The three presentations covered many aspects about their Japan experience. Ms. Stacey Tessandore (JET Program 2016-2017, Tokushima City, on Japan’s Shikoku Island) talked about Tokyo Orientation, which is a required training for all incoming JETs, organized by Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) of Japan. Ms. Tessandore also talked about the traveling she was able to do in Japan, and throughout other countries in Asia while working in Japan. She encouraged the attendees to take advantage of the many opportunities to enjoy local festivals, like Awa Odori, a famous dance festival in Tokushima held in August.
Photos from Ms. Tessandore’s presentation, and her experience at two Awa Odori festivals in Tokushima, Japan.
Mr. Patrick Moore (JET Program, 2014-2016 in Usuki City, Oita Prefecture, on Japan’s Kyushu Island) presented about his experience living in rural Japan. Mr. Moore said he really enjoyed his time in rural Japan, and advocated for other JETs to experience life in smaller communities throughout Japan. Mr. Moore talked about culture shock, and learning to adjust to new and different things in Japan. He shared about his experience working in a Japanese office, and having to drive to many small schools near Usuki to help teach English classes. Mr. Moore is now the Education Abroad Coordinator for the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Ms. Ella Berryhill (JET Program, 2013 to 2018, Takayama Village, Gunma Prefecture) shared about how her role as an Assistant Language Teacher changed during her five years in Japan with the JET Program. She also talked about the many memorable experiences she had with the local people in Takayama, and the friendships that she forged with her students, and the other adults in her small town. Ms. Berryhill taught an adult English class and was involved in many activities in Takayama, including an onsen – a hot spring – club with other women from Takayama.
The photos above are the from the onsen club that Ms. Berryhill was a member of in Takayama, Japan.
The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage is planning to help host a similar event, with the Alaska Chapter of the JET Alumni Assocation, in Fairbanks, Alaska later this year