The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program began in 1987 as a way to improve exposure to international culture and language throughout Japan. Since then, thousands of young university graduates from around the world have participated on the JET Program. With its successful history and its support from the Japanese government, the JET Program remains one of the leading language and cultural exchange programs in the world.
JET Program applicants can choose to apply for the Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Coordinator for International Relations (CIR), or Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA), although the latter has few available positions.JET contracts are one year in length and, in some cases, can be renewed up to four times. Transportation to and from the contracting organization is paid for, as long as a JET fulfills his or her contract. JETs are also covered under Japan's national health insurance. Contracting organizations generally assist with procuring housing for their JETs, although size, quality, and rent can vary from position to position.
Many JETs continue to promote intercultural and international awareness in their homes and careers long after completing the JET Program. Through the efforts of international JET Alumni Association groups, JETs are able to maintain their relationships not only with the program, but also with fellow former and future JET participants.