Youth Exchange: JET Programme
June 20, 2017
JET Programme stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. This program is operated through a partnership between the Ministries of Japan[Note] and local governments, and invites young people around the world to provide them opportunities to teach languages, sports, etc., in elementary, junior-high and high schools in Japan, and to work in local governments in order to promote international exchange in local communities.
JET participants are offered a chance to have a hands-on experience working in close relations with local communities and residents through schools and municipal bodies in Japan. After returning to their home countries, they play active roles in various fields as a pro-Japan group of a new kind which has a different orientation from formal Japan Studies people. They thereby act as a valuable bridge between Japan and their home countries. Some members are currently working as diplomats in the foreign missions of Japan.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan recruits and screens applicants through Japanese overseas missions. Additionally, it supports JET alumni organizations to ensure that former JET participants keep in close touch with Japan.
[Note] Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)
The JET alumni association is called JETAA (JET Programme Alumni Association). It originated out of the individual alumni associations initiated by former JET participants in their home countries and regions. As of December, 2016, JETAA has 53 branches around the world with about 29,000 members. It is a major organization of Japanophiles. Members are engaged in various grassroots activities to promote friendly relationships between Japan and their home countries, and are also involved in activities to help Japanese overseas missions publicize the JET Programme and process applications.
Job specifications of JET participants
Assistant Language Teacher (ALT):
ALTs assist Japanese teachers giving foreign language instruction at local elementary, junior-high, high schools, education boards, etc.
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR):
CIRs work at the local government bureaus responsible for international exchange as attendants for overseas guests, translators of multilingual publications, interpreters for events and planners, assistants and advisors for international exchange projects.
Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA):
SEAs work at local government bureaus responsible for sports and assist with sports instruction in order to promote internationalization through sports.