Feb 26

Mansfield Fellowship in Japan

Via JETAA DC President Michelle Spezzacatena:

Mansfield Fellowship in Japan

Federal employees with a strong career interest in issues of importance to the U.S.-Japan relationship now have the opportunity to apply for a Mike Mansfield Fellowship.

During the two-year program, Fellows spend a year working full-time in Japanese government offices, preceded by a year of full-time rigorous language and area studies training in the United States. After completing the program, Fellows return to their U.S. agencies with proficiency in Japanese and practical, firsthand experience with Japan and its government that enables them to contribute to their agencies’ Japan-related work.

For more information about the Fellowships, information sessions in Washington, D.C., and application guidelines, please visit www.mansfieldfdn.org or contact Ms. Sara Seavey, Program Assistant, Mansfield Fellowship Program at 202-347-1994 or sseavey@mansfieldfdn.org.

Application deadline:  April 1, 2010.

The Mansfield Fellowship Program is administered by The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as grantor.

Feb 9

Study in Japan: Keio University Graduate School of Media Design Information Session

Thanks to JETAA NY Webmaster Lee-Sean Huang for passing this on:

Dec 27

Recommendations for intensive Japanese language programs in Tokyo?

Via JETAA DC yahoogroup:

JET alum Jordan Heiber (Fukui-ken, 2000-02) is looking for info/recommendations for intensive Japanese Language Programs in Tokyo — similar to the one offered by Keio University.  Requirements would be:

1) year long course

2) qualifies the participant for a student visa for the year

3) ideally close in proximity to Minato Ku

Jordan notes:  “The Internet is overflowing with less-than-useful information on this, so I’m hoping some of you may have some insider’s knowledge.  Thanks.”

If anyone else in the JET-o-sphere has helpful information, please share in the comments section of this post.  Or e-mail jordansensei [/at/] hotmail [/dot/] com.

Sep 16


JetWit knows that a lot of JET alums are interested in working in the fields of international education programs and student services, so we asked future international ed expert Pam Kavalam (Shiga-ken, 2007-09) to talk to some JET alums in the field and share her conversation for the benefit of the JET alumni community:

Spotlight on University Administration

by Pam Kavalam (Shiga-ken, 2007-09)

Are you looking for a career that can utilize some of the skills you learned over in Japan- cross-cultural exchange, working with students, and (for the truly lucky) the offer to travel again? Think about working at a university- either in international exchange or student affairs. I sat down with Shannan Spisak (Kawasaki-shi, 96-98) to talk about her experience from the JET Program to higher education administration.

Tell me about your journey into the field of international education.

Shannan: After I came back from JET, I moved to New York City with a friend and worked at a private Japanese company for 2 years. I decided to switch careers to move into the international arena; the United Nations in particular interested me. I went on a number of informational interviews with fellow former JETs working in the field and they all recommended graduate school. I decided to study Peace Education and International Exchange at Teachers College, Columbia University. In order to finance my education, I took a job working as Assistant to the President of Barnard College while attending classes part-time. During the process of completing my M.A., I realized I had grown more interested in the education component of my degree than its relation to UN work. Consequently, my focus shifted towards seeking a career in international exchange in higher education.

What do you do now?

Shannan: I work at the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the Global Scholarships Division. The IIE is a 90 year-old non-profit organization that runs over 200 programs around the world, including the Fulbright. I manage three international scholarship programs through the GE Foundation and the Chubb Insurance Foundation. I organize the review and selection of applications, notify finalists, award grants, and manage special components of the scholarships such as Leadership Development Seminars and Career Workshops. I also coordinate Read More

Sep 4



JETAA Northern California and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco present:

The 2009 Career & Networking Forum

Sunday, September 27, 2009 – 1:00-5:00 p.m. – Kabuki Hotel

The Career & Networking Forum (CNF) co-sponsored by the JET Alumni Association of Northern California (JETAANC) and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, will take place on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at the Kabuki Hotel (www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/sanfrancisco/kabuki) at 1650 Post Street in San Francisco from 1:00-5:00 pm (registration begins at 12:30).

