Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I have a friend who is currently in Japan as part of the JET program. JET, or Japanese Exchange and Teaching, is a program that sends people to Japan to teach English. From most accounts, JET is a relatively supportive organization, and most of the experiences I've read online have been positive. Of course, it must be accepted that most participants would begin with an interest in Japan, so there may be more than a little statistical bias. Still, people keep signing up, and the opportunity to live in a foriegn country is not often available to the average college graduate.

Although I'm not sure I would go in his place, I do envy my friend his opportunity. Aside from the chance to live overseas, which is something that I've always wanted to do, he is at least doing something. School represents my previous engagements as well as my future prospects for at least the next two years. Not only am I now heartily sick of all things educational, but as I see my friends moving on and getting real jobs, I can't help but feel left behind. It is a little thing, perhaps, but it adds to a more general frustration that has been mounting slowly but steadily these last few years.

If I were to engage in such a program, Japan would be pretty high on my list. Obviously the nature of the program would require a non-english speaking country, and I already pursue anime and Japanese dramas with enthusiasm. Japan is also relatively safe, close to a lot of other interesting asiatic attractions, and home to a lot of US military personnel. Although there is something to be said of their bias against foriegners, I've had a lot of experience dealing with people who don't much like me, and few of them have been as polite as the Japanese are supposed to be.

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