Humber grad Judy Cerovski loved her time working as a language instructor in Japan.
But she brought back home as much as she left behind. She learned to play traditional Japanese instruments, such as the three-stringed Shamisen.
“It was the biggest accomplishment for me because I have never met a Canadian who can play shamisen,” said Cerovski, a former post-graduate student in International Development Project Management at Humber College who worked as an assistant language teacher between 2009 and 2012.
It’s grassroot connections like those that build strong international links between Canada and Japan, some through Humber grads involved in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme.
Alumni and former Humber employees participated in JET to learn about the island nation’s culture and language as well as to strengthen relations between the two countries on a local level.
Nicholas Jones, co-chair with JET Alumni Association (JETAA), had worked for Humber’s Writing Centre in 2003. Jones said he wouldn’t have been able to join JET without his experience as an instructor for international students at the centre.
He was always curious about teaching language as ESL and that’s why Jones joined this program, to experience teaching English in Japan.
“The Japanese councilors were impressed with my experience at Humber College when I interviewed to apply for the JET Programme,” Jones said. “I love experience that related on JET Program.”
The program promotes international ties at a local level and offers it to college and university students around the world. While most are involved in teaching languages, it also has participants involved in coordinating international relations at the local level and sports exchange advisors.
Iyona Jia Yin Yu was in Japan with JET between 2012 to 2016. Yu likes Japanese culture and language, and studied Japanese while in university. She learned how different the Canadian and Japanese school systems are, and how students work in school in different countries.
The Toronto woman also enjoyed delving into Japan’s lifestyle. In her case, she went to Ehime Prefecture, just south of the city of Hiroshima.
“It would be the best experience in my life because it was like a dream come true. I had many interesting experiences in Japan,” Yu said.
JET’s official website reported the Program has grown significantly over its 30-year history and has more than 62,000 people from 65 countries participating.
JETAA is supporting participants who came back to Canada. The Japanese counsel general was to attend the fourth annual JETAA Career Roundtable in Toronto yesterday. Professionals from various fields were to speak to those who returned, offering their perspectives on where to take their careers after working in Japan.