Jul 25

Kitcher’s Café, a new series by Lana Kitcher (Yamanashi-ken, 2010-12) is an assortment of articles, topics and commentary written for the JET Alumni community. Lana currently serves as the Business Development Associate at Bridges to Japan, a New York-based cross-cultural consulting firm founded by JET alum Jennifer Jakubowski (Hokkaido, 1995-97)

As I sat in my empty Yamanashi apartment, one year ago this month, a flood of feelings rushed over me. I had come full-circle, able to cram everything into two suitcases again with anxious yet excited feelings of leaving home for something unfamiliar. I had a bundle of memorabilia set aside to take with me, and pictures of the last days that I had with my students, coworkers and friends. I knew it was going to be hard to say goodbye and turn the page to the next exciting chapter of my life, but I didn’t think that it was going to feel so daunting. This was the first time in my life that the next steps were utterly unplanned and unpredictable. After high school I knew I was going to college, during college I knew I wanted to work for the JET Program… but now that the JET Program was over, the next year was a completely blank slate. I was going to have to return to my hometown temporarily to figure it out, and that idea to me was terrifying.

Japan, ALT, JET Program

LRK ©2013

Many of the JETs that are in Japan right now are clearing out their desks, packing up their apartments, attending farewell parties, and being brought to tears by the students and coworkers that shared many moments with them this past year (or five). Where once was an unfamiliar, foreign and strange place, has become normal life. Do they realize that many of them are about to leave Japan, bound for an even stranger land – the one that they once called home?

As many of us have experienced, returning to your home country after any amount of time living abroad is more challenging than it may seem at first. They try to warn us about reverse culture shock, but we convince ourselves that “I will be different,” and “It won’t happen to me, I already know what to expect.” Some people really don’t experience any strange or frustrating feelings when returning home, but for individuals like myself, the first year back may be a challenging and rocky road.

As JET alumni, what do you wish someone had told you during your final days in Japan? What are some of the words of wisdom that you wish you had known before coming back? How can we help these transitioning JET participants, soon to join the alumni community? My advice to them would be this: Read More

Feb 23

Spread the love for Jetwit

Spread the love for Jetwit. Now you can have your very own Jetwit virtual button to put on your website or blog. Or use it to pimp your MySpace profile. All you have to do is copy and paste the HTML code below into your blog or site:

<a href=”http://jetwit.com/wordpress/”<img src=”http://jetwit.com/Documents/jetwitbutton.jpg” width=”150″/></a>

AJ, the elephant by Zi Mei.  Button design by Amber Liang.

Page Rank