About me


Konnichiwa! I’m Will, a Coordinator for International Relations at the Nagasaki Prefecture International Affairs Division in Japan. I am also one of the Prefectural Advisors for the JET Programme.

I grew up in rural Virginia, in a home 25 minutes from the nearest stop light on the east coast of the US. My first encounter with the world outside of America was with Japan in 2006 when I served a mission for the LDS church in Hokkaido. At the end of my snowy two years, I came back home to attend the University of Virginia and graduated with a BA in International Affairs with a Minor in East Asian Studies. I applied to the JET Programme in my fourth year.

I applied for a CIR position but fell short at the interview stage. I was offered an ALT position and I accepted after a good deal of deliberation. So, in August of 2013 I headed back to Japan, this time to the sunny and warm island off the south-west of Kyushu called Fukue, in the Goto Archipelago. I was an assistant language teacher at eight Elementary and Junior-high schools for the next two years.

During my second year, the Japanese bureaucracy gods smiled on me. I received an interview for the CIR position at the Prefectural Government Office in Nagasaki city. This time I passed. I’ve been there since August of 2015 and my job now is mostly translation work, going Japanese to English, and doing native checks of already translated documents. I also occasionally give talks on US culture, organize exchange events for local people and JET participants, and teach English or play Santa at a kindergarten. As a PA, I also help organize and carry out the Welcome Orientation and Skill Development Conferences for JETs here in Nagasaki Prefecture, as well as answer questions from JETs, and generally try to be a helpful member of the JET community.

In my free time I like to practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, write in my journal, and play online video games with my friends across the world.

3 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Will,
    I’m a Japanese-American that was born and raised in the United States. I’m in my final year of college and I’m thinking of returning to Japan after graduating next May. I’ve been looking for jobs teaching English and I’ve been debating between getting a job at a language-school and the government-sponsored JET program.
    I see you have experience with both the JET and the CIR. Based on your experiences, would your recommend one or the other?

    1. Hey there,
      Thanks for the question! I have never worked for a language school so I can’t really give you any advice there. However, the general sentiment that I get from the people I’ve met and the forums I’ve read is that the JET Programme pays better and has better working conditions (again, generally) than independent language schools. I have held two different positions in the JET Programme (Assistant Language Teacher and Coordinator for International Relations) and they’re both great in their own ways. If your interested in teaching English in Japan I would definitely recommend trying the JET Programme route first and then try to go through a language school as a backup. The application process to come to Japan in July/August of 2018 will begin in the fall!

  2. Thanks for the quick response!
    I did some more reading on the guidelines, and it looks like my citizenship might be an issue. Since I have dual-citizenship with Japan, I’d have to “renounce” my Japanese citizenship to apply to JET/CIR.
    The programs seem like an amazing opportunity, but I don’t think I’m ready to renounce my citizenship yet…
    I’ll probably have to find other opportunities.
    Thanks for your input!

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