Hyogo. 

I had the wonderful opportunity of living in Tamba, a medium-sized town in the center of Hyogo Prefecture.

Alejandro Llamas, Hyogo ALT 201?-201?

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When I studied abroad in college at Shimane Prefecture from 2010 to 2011, I happened to randomly run into a good friend from back home who was working as an ALT in Izumo through the JET program. I asked him a lot about the program and when he told me that he loved it and how it paid well, I became very interested in participating in the program in the future. However I wasn’t particularly interested in being an assistant English teacher.

Shortly after, I met a couple of other JET acquaintances of his who told me that they were CIRs, not ALTs. When I asked them what that was and what they did, they told me that it stood for Coordinator of International Relations and they usually worked at government offices and did tasks like Japanese translation and interpretation. This meant that they needed to already have a level of Japanese fluency. This certainly piqued my interest, as it was my goal to eventually end up in some kind of job that used my Japanese language ability.

I later applied for and was accepted into the program working as a CIR for Aichi prefecture and came to live in Nagoya with my wife and two kids. The experience was highly rewarding, giving me opportunities to not only translate official government documentation and interpret for meetings, but also write articles for local government publications, speak and give official announcements in English on a public radio show, and do English situational role playing to help train the Aichi prefectural police.

My time as a CIR was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed my time in Japan very much. It will be something that I will always cherish and carry with me throughout my life.

Braden Bennight, Aichi CIR ?-?

I learned about the JET Programme soon after I began studying Japanese in college. But it wasn't until my senior year when a former CIR gave a talk at our school that I learned about positions outside of teaching. Looking to combine my passions of business and Japanese language & culture, I applied for the CIR position and was subsequently placed in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture.

I worked in the city's tourism office, I marketed and promoted the area by coordinating with local businesses and overseas travel agencies. I also oversaw the English tourism website, and posted frequently on the website’s social media accounts. I had many interesting and fun opportunities through this experience, including organizing monitor tours and attending travel expositions.

I also had the chance to connect with the local and expatriate communities through joining a taiko club, participating in English conversation clubs, and more.

I would highly recommend considering the JET Programme if you are interested in connecting with Japan beyond a 2-week trip.

Mira Pomerantz, Hyogo CIR 2018-2021

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