Story posted April 26, 2013
Kim Lacey '13
The JET program's CIR (Coordinator for International Relations) position immediately caught my attention because it provides invaluable experience for those who are considering pursuing a career in international relations in the future, with total language immersion. I have been interested in Japanese language and culture since sophomore year at Bowdoin, even though my major is Eurasian and East European Studies. Compared to the JET program's ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) position, the number of CIR is limited to less than 5% of the entire participants from the U.S. . In addition, advanced Japanese language skill is mandatory for the position, which later serves as one of the important criteria during the interview stage.
While preparing my application, I had a little bit of difficulty identifying what kind of candidates the JET program is looking for, since little information could be found regarding CIR position. However, I believe that studying abroad for a whole year in Moscow, on top of various internship and volunteering experience strengthened my essay. I am also thankful for my academic advisor and Japanese professor for writing me recommendation letters and giving me helpful advice. The second stage of interview in Boston was especially challenging because I was asked several sensitive questions. I also had to take a written test which required me to read many difficult Kanji characters. Although I felt quite anxious about how I had performed on both stages, I successfully passed all stages and received the CIR position.
I am truly excited for this wonderful opportunity and eagerly looking forward to what the future holds for me in Japan. I will do my best to make the most of my time there and prepare myself to become a foreign service officer in the future.
Ruiqi Tang '13
Having spent five years of her childhood in Nagoya, I am thrilled to return to Japan through the JET program as an Assistant Language Teaching (ALT). Funded by the Global Citizens Grant, I taught English at a school serving abandoned Tibetan girls during the summer of 2010. My 12 weeks living and working in a Tibetan village sparked an interest in education, women’s empowerment, and development. Graduating as a Gender and Women’s Studies major, I am excited to learn about Japanese schools, live in a rural Japanese community, and improve my language skills.