This Year’s JET Seminar has come and gone

As I have been saying for a while last Monday evening there was a little meeting to discuss the JET program at the private school that I am currently studying Japanese at. I attended as planned right after leaving work on Monday and as soon as I arrived in the room I was surprised at the number of persons interested in the JET program. There was about 50-60 persons, some were students of Japanese at different levels and I was fortunate to have students above and below my level, some were persons who have no knowledge of Japanese while there were a small few who have actually visited Japan before for various reasons.

There were three representatives from the Government of Japan (Council of Local Authorities for International Relations), one form Jamaica’s local Japanese embassy and my teacher.

The meeting was done in presentation format by one of the three CLAIR reps who is a native of USA but now lives and works in Japan. He proceeded to discuss and take questions and all things related to the JET program from application process to life in Japan if accepted for the program. Afterward Tomoko sensei thanked everyone for coming and asked the students studying Japanese to remain in the room and that is where it got really interesting.

Tomoko sensei is an interesting and sincere person and she then proceeding to get everyone talking and participating in a little question and answer session with the other two CLAIR reps who are natives of Japan who speak very little English. I played it smart and stuck close to the students at a higher level than me to make sure that my questions were structured properly before I asked. I was so nervous speaking to them but they came across as nice persons.

はらださん was a young man seemingly in his early twenties and いしわだりさん was a forty five year old gentleman who spoke a bit more English than his younger counterpart. Me and other students proceeded to introduce ourselves (name, job, future dream) and they did the same. I asked them if they have ever eaten Jamaican food, if they ever been to a Jamaican beach and how long they will be staying in Jamaican while other persons asked them various other questions. It was a good experience and had it’s moments when there was a communication barrier but Tomoko sensei did a good job overseeing the our communications and I learnt a lot.

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