I have always had a passion for learning about and experiencing other cultures, specifically Japan, so when I found the International Studies program at SVSU and learned that they offered Japanese, I was so excited!
SVSU has played such a large role in guiding me towards my current career path and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to study in an such a supportive and nurturing environment. I was offered classes that helped me to learn about other cultures and taught me intercultural communication skills that have turned out to be key in my interactions with partner countries when I send students abroad. I also was able to learn about the JET Program through Dr. Monika Dix, my Japanese professor. I have since been accepted to this program, which has been such a wonderful and exciting opportunity!
The JET Program (The Japan Exchange Teaching Program) was founded in 1987 and has sent more than 66,000 participants from over 40 countries around the world to work in schools, boards of education, and government offices throughout Japan. There are 4,000-5,000 applications from the U.S. each year and around 1,100 participants are selected. Being accepted to the JET Program has been unbelievable, as it allows me the opportunity to act as a cultural ambassador for the United States to Japan. I will be working as an assistant language teacher (ALT) in elementary and junior high schools and have been placed in the beautiful city of Hirosaki, which is located in the Aomori prefecture. As somebody who has always adored and dreamed of Japan and found beauty in the country, culture, and language, I am deeply honored to be part of such a wonderful program. I owe many of the skills that got me here to SVSU and my past professors so I am determined to make them and myself proud.