When my uncle came to visit, what he found amazing was how keen the students were to find out about other cultures and practice what they had learnt in the classroom. I was so proud that I had been given the chance to participate in this internationalisation process. On a trip to Kyoto these Hokkaido students came and chatted with us for over 30 minutes, they were so enthusiastic in speaking English and telling us about their ALT. I realised that being a JET isn't just about conversing with your students in class, but fuelling interest and being open to everyone who makes an effort to speak with you.
When my uncle and his friend came to visit from Bosnia, where they are EU police officers, my school was so excited that they put on a cultural exchange day. The kids prepared for weeks to learn about the history and culture of Bosnia and to show them demonstrations of traditional Japanese culture. They got a surprise when the visitors turned up in uniform and did a great PowerPoint presentation about their jobs. It showed me how diverse this job is. I never thought I would be hosting an international day and the kids would be so motivated by an Eastern European country they had never even heard of.
One of the most satisfying things I do as a JET is host an English club every Thursday. It has let me get to know the students on a much deeper level and I can hear about their lives, opinions, outlooks and motivations. I think it is so important to build up a bond with the students, as they can see the real use of learning English. Through English club I have been able to see their interest in English and travel grow, which in turn has made them concentrate harder in class.