■ Job Type：ALT（Assistant Language Teacher） ■ Prefecture：Nara ■ Years on Programme：2002-2005
Like most people in their final year of university, I was thinking about the next step and wrestled with my prospects of life after graduation! Definitely a scary proposition, but I knew I wanted to go abroad. The problem was where, and more importantly in what capacity. That is when a friend of mine recommended the JET Programme.
With no previous Japanese ability and little to no practical knowledge, I braved the journey to Japan and the United Nationsesque Tokyo Orientation. After the Orientation I found myself mesmerized by the number of different countries involved in the JET Programme and stricken with a feeling to in some way help to “Internationalise” Japan. This all started in Nara Prefecture where I spent three fruitful years. I have some amazing memories and, am also proud to say, friends consisting of both teachers and students.
The JET Programme, of course, imparted onto me the cultural side of Japan, but more importantly showed me that no matter where the cultural setting is, be it Japan or anywhere else, no system is flawless. The responsibility lies on people within the system to make that system fit the people, rather than the other way around.
I initially sought travel, adventure, and a way to gain a clearer idea of who I was. If I have to boil my JET experience down, it provided me the opportunity to test my mettle and gain a better sense of who I am and how I fit into this increasingly globalised world. The JET Programme has been a good springboard!