One of my friends once asked me, “Why don’t you go teach English in Japan?” My first thought was, I’m not a teacher. She knew I had been trying to learn Japanese, and no doubt some cultural immersion would be a good thing.
After doing some research, I learned that being a teacher is not necessarily a prerequisite to participate. It turns out that Japan often accepts a limited number of native English speakers each year to assist in their education program. The best part, participants are expected to study Japanese as well.
I know for sure I would enjoy doing this, but it’s a fairly large commitment. Hopefully by the time applications for the 2014 year are accepted I will have decided if I want to proceed. I’ll have to consider leaving my employment and living arrangements, all the natural disasters, and even the political environment. I’d hate to arrive just before N. Korea decides to test a nuclear device on the island or miss the opportunity to go for the same reason.
If you are a U.S. citizen and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program interests you, go to the embassy website here for more information.