On July 22, a Pre-Departure Orientation was held for Seattle’s 2016 JET Program participants. The JETs heard a lecture by Professor Mikiko Ludden of University of Puget Sound, which outlined expectations placed on the participants, as well as their roles in grassroots internationalization and English language education.
Immediately following Orientation, a Farewell Reception was held at the Consul General’s Official Residence. The reception was attended by educators, community members, and business leaders, as well as many members of the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association. Senior Consul Murazawa addressed the guests and spoke both to the importance of grassroots internationalization and to the significance of 2016 as the JET Program’s 30th anniversary. The program further included a greeting from Ms. Zung Do, President of PNWJETAA, and self-introductions from the 2016 JETs. Attendees also enjoyed a special musical performance by Songs of Hope members Fumi Tagata and Lisa Maria d’Aquila, featuring Okinawan music vocalist and sanshin player Mako Willett and guitarist Satoru Nakanishi.