What is Nara JETNet?

Nara JETNet, comprised of participants in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET Programme), is an association whose goal is the grassroots internationalization of local communities in Nara Prefecture. Its organizing committee, which consists of the Prefecture’s three Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) plans and carries out international exchange events that bring together foreign and Japanese members of the greater Nara community. Since its inception in 2001, Nara JETNet has held more than 60 events throughout the prefecture on a broad range of themes, from cooking and sports to world heritage and modern art.

What is the JET Programme?

From the JET Programme Website:

The JET Programme aims to promote internationalisation at the local level by inviting young overseas graduates to assist in international exchange and foreign language education in local governments, boards of education and junior and senior high schools throughout Japan. It seeks to foster ties between Japanese citizens (mainly youth) and JET participants at the person to person level.

CIR stands for "Coordinator for International Relations". CIRs are placed in the offices of local authorities or related organizations and engage in internationalization activities.

ALT stands for "Assistant Language Teacher". ALTs are assigned to local boards of education or schools and carry out their duties under the guidance of Language Teachers' Consultants and Japanese teachers of foreign language.

What is the purpose of Nara JETNet?

Nara JETNet holds 4 internationally-themed events per year which are open to anyone who lives and/or works in Nara Prefecture. While learning about the cultures and customs of other countries is an important part of internationalization, we believe that real exchange takes place when people are also able to meet and interact on a personal level.

Who plans Nara JETNet events?

Nara JETNet's planning committee is made up of 5 CIRs, 4 from the International Affairs Division and 1 from the International Citizen Support Center. The current members are all Nara JET Programme participants and hail from France, China, Ireland, Korea, and Canada. We handle all the administrative work -- scheduling facilities, planning the day's activities, advertising, publications, and more -- with the support of the International Affairs Division of Nara Prefecture.

The events themselves, however, would not be possible without the dedication and enthusiam of Nara's hardworking JET participants. All of the 54 JETs in Nara prefecture are part of Nara JETNet, and prior to each event we spend time preparing activities, trying out recipes, and fashioning displays.

What kind of events has Nara JETNet held?

Nara JETNet has held Christmas events, hiking events, sports-day style events, informational lectures, and more. Nara JETNet's most popular event, which is held every year in June, is the International Arts Festival, which consistently attracts over 300-400 people from around the Prefecture.

Can anyone participate?

It depends on the event. Most are open to the general public, and a wide variety of people come -- high school students, a mother and father with their two young children, senior citizens, young adults, and more! Participants truly range in age from 1 to 100 and everywhere in between -- so don't hesitate to participate because you are worried about feeling "out of place." Everyone is welcome! (Please note, however, that depending on the age of the participant, we may require a parent or guardian to be present at all times.)

How much does it cost to participate?

Nothing. There is no cost to participate in a Nara JETNet Event unless specified otherwise.

How do I find out about the next event?

Nara JETNet always advertises its events in the prefectural newsletter(Kenmin Dayori) that is delivered to all residents of Nara Prefecture free of charge. Various schools, city halls, and community centers are also sent fliers about JETNet events. This website also contains information about upcoming JETNet Events.

How do I register for the next event?

Please click the "Next Event" link for details.

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