So I have officially been in Japan for two weeks now! The first week and a half was quite a whirlwind, with moving into my new apartment, starting work and exploring my new home. I’ll be working as an assistant English teacher in a junior high setting while I am here over this next year, but right now the students are on summer break. Currently, they do have a national English speech contest in Japan, so even though it is summer break, we have been working with the kids in order to help them with their English pronunciation. So I’ve had a few days of work while being here! The school year will officially start on September 1st.
Being an Assistant Language Teacher in Yachiyo City, Japan
Tyler Sister Cities is part of Sister Cities International, a flourishing global network of exchanges through arts and culture, fostering economic and community development. “Everyone has the power to make a difference.”
Diana Ruth Pemberton is an ALT in Yachiyo City.
I haven’t had to work every day which has allowed me to settle in, explore and do some other touristy activities. I was able to go to Tokyo with a coworker/new friend, to visit a potential organization she may volunteer with. The Ark is an animal (mainly dog and cat) rescue and refuge organization that helps place animals in foster and adoption care in order to get them off the streets and have proper care. I have learned that Japan doesn’t have many organizations devoted to this kind of work and not nearly as many animal protection laws such as those in the US. It was pretty fascinating and such an honor to meet the volunteers and workers of this organization who are so passionate about their cause. The organization was started by Elizabeth Oliver and is celebrating their 25th anniversary this September.
The same day, I also finally got to experience the streets of Harajuku! More on this in the next post…
So far, I have found Japan very welcoming. Albeit very different from what I am used to, and I usually get quite a few stares when walking around the city, everyone has been very friendly. I am also slowly learning to navigate the trains, work my toilet (with built in bidet and seat heater), and the Japanese language.
The grocery store has been an adventure as well, what with one cantaloupe costing anywhere from approximately $8-$30, while salmon is as little as $1.50 per 100 grams… But the best thing I have learned to do is go with the flow and do as the natives do. Relaxing and being receptive to a new culture is the best way combat culture shock, and I’d like to think I’m doing a pretty good job!
Read more about Diana’s adventures and life in Yachiyo City:
Tyler Sister Cities provides information to our community about the City of Yachiyo’s Assistant Language Teacher opportunity. The employer for the teaching positions is the Yachiyo Education Board and therefore the program is organized and run by the city leadership of Yachiyo who has established all employment criteria and makes all final decisions about the hiring of Assistant Language Teachers. Click here for information about the specific application criteria.