Finding Community Against the Odds

The train slows to a stop and fresh passengers step through the opening doors. The car is crowded during rush hour and across from me the bench is packed full of commuters. The new passengers look to the empty spaces on either side of me, wide enough to fit two people each. They look at each other and choose to stand for the next eight stops.

Alumni Spotlight: Eden Law (Iwaki, Fukushima)

I’m Eden, and I’m from Sydney Australia (though originally born in Malaysia). I’m currently serving as the webmaster of both my local JETAANSW chapter and JETAAI (International). Before that, I served as a Chapter President, and Country Representative for Australia. So to call me a JET otaku (JET-taku?) wouldn’t be too inaccurate.

Alumni Spotlight: Ashlie O`Neill (Hyogo)

Hi there, I am Ashlