Indica Sur, grade 11, has earned one of the 32 spots provided by the 2012 JET memorial Invitation Program for American High School Students. The grants bring winners to Japan for more than two weeks as a group to meet Japanese students, experience Japanese culture and study the language.
The grant program was created in 2011 in memory of two U.S. teachers of English who lost their lives in the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011; Taylor Anderson was working in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture and Montgomery Dickson in Rikuzen-Takata, Iwate Prefecture when the tsunami hit.
The program is open to juniors and seniors currently learning Japanese and seeks to honor the principles Anderson and Dickson valued.
The long screening process includes taking a Japanese National Exam, writing an essay and having an interview conducted in Japanese, said Keiko Irino, upper school Japanese teacher. “The Japan Foundation will pay for all her travel expenses, and she will be doing many activities such as language/culture study, fieldtrips, high school visits and homestay,” Irino added.
The trip is an educational visit throughout Japan, including Miyagi or Iwate, lasting 19 days, tentatively, and has varied goals: to encourage American high school students to study Japanese; encourage youth exchanges such as the JET program as an option for students; and create a network of students for the future.