MACON – Mercer University senior Emily Hatchett was recently selected for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, where she will be an Assistant English Language Teacher (ALT) for at least a year following graduation in May.
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.
Hatchett, from Dublin, is a global health major with minors in chemistry and psychology.
In addition to teaching in Japan, she will be taking Japanese language courses and serving as a cultural ambassador in the community where she will work. Upon completion of her first year, she will have the option of renewing her JET Program contract for several years.
After returning from Japan, Hatchett hopes to pursue a graduate degree or work internationally in health or education.
“My junior year of high school, I was given the opportunity to go to Japan through my hometown’s sister city program. I am so honored and excited to be going back to the place that sparked my interest in other cultures and the world around me. I cannot wait to be able to give the same experience to my students and give back to the community whose generosity and hospitality has shaped so much of who I am today,” said Hatchett. “These next few years will provide an incredible experience, allowing me to fully delve into a new culture, language and way of life, and I am excited to be in Japan soon.”
Hatchett is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a Mercer Service Scholar in the Honors Program, director of student staff for University Admissions, former president of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, a Mercer Ambassador, a former board member for MerServe, and has been recognized on the President’s List and Dean’s List.
“Emily has been an outstanding student and campus leader during her four years at Mercer and will bring this enthusiasm to teaching English in Japan,” said Dr. Amy Nichols-Belo, assistant professor of international and global studies. “This experience will also provide an exceptionally bright young woman with an opportunity to immerse herself in another culture and to figure out her next professional steps. I am so proud of Emily for pursuing this fellowship and excited to see where the JET Program takes her.”
The JET Program seeks participants who are adaptable, outgoing, and who have a deep interest in Japan. The program typically receives 4,000-5,000 applications each year from U.S. applicants. Of those, 1,000-1,100 are selected. For more information, visit jetprogramusa.org.