■ Job Type：ALT（Assistant Language Teacher） ■ Prefecture：Mie ■ Years on Programme：2006-2008
The decision to come onto the JET Programme was not an easy one, being just one and a half years into marriage. But I am grateful to my husband for his support of me adding a new chapter in my life.
Coming from a big cosmopolitan city, adjusting to the countryside was a challenge for me. The support
from my teachers and the warmth of the kids has made my stay memorable. I am the first non-“Westerner” JET participant in my area, and am often asked how long I have stayed in America, for I can speak ‘good’ English.
It took me a while to explain that India is, officially, an English speaking country. Since I am placed in countryside, not many kids in my area are exposed to the outside world. I was told by one of my teachers that there are kids who have never stepped outside their hometown, let alone visited a foreign country.
Therefore, I am seen as a link between the kids and the outside world. That is where I can fulfil the internationalisation part of my job. The teachers and kids are very eager to learn about Indian culture and cooking. And as for me, speaking Japanese came in very handy. I have a huge opportunity to learn about the Japanese culture and life as only a few of my colleagues / teachers speak English. Moreover, I can motivate the teachers and my students to speak English giving my example as a fellow Asian.