A friend of mine recently told me about The JET Programme. This is a program run by the Japanese government to get English speakers to come to Japan. I’ve been feeling lately like I need to go somewhere (well, to be honest, I always feel like I need to go somewhere), and I’ve wanted to go to Japan for a while. Also, one of my goals in life is to able to converse in at least one language native to every continent. I’ve already got Europe covered with English and German. I chose Japanese for Asia, mainly because I watch a lot of anime.
Well, this program seems like something I would really enjoy. I think I would really like living in Japan, and I think it would be great to be able to teach children English. Living in Japan would give me great experience with the Japanese language, so hopefully after living there for a year, I should at least be able to hold a conversation.
So, the program is basically a year-long contract. I apply at the Japanese embassy, and if I’m accepted, they arrange for me to get a contract with a school somewhere in Japan. The contract lasts for one year, and at the end of that year, if I and the school would like, I can renew my contract for another year. I can do that four times, for a total of five years. The application for next year should be available this Thursday, and if I’m accepted, I would leave for Japan late next July or early August.
Of course, the hardest part would be being away from my friends and family, whom I love. I wouldn’t lose contact, of course. Between email, IM, telephone, and Facebook, it’d be like I’m practically still here in Austin, except that I wouldn’t be.
The other difficulty would be Joe Stryker. Now that we’ve finally got it off the ground, I’d hate to put it on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. I’ve already decided that if I do go, I’ll take a webcam with me, and will still do StrykerMail clips. Plus, maybe we’ll know an animator or two by then and can switch the format to an animated show. That would be fun. In any case, we’d try to film as many episodes before I leave as we can.
But as for me wanting to do this, there is no question. It may seem impulsive. I heard about this program on Saturday, and now I’ve already decided I want to uproot my life, and go to Japan. But I feel like it’s something that would be really good for me, and maybe I would be able to help others, in the process.
I’d certainly like to hear what you guys think about it.