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Jetting off to teach English in Japan - see how you can too

South Africa's 2018 contingent of 45 graduates headed to Japan this past weekend to join the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme, which is aimed at enhancing foreign language education and promoting international exchange between Japanese and foreign youth.

The Embassy of Japan PR officer, Kota Toba, said that the programme is geared toward fostering ties between Japanese teenagers and native English teachers from around the world. While working as an Assistant English Teacher (ALT) at local authorities, as well as public and private pre-schools, primary and high schools in Japan, JET participants can learn a lot about Japan in a variety of ways.

JET participants work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) among Japanese teenagers at local authorities, as well as pre-schools, primary and high schools throughout Japan

To apply for the JET Programme through the Embassy of Japan in South Africa, applicants should be South African citizens, have a bachelor’s degree in any field. Application forms for the 2019 Programme will become available during the month of September with the submission deadline being Friday 9 November, 2018. Participants will be shortlisted by April, 2019 following a thorough selection process, which incorporates tests and face-to-face interviews in Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Toba said that participants are usually appointed by a contracting organisation in Japan for a one-year period, which can be extended for up to five years with a yearly performance evaluation. “The cost of transport from the participant’s country of origin to Japan, as well as remuneration, is funded by Japan’s tax payers via the contracting organisation where the participant is appointed JET programme has an excellent reputation and is fully backed by the Government of Japan.

“Through this cultural exchange we expect participants to become bridges between our two countries by sharing their experiences in Japan with the people of South Africa even after the programme is up. In this sense, we are happy that some former participants are currently working at the Embassy as local staff who assist us in our work here in South Africa. They are literally bridges between the two countries. These people-to-people exchanges are what Japan has been very keen to promote, and we would like to continue to provide such opportunities to the people of South Africa,” concludes Toba.

Application forms for young people interested in applying for next year will be available on the Embassy of Japan website in September 2018. The application deadline is Friday, 9 November 2018 and applicants will be shortlisted in April and May 2019, with departure to Japan scheduled for July 2019.
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