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Sample cover letter for Full Time position at Japanese Teaching and Exchange Programme
Assistant Language Teacher
GOT THE JOB? Yes
Statement of Purpose
I have always been passionate about discovering new places and learning about different cultures. One of the most profound times my appreciation of Japanese people grew was while I was sitting in an university cafeteria in South America. As an exchange student in Argentina, a new and unfamiliar world lay before me in which I neither understood the language, my surroundings, nor the way of the life of those around me. Yet, in this unfamiliar, foreign setting I found common ground with an unlikely group of people in much of the same circumstances as myself, the Japanese exchange students. I did not speak Japanese, nor they English, but together we were all expatriates, removed from our homes and comfortable lives, thrust into a blur of noise, activity, and the rush of life in a busy city and university. I was encouraged by the collected and calm nature of my Japanese friends in the midst of our mutual unease. In our common status as foreign students, despite our diversity and differences, we found unity and comfort though our common struggle of grasping the Spanish language and new culture. Together we forged a friendship that surpassed cultural boundaries.
I am applying for the JET Program because I am passionate about cultural exchange. It is this passion that I want to share with students in Japan through teaching English. I was so enthralled by my Japanese friends’ stories of their life in Japan that I knew I wanted to experience their culture for myself. I also wanted to share the benefits of having an open and global mindset that had aided me during my time abroad. In addition, I firmly believe that positive cultural exchange further creates positive economic exchanges; something invaluable in our increasingly globalized world. The JET Program Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) position would allow me to combine my fervor for promoting cultural exchange, languages and cultural inquisitiveness within the classroom and the community of Japan.
I have spent my undergraduate years earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a minor in Spanish Language. . In the future, I want to pursue work as an international banker or monetary policy maker. My participation in the JET Program, however, would not only give me more international exposure, but it would further guide me in my goal to foster positive global relationships socially and economically.
Having studied the Spanish and Italian language, I am familiar with both the challenges and methodology encountered while learning a foreign language. My language background provided ideas for linguistic learning and cultural exposure in the Japanese English classes. I have varying ideas to use in the Japanese classroom, including playing traditional American word games, starting an English conversation table, and using technology to connect to an American classroom.
Through my background in writing papers in economics, I have ample experience in English, writing and grammar. My engaging nature, patient personality, and committed work ethic demonstrate I would be an invested teacher and community member. Similarly, my work experience as a radio disc jockey has given me a particular attentiveness and command to pronunciation and sentence structure for public speaking. My internship with the Bank near Washington, D.C. gave me work experience with a multicultural group of professionals in planning, organizing and managing projects. This was another excellent experience that fueled my ambition and willingness to work in diverse environments. Similarly, my experience in mentoring and tutoring with foreign students in multiple capacities, voluntary participation in Program for Developing Countries, and participation in my Honors College’s Fellows Program in foreign policy demonstrate my continual enjoyment of working with students in the international field.
As a lifelong learner, I now want to experience Japan as a country, a global partner, and a culture of ancient and contemporary significance. As I have lived abroad before, I am ecstatic about building new connections through community involvement in rural Japan. My active involvement will ease my transition into Japan. As an art and music enthusiast, I also wish to volunteer at local art and music clubs. Furthermore, I wish to further study Japanese as my tertiary language and learn the traditions of Japanese calligraphy and koto. The JET Program offers an opportunity to understand the dynamics of Japanese culture and language in an intimate way, an opportunity which I want to take full advantage of while in Japan. It is this globalized mindset and willingness to experience new cultures that is essential for creating meaningful exchange.
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