Every year, a handful of Berea seniors and graduates apply for the highly competitive Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Since 1987, more than 70,000 college and university graduates from all around the world have taught their native languages in Japan through the JET Program, which is administered by the Japanese government in cooperation with 38 other national governments. For most of that time, only one applicant from Berea has been successful each year. In 2019, however, six Berea graduates were accepted by the program, setting a new record, which was nearly matched by Berea’s success in 2020, when all four finalists from Berea were accepted.
Due to the pandemic, competition for placement through the JET Program has become even more intense, and in 2021, no Berea applicants were successful. This year, however, three finalists from Berea – alumni Fatima King ’14 and Nicole Mangin ’19 and graduating Asian Studies major Michelle Mecham ’22 – received offers of positions with JET. All three will become Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), helping to teach English in Japanese K-12 classrooms. They will join a long and steady line of Bereans who are connecting Japan with the United States. Congratulations and おめでとう to all!