Local young professionals were invited by the Government of Japan to participate as participants of the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. On Saturday August 1, thirty-four young men and women will depart from Nashville International Airport for Japan to begin their jobs as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs). Hiroshi Sato, Consul-General of Japan in Nashville will host a reception at his official residence for the departing participants and their families on the day before their departure.
The JET Program, sponsored by the Government of Japan and administered locally by the Embassy and Consulates General of Japan, aims to improve foreign language education in Japan and to promote international understanding. The program was establishment in 1987 with 848 participants from only four countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Since then over 50,000 college graduates from 55 countries have been invited to represent their home countries to local communities in Japan. The JET Program has become one of the most successful exchange programs in the world and continues to draw many young people from all over the world.
This year, 4,436 participants from 36 countries will join the JET Program. More than half of them (2,537 participants) are from the United States. The program participants either teach English at elementary or secondary schools as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) or Sports Exchange Advisors (SEAs) or work in local government offices as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs).
There is an alumni association of the JET Program participants called JET Alumni Association (JETAA). The JETAA has chapters all over the world including a newly established one in Nashville (Music City JETAA).