On July 26, 32 new Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participants, who were elected from more than 200 applicants in Texas and Oklahoma, left Houston for Japan. This program, now in its 28h year, is aimed at the enrichment of Japan’s foreign language education and the promotion of the international exchange at the grass-root. This year, the program welcomes 4,372 participants from about 40 countries. They will teach English at junior high or high schools throughout Japan for between one to five years and join in local international exchange events.
On the previous day, as part of the initial steps on their journey, all participants arrived at the residence of the Consul-General for a pre-departure orientation. In the meeting, Ms. Christina Sterkman talked about her experience as a JET participant and other JET alumni in attendance answered questions from new JETs. Following the orientation, Consul General Takaoka invited JET Program alumni and supporters to join the new JETs in a farewell reception. In his remarks, he encouraged them to enjoy themselves in Japan and offered a toast to them. On behalf of the departing JETs, Mr. Jacob Birob and Ms. Deidre Kirk spoke, thanking Consul General Takaoka and all the JET supporters for their heartfelt assistance while also expressing their excitement for their adventures yet to come. JET Alumni Association (JETAA) President Ms. Jessica Parker and Dr. Toshimatsu Matsumoto also gave advice and congratulated the new class of Houston JETs.
The 32 new JET Program participants departed for Japan the following morning, arriving safely at Tokyo on July 27. Participants from Houston joined a greater body of participants from around the world for a three-day orientation at Tokyo. We wish them great success in their new positions and communities.
To learn more about the JET Program or to request an application, please contact Alisa Tobin, JET Program Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (713) 652-2977.