The event will include industry-related breakout sessions and a keynote address, as well as a networking session where attendees can meet representatives from various organizations, and discuss resumes and job hunting techniques with alumni. This event is FREE for all JET Alumni and $10 for Friends of JET (FOJ).

For all veteran alumni this is a great opportunity for you make some career contacts, catch up with old friends, and help recently-returned JETs. Through the industry-related breakout sessions, we are providing an opportunity for older alumni to help mentor newly returned JETs and JETs looking to transition into another career.

Following CNF the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, Yasumasa Nagamine will be hosting a reception for recently-returned JETs at the Kabuki Hotel.  We would like to invite all JET Alumni attending CNF to this reception to help welcome back JET participants.

Please RSVP through the CNF registration link, also found below.

Tentative Schedule of Events:

  • 12:30-1:00: Registration
  • 1:00-1:10: Opening remarks
  • 1:10-1:40: Keynote
  • 1:40-2:45: Breakout sessions by industry
  • 2:45-3:00: Break
  • 3:00-5:00: Networking Session
  • 5:00-7:00: Welcome Back Reception

>> Keynote Address: Timothy Morey, (CIR, Aomori City 1996 – 99) UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA, Senior Business Architect at Wipro Technologies. Focusing on the tools that can help you take action to realize your career aspirations.

>> Breakout sessions by industry
Hear from alumni who been there and done that. Get your questions answered from alumni who have all landed new jobs in a variety of fields.

>> Networking Session
What is the power of networking? Find out at this two hour-long session where you will have the opportunity to meet with Bay Area companies and organizations, and fellow alumni engaged in a variety of fields. Alumni will also be available to review your resume and help you showcase yourself and the skills you honed during your years on JET. You will not want to miss this opportunity to get a jump start on your career search!

**Be sure to bring an UPDATED resume and business cards (if you have them).
**Professional attire is required.

If you are interested in attending please register online by Monday, September 21, 2009. Space is limited so register now!

CNF Registration Link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dG9BSHhvRkpFSXZwbkJJeGc0Sm1DQ2c6MA.

***If your company or organization is interested in hosting a table during the Networking Session please contact cnf@jetaanc.org for more information***

Sep 2

Any JET alums planning to attend the NAFSA Regional Conference Nov. 2-5?

Pam Kavalam (Shiga Prefecture, ’07-’09) is planning on attending the NAFSA Regional Conference (http://www.region10.nafsa.org/Region%20X%20New/Conferences_Workshops/conf2009/index.htm) in Springfield, MA from November 2-5 and would like to connect to other JET alums who are interested in going.

NAFSA (www.nafsa.org) is the professional association for international higher education administration.

If you’re interested in, or already working inm study abroad, international student advising and recruitment or international education in general, this is the conference for you. It’s a great way to network within the Boston and New York areas, learn more about the field, and attend workshops that you can put on your resume.

Contact Pam for details about registration, transportation, hotel information, volunteering and costs.

Aug 23

Academia: JET alum Christopher Hood heads Japanese Studies Centre at Cardiff University


Thanks to Dr. Andrew Staples (Fukuoka-ken, 1996-99) (whom we learned about thanks to Eleanor Robinson (CIR Aomori-ken, 1999-2002)), JetWit has learned of another JET alum in the world of academia:

Dr. Christopher P. Hood (Aichi-ken, 1993-94) is the Director of the Cardiff Japanese Studies Centre at with is part of the Cardiff Business School at Cardiff University in the U.K.

Chris’ website does a good job of describing his background and career path as well as listing his books and other publications.  Hopefully it serves as a guide and perhaps inspiration for other JET alums as well:


Having become interested in Japan while I was at Concord College, I went on to study Japanese Studies and Business Studies at the School of East Asian Studies (University of Sheffield). Then, after a year on the JET Programme, I returned to Sheffield to do a PhD. Since August 2000, I have been a lecturer at and the Director of the Cardiff Japanese Studies Centre, part of the Cardiff Business School at Cardiff University. I am also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House.

I have also been working on a number of other projects over the past few years. For example, I was the editor of The Politics of Modern Japan, a 4 volume collection of articles on Japanese politics, published in 2008. I was also co-editor, with Prof. G. Bownas and D. Powers, of Doing Business with the Japanese, published in 2003.

