As 2020 and 2021 JETs had to undergo 14 days of quarantine due to the pandemic, various activities and materials were prepared by Toyama JETs to help welcome the new members of the community. This year’s orientation was conducted in 3 phases to accommodate the intermittent arrival schedule of new JETs in Toyama.

Phase 1: Welcome Letters and Videos

Sending virtual welcome letters has been a tradition in the Toyama JET community. This has been one of the warm welcome gestures being done by JETs to pay it forward to the community. In addition to that, this year’s orientation leaders also prepared videos that show and detail life as a JET in Toyama both in and out of the workplace. Letters and videos were sent to the new JETs to share a glimpse of life in their new home, Toyama.

Phase 2: Virtual Meet-and-Greet

Online meetings during quarantine time were also conducted each time a new batch of JETs arrived in Japan. The objective of the meeting is to check-in on the new arrivals and introduce them to the Toyama support team composed of regional representatives and JET advisors. The new JETs also had the chance to talk with their senior ALTs and ask for tips on what to do to settle in easily when they arrive in Toyama.

Phase 3: Prefectural and Regional Orientation

On November 17, 2021, the prefectural orientation was held. Seminars covering the ALT contract, team-teaching life, and work culture in Japan were facilitated by the JET advisors and senior ALTs.

To introduce ALTs to their local areas, on November 18, regional orientations were also held through breakout sessions with their respective regions – Niikawa, Toyama, Takaoka, and Tonami. The aim of this seminar is for senior ALTs to share about life in the region covering topics such as recommended spots and places, annual events, and safety measures among others.

The orientation for this year was definitely different from how it is usually done, and thanks to community effort, we were finally able to do not only virtual but also in-person activities to welcome the new JETs in Toyama. 皆さんお疲れ様でした!*

*Minasan otsukaresamadeshita (Thank you for your hard work, everyone!)