On July 27, 2019, one hundred and forty-five new Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participants from Southern California and Arizona departed for Japan via Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles hosted a Pre-Departure Orientation and Dinner Reception in honor of the 2019-2020 participants on the eve of their departure. At the reception, participants were joined by representatives of the Japan-related community and members of the JET Alumni Association of Southern California and Arizona (JETAASC). Vice Consul Yuichiro Tanaka of the Japan Information and Culture Center applauded the 141 Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and 4 Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) while highlighting the importance of the JET experience for both participants and the communities in which they will serve. Ms. Melissa Cruz, Co-President of JETAASC, and Ms. Chelsie Blackwell, a departing JET Program Participant, followed with words of encouragement and inspiration for the new adventure participants were about to embark upon. Mr. Hiroki Matsuo, the Deputy Consul General at the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, concluded by emphasizing JET participants’ roles as cultural ambassadors before making a toast to celebrate the new JETs.
This year, the JET Program welcomes approximately 2,000 new JET participants worldwide. During their time in Japan, participants help promote foreign language education and internationalization in local communities across the country.
JET Program applications are accepted in October and November each year. For more information about the program and application process, please visit www.jetprogramusa.org.