My research interests relating to Japan are broad, however the central themes are relating to identity and symbolism. My doctoral research and first book, Japanese Education Reform: Nakasone’s Legacy, were on education reforms in Japan and the influence of Prime Minister Nakasone.

My next project was on the shinkansen (‘bullet train’), looking at the ways in which it both reflects aspects of Japanese society and the ways in which it has influenced Japanese society. This book, Shinkansen – From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan, was published originally in 2006, with a paperback version published in 2007.

I am currently writing a book about the Japan Airlines flight JL123 crash in 1985. Although the book, Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Japanese and Global Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash, due to be published in 2011, will discuss the reasons for the crash, it will primarily be looking at what can be learnt about Japanese, and to some extent global, society by looking at what happened following the crash.

After this I am planning a book which will bring together my research to date as well as including some new material based on further fieldwork which has been ongoing for the past couple of years. This book will be looking at identity within Japan using several topics (education, attitudes to city mergers, attitudes to natural and man-made disasters, and attitudes to the development of the shinkansen network) as case studies.


To learn more about Chris and his publications, go to the following links:

Aug 20



You may have read recently about Eleanor Robinson (CIR Aomori-ken, 1999-2002) and her work with the new Doshisha Global MBA Program which begins in September.  Thanks to Eleanor, we’ve also learned about another JET alum, Dr. Andrew Staples (Fukuoka-ken, 1996-99), who is a Special Visiting Professor at Doshisha Business School with a number of published writings that should be of interest to the JET alumni community.

Here’s more about Andrew and his career path so far:

JetWit:  We understand your work has been published.  Can you tell us what and where?

Andrew: I’ve published a few times with Palgrave in the Asian Business Series including the chapter in the new textbook (we are in the process of making PowerPoint slides to accompany the book, which has been selling well), a chapter in an edited volume titled Emerging Multiplicity, and my own single authored text published last year, Responses to Regionalism, which was based on my PhD thesis.

Publications by Andrew Staples:

JetWit:  What was your path from JET to academics?

A: I was an ALT for two years in a senior high in Fukuoka prefecture before becoming the ALT prefectural coordinator in Fukuoka City for the final year. After JET I enrolled at the School of East Asian Studies (SEAS), University of Sheffield, U.K. to study for an MSc in East Asian Business (1999-2000). I funded this, by the way, with my pension and tax refund and a bit of university English teaching here and there, which is something other JETs could consider doing. Read More

Aug 19


Starting in September, Doshisha University in Kyoto will begin offering its Global MBA Program through its Graduate School of Business at Doshisha University in Kyoto.  And JET alum Eleanor Robinson (CIR Aomori-ken, 1999-2002) is actively involved in the administration of the program.

After leaving the JET Programme in 2002, Eleanor Robinson studied International Relations at Kyoto University with a focus on the history of Anglo-Japanese relations. She is still in the process of completing her PhD thesis while also currently working full-time as an administrator for the Graduate School of Business at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Her job is to translate documents, assist international students and a range of other tasks.  Eleanor notes that all of the classes on the Global MBA will be in English with an “Asia focus” and the program has a student cohort of 23 people from all over the world.


Aug 18

Michael Auslin to moderate panel discussion on Japan’s Aug 30 elections

The latest from JET alum Michael Auslin, a professor of Japanese history and politics and currently the Director of Japanese Studies for the American Enterprise Institute in D.C.

Go to http://www.aei.org/event/100118 for full event detailsGo here for more posts about Michael Auslin on JetWit.

Japan’s Election: Democratic Breakthrough?
AEI event, Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo Courtesy of chinadaily.com

On September 2, AEI’s Michael Auslin will moderate a panel discussing Japan’s August 30 general elections. If it wins, the Democratic Party of Japan will focus on reversing the country’s sharpest economic downturn since World War II, but it will also face numerous foreign policy challenges. The panel will include Kevin Maher, director of the Japan desk at the State Department, Len Schoppa of the University of Virginia, and Nick Szechenyi of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. [READ MORE]

Jul 3

JET-oriented scholarships?

