JET participants are placed in contracting organisations all across Japan, in locations varying from vibrant, neon cities to remote mountain villages of just a few hundred inhabitants. JET participants live and work in all of the different climate zones that Japan has to offer, be it the cool summers and pristine winters of the northern shores of Hokkaido or the tropical islands of Okinawa. The lives and individual working situations of ALTs, CIRs, and SEAs reflect the diversity of Japan itself: a country that is renowned as one of the world’s most modern, and also one of its most traditional. In a country of contradictions, as famous for manmade feats of engineering and design as it is lauded for the close ties of its people with nature, JET participants bring their own diversity into play, sharing their cultural backgrounds from over 40 different countries. The JET Programme is a crossroads at which the lives of over 5,000 participants intersect with those of the people of more than 1,000 Japanese municipalities.
That is to say, there is no standard JET experience. Each participant on the JET Programme can look forward to a unique role as a member of multiple communities–starting with a workplace and a local Japanese community, the wider community of JET participants, and a global network that includes friends and family “back home,” as well as over 68,000 former JET participants worldwide. The people that you will meet as a JET participant will largely shape your experience here, and your life in Japan will vary accordingly. The only thing that can be said to apply to all JET participants is that the JET Programme offers you an opportunity to grow and shape yourself in an environment that will provide a unique set of challenges and chances to learn about another culture through immersion.
As such, below we present testimonials and in depth perspectives written by current and former JET participants. Reading them, you will know a bit more about the possibilities waiting for you when you start your own JET life.