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The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program began in 1987 in order to promote mutual respect and understanding between Japan and other nations. Selected college and university graduates from all over the world are invited to Japan as representatives of their home countries. These participants help promote internationalization by improving foreign language education and developing international relations at the local level in Japanese communities.
Participants live and work in Japan for one year with a contracting organization, usually a Japanese school or government office. In some cases, this contract may be renewed up to four times upon mutual agreement of the participant and the contracting organization.
Currently in its 37th year, the JET Program has gained international and domestic recognition as one of the world’s largest and most successful international exchange programs. There are currently over 5,800 people from 50 countries participating in the JET Program. More than half of these participants are from the United States.
At the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage, we work with program sponsors and the Embassy of Japan to recruit, interview, and select applicants from the state of Alaska. We also provide information and guidance through the application process and prepare selected participants for departure.
U.S. citizens applying to the JET Program must meet the following qualifications:
- Hold or obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field of study/major by July 1st of the departure year
- Strong speaking, reading, and writing skills in the English language
- Ideal candidates will be flexible, adaptable, personable, and interested in Japanese culture
While Japanese language skills are not required to apply to the program, it is highly recommended that applicants study or be willing to study the Japanese language to better adapt to life in Japan.
Participants may enroll in Japanese language courses offered by the Council of Local Authorities in International Relations (CLAIR) after arriving in Japan. More specific qualifications regarding each position are outlined on the JET Program website.
Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) – The majority of JET Program participants are assigned as ALTs in elementary, junior high, and high schools. ALTs assist Japanese teachers of English in creating and executing lesson plans. ALTs also participate in local international exchange activities. ALTs are not required to have Japanese language skills or teaching certifications.
Coordinator of International Relations (CIRs) - CIRs are assigned to Japanese governmental offices to provide assistance in internationalization activities. Responsibilities include planning and implementing international exchange programs, translating and interpreting, and assisting in English language instruction. CIRs must have advanced skills in speaking, reading, and writing in the Japanese language.
JET participants receive ¥3,360,000 in their first year, which is sufficient to cover living expenses in Japan. In addition, participants receive:
- Round-trip airfare
- Training, Japanese language courses, and support services
- Insurance and health benefits
- Holidays and paid time off
- Membership to an international alumni network, the JET Alumni Association (JETAA)
How to Apply to JET
Complete instructions on the application process can be found on the official U.S. JET Program website. Additional documentation may be required depending on your answers to questions in the main application. Please be sure to complete and submit all applicable documents.
If you are not a United States citizen, please click here to find and contact the Embassy of Japan in the country to which you hold citizenship for JET Program information.
Timeline for JET Program
Specific dates vary from year to year and are subject to change. Please check JET Program website for the most current information.
|September – November||Recruitment: campus visit and orientation sessions|
|October||Application becomes available on JET Program website|
|January/February||Interviews for qualifying applicants|
|April||Notification of interview results|
|May/June||Selected applicants are notified of placement in Japan|
|July||The Consular Office hosts a mandatory pre-departure orientation session for participants departing from Anchorage.|
|July/August||Participants depart for Japan and attend a mandatory post-arrival orientation in Tokyo.|
JET Alumni Association (JETAA)
Participants residing in Alaska who successfully complete the JET Program are granted membership to the JETAA Alaska chapter. JETAA assists the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage in recruitment and orientation for the JET Program. Members also help returning JET participants in transitioning back to life in Alaska through job fairs, as well as collaborate with local Japanese organizations to host community activities.
If you are an Alaska resident and you have any questions regarding the JET Program, or would like to schedule an information session, please contact JET Program coordinator at 907-562-8424 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org