TempleMBAJapanCan anyone recommend any scholarships (or organizations/institutions that are good sources of scholarships) that might appeal to JETs/JET alums in addition to the ones listed below?  If so, please post in the comments section, or feel free to e-mail directly to jetwit [at] jetwit [dot] com.  We’ll make a more complete list available after getting responses.

  • Monbusho
  • Monterey Institute
  • McGill MBA
  • JAIMS (Japan-America Institute of Management Science)
  • Temple University Japan campus MBA
  • JLGC summer in Japan


  • Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships http://www.rotary.org (Thanks to Shannon Quinn, former JETAA Pacific Northwest President, former JETAA USA Country Rep and currently the ALT Advisor to MEXT in Tokyo.)

Update #2:

A few more scholarships, thanks to Kia Cheleen (CIR, Aichi-ken 1996-98, ALT 1998-1999), Associate Director at the Donald Keene Center on Japanese Culture at Columbia University.

Apr 28

MEXT SCHOLARSHIPS… Get your applications in by June 8th.

MEXT Scholarships

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) sponsors Japanese Government Scholarships to enable aspiring foreign scholars from all over the world to study in Japan. To date, some 65,000 students from approximately 160 countries and regions around the world have studied in Japan under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program established in 1954. As of May 1, 2005, there were 9,891 foreign students studying in Japan as Japanese government scholarship students. Japanese proficiency is not required at the time of application unless otherwise noted; however, scholarship recipients are required to take Japanese language classes in Japan.

Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles accepts application for Japanese government scholarships from candidates who are the U.S. public and reside or attend universities in Southern California and Arizona.

Applications for following Japanese government (Monbukagakusho) scholarships for 2010 are now available. Completed application must be accepted by June 8, 2009. Please note that applicants who have Japanese nationality at the time of application are not eligible.

JET Program Alumni are encouraged to apply to the Research Student Scholarship (there MAY be a scholarship available for alumni ONLY through this.)

For more information, please go to: http://www.la.us.emb-japan.go.jp/e_web/e_m05_18.htm

Apr 9

jetaalawJET Alum Zach LeNarz has set up a Facebook group called “JETAA Law” for JET alums who work in the legal profession, are in law school or are in any other way connected with the law.  (If the link doesn’t work for any reason, just do a search for “JETAA Law” on Facebook.)

So go ahead and sign up.  No contract, waiver or non-disclosure agreement required. :-)

Apr 4

2010 Japanese Government Scholarships

Via JETAA Pacific Northwest:

Subject: 2010 Japanese Government Scholarships

============ ========= =========

2010 Japanese Government Scholarships

============ ========= =========

The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle is now accepting applications for the following 2010 Japanese Government Scholarships for studying in Japan.

U.S. citizens living in the states of Washington, Montana, and Northern Idaho are eligible to apply at our office.

The application forms are available on our website at: http://www.seattle.us.emb-japan.go.jp

Read More

Mar 21

JETAA DC Grad School Night – update


Were you interested in the 2009 Grad School and Fellowship night, but waiting to RSVP until you see who’s going to be presenting? Well, get ready because JETAADC’s got an all star line up for you this year!

JETAADC will host 5 panelists to discuss their graduate school and fellowship/scholars hip experiences, to answer your most burning questions about the process in a question & answer session, and to network with you over free food and drinks after the event. The panelists are:

  1. Michael Acton – The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, Masters of Arts in International Development
  2. Brooke Howell – University of Maryland Graduate School’s Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, Master of Journalism, with a concentration in Public Affairs Reporting, Merrill Fellowship recipient
  3. Thomas Kodiak – College of William & Mary’s Mason School of Business, Masters of Business Administration AND Thunderbird School of Global Management, Masters of International Management
  4. Lisa Mayorga – The American University’s School of International Service, Masters of International Communications
  5. Bina Sheladia – The University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School, Masters of Higher Education Administration.  Bina’s unique job experience related to fellowship administration will be discussed as well.

See you on the 31st!

Margaret Burton

JETAADC Outreach Chair Read More

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