Culture and Education


The JET Program

The Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville oversees the JET Program for residents or students in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. If you have any questions or comments about the JET Program, please contact us. If you are not a resident of the five-state area, please contact your local consulate, unless you intend to apply through our office.

Program Overview

The JET Program invites new graduates and young professionals from around the world to participate in international exchange and foreign language education in Japan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) co-sponsor the program. Here at the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville, we work with the program sponsors and the Embassy of Japan to recruit, interview, and select applicants from the our five-state area, and to prepare participants for departure. Successful applicants are placed at various contracting organizations around Japan, from boards of education in rural Japan to urban government offices.

This website contains a general overview of the JET Program and information specific to our five-state area. For complete information about the JET Program, please visit the Official Embassy of Japan’s JET Program website, which contains information applicable to U.S. citizens. Please note that there are a number of unofficial websites about JET Program. While some may contain useful information, they may also contain inaccuracies.  As such, please refer to the Official JET Program website or contact us for accurate information.

1. Qualifications and Positions

Eligibility criteria and positions are outlined in full on the JET Program application. Basic requirements for American applicants include an interest in Japan, the ability to adapt to life in Japan, and a willingness to study the Japanese language. Excellent English language skills and a bachelor’s degree are also required; all majors are welcome!
  • Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) - Most participants are assigned to positions as ALTs in elementary, junior high, or high school. ALTs assist in classes taught by Japanese teachers of foreign language. ALT duties can also include assisting with other aspects of foreign language training, visiting primary and elementary schools, and engaging in local international exchange activities. While Japanese language skills are not required for the ALT position, participants must commit to studying Japanese upon their acceptance.
  • Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) - Approximately 10% of the American participants on the program are CIRs. Because CIRs are placed in Japanese government offices, they must have a functional command of the Japanese language. CIRs assist with various projects related to international activities. These activities can include editing and translating publications, hosting foreign guests, and interpreting at events for overseas visitors. CIRs may also provide language instruction, assist with private international exchange activities, and help raise cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
  • Sports Education Advisors (SEAs) - SEAs engage in internationalization through the instruction of specific sports. Applications for the SEA position are accepted by invitation only.

2. Benefits

Participants receive 3,360,000 yen* in their first year, and ALTs are exempt from both U.S. and Japanese income taxes for the first two years. This amount should be sufficient to cover the cost of living in Japan. Participants also receive training, travel expenses, insurance, housing assistance, access to counseling and support services, opportunities to network at professional conferences, and optional Japanese language instruction. (* Subject to change.)

How to Apply

Please visit Official Embassy of Japan’s JET Program Website to begin your application. The new application usually becomes available online annually in early October. Prospective applicants who become interested in the Program before the application is available are encouraged to get ahead by gathering supplemental application materials.

The following timetable is for general reference. Be sure to get exact dates for the JET year for which you are applying.


JET Program Recruitment: Info Sessions take place on university campuses and career fairs in the 5-state area of Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  (University personnel interested in having an Info Session or for more information in general, please contact Tye Ebel: JET Program Coordinator. )
September – October Application available
November – December APPLICATIONS DUE (Deadline varies from year to year)
Mid-December – January The Embassy of Japan reviews applications.
January Applicants are notified of their status.
January - February Interview with those who passed the initial screening.
April Interview results are released. Successful applicants are required to submit additional documents.
May/June Successful candidates are notified of their placements.
June Optional Question & Answer Session is held by the Consulate and the JET Alumni Association Music City.
July/August The Consulate hosts a mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation in Nashville for participants.
Participants depart the morning after the Orientation and arrive in Tokyo, Japan the following day.
July/August CLAIR hosts a mandatory Post-Arrival Orientation in Tokyo. Participants depart for contracting organizations.

JET Alumni Association

1. JET Alumni Association (JETAA) USA

JET participant returnees who reside in Tennessee and Kentucky are granted membership in the JETAA Music City Chapter. For more information on JETAA Music City, please contact or visit the JETAA Music City Facebook page. Those who reside in Louisiana, Arkansas, or Mississippi are granted membership in jetaaNOLA (aka the JETAA Mid-South chapter). For more information on jetaaNOLA, please contact or visit the jetaaNOLA Facebook page. A complete list of chapters in the USA can be found on the JETAA USA official website. New returnees to our area who have not yet registered should contact the JET Program Coordinator.

2. JET Alumni Association International (JETAAi)
The JET Alumni Association International (JETAAi) is the umbrella organization overseeing the various associations around the world and is a valuable resource for applicants, current participants, participants’ parents, and returnees.

Contact Information

Tye Ebel - JET Program Coordinator
Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville
1801 West End, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37203
Tel: +1 (615) 340-4300 ext. 171
Fax: +1 (615) 340-4312