MACON – Mercer University alumna Ama Osei was selected for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and will serve as an Assistant English Language Teacher (ALT) in Hokkaido, Japan, for at least a year.

The JET Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns and villages throughout Japan and represent the United States as cultural ambassadors to Japan.

Most participants serve as ALTs and work in public and private schools throughout Japan. ALTs assist with classes taught by Japanese Teachers of English/Language (JTEs/JTLs) and are involved in the preparation of teaching materials and in extracurricular activities like English clubs or sports teams.

Osei, from Monroe, graduated in May 2021 with a double-major in neuroscience and Japanese culture and a minor in chemistry. She is currently applying to medical schools with plans to enroll in an M.D.-Ph.D. dual degree program, while also serving as a pharmacy technician and an intern with the Japan America Society of Georgia.

“After graduating, I decided to embrace spontaneity and live more in the moment. As a teacher in the JET program, I can continue my journey in Japan that got cut short by the first COVID wave,” said Osei.

At Mercer, she was a member of the University Honors Program, flute choir, marching band, African Student Association, as well as Nu Rho Psi, Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Epsilon Delta honor societies. She also served as a study abroad ambassador and tutor at the Academic Resource Center, received a Gilman Scholarship and studied abroad in Fukuoka, Japan.

“Ama was an outstanding student, and her passion for the Japanese language and culture has been apparent from my earliest interactions with her. She is most deserving of this honor, and I know that she will excel in the JET program and represent the very best of Mercer University during her time in Japan,” said Dr. William Jenkins, associate professor of psychology.

Founded in 1987, JET Program has sent more than 70,000 participants from around the globe, including more than 35,800 Americans, to work in schools, boards of education and government offices throughout Japan. Some 1,000-1,100 U.S. applicants are selected each year.

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