Every JET Programme applicant needs to complete a "Statement of Purpose". For the reference of any aspiring JET applicants this was the one I submitted successfully.
See this JET Programme page for other examples.
There are three broad reasons why I would like to participate in the JET program which also encompass my career goals. The first consideration is that all of my university studies were structured around internationalist issues with the aim of eventually working overseas, more specifically within the Pacific Rim area. My studies in California were also undertaken with this goal in mind, along with my travels throughout the Pacific. I would particularly like to teach and have applied to undertake a graduate diploma in Education with TESOL as a my major. However I consider the JET program offers a much better window of opportunity in this regard.
My second reason stems from a desire to be involved in the world trend toward internationalisation. I see the role of an ALT as not just assisting in the teaching of English but also as an 'amateur diplomat'. By coming to Japan participants like myself help promote international understanding. Moreover we learn to understand cultural differences and respect each other's values in a better way. Coming from a very different society will help both myself and those I meet to be involved in processes of adaptation, teaching, and learning from one another.
The roles of individuals as representatives of their nation are most important in international relations. I have met many Japanese people through travel and business and have always found them to be gracious, friendly and respectful. This has not only given me a favourable impression of Japan and it's people, but if selected I am hoping to renew acquaintances with many of them.
I would hope to similarly project a good image of Australia and it's people. I know living in a foreign country is not going to be easy. I will have to learn to overcome many cultural differences, as I had to in America, but I look forward to the experience this brings. If everywhere was the same, not only would the world be a poorer place, but there would be no joy in travelling. My simple philosophy is that it is good to experience differences not sameness, despite the difficulties it may sometimes bring. I hope I can encourage Japanese young people in the same way.
My final consideration emanates from a desire to help cement the close bond between Australia and Japan. Japan is not just Australia's most important trading partner. There are also strong links being forged through social, educational, and cultural exchanges, along with tourism. The ability to speak Japanese in Australia becomes more important with the passing of each year, and undertaking instruction in Japanese will be quite advantageous. Living in a foreign country whilst learning a language is an ideal situation for myself. This is because I have found during my travels that I have an ability to quickly pick up on rudimentary vocabulary. My basic understanding of German and Spanish assists in this process.
For these reasons I would very much like to spend time living, learning and teaching in Japan. I believe that I am a responsible, outgoing, adaptable 'people' person that relates well to youth. Through areas like sport, youth clubs, and general friendship I believe I can help influence and help students in their development. Friends already involved have highly recommended the JET Programme. I am excited about the possibility of involvement too, and hope that I can be part of it.
© 1993-2008, Nicholas Klar, PO Box 280, Brighton SA 5048, AUSTRALIA
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REF: Nicholas Klar, 1994, "JET Programme Essay: Statement of Pupose" - www.klarbooks.com/academic/jet_statement_of_purpose.htm + date accessed