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AndrewJosephDec. 09, 2012 - 09:53AM JST
On the JET Programme I was interviewed by local media newspapers a few times, had two or three radio interviews. While I was certainly not the only foreign AET in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, I was, along with my friend Matthew (a fellow AET and still one of my best friends on this planet - he directed me to this article!), quite the visible and popular one, becoming involved in whatever it was my Board of Education office wanted me too, or the local International Friendship society or whatever. It was a wonderful time in my life and I enjoyed meeting and getting to know such a large number of people that 22 years later I have been putting out a reasonably popular blog on my experiences and describing culture and news about Japan for the past 3-1/2 years. (http://wonderfulrife.blogspot.ca/) - in case anyone is curious (unabashed plug).
If anything, being a part of the JET Programme matured me a great deal, as I was involved in cooking classes, dances, plays involving JET and Japanese locals throughout the prefecture (not just my hometown) - you name it, I did it and I lack all of those skills. I helped coach in various school club activities, discussed social and cultural differences and was a friend to so many people who also befriended me.
I learned so much.
Japan and the JET Programme - despite not realizing it at that time - were a great opportunity in my growth, and I urge anyone with a decent personality and a sense of adventure to give it a shot. I arrived not knowing a lick of the language or of the country, and with few concepts of what to expect, and was always pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't have missed the opportunity for anything.
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