Want to teach abroad instead of just studying? Be the teacher, not the student, with The Japan Exchange and Teaching Progamme (JET). They send recruits to various cities in Japan to teach Japanese students English.

In order to promote internationalism, the JET program doesn’t usually place participating students in large cities. They are placed in medium to small sized cities and rural towns, which is a great way to really experience the culture of the country. The term lasts for a year, and there are a few different positions available. Students can be Assistant Language Teachers, where they directly teach English to kids aged from elementary school to high school. Coordinators for International Relations work in communities on activities dealing with international exchange. Lastly, Sports Exchange Advisors promote international exchange through sports. The website is full of resources for applicants, current participants, as well as former participants. Their pamphlet says it all.

It’s not necessary to have any knowledge of the Japanese language, but the program is fairly competitive (there is an interview process). I took Japanese my first two years at the U of M, and a few people came into our class to talk about the program. A couple of them have gone back to Japan through the JET program more than once, and all the others said they would go again if they had the chance.

This opportunity would result in nothing short of an amazing experience, since it is one of the largest exchange programs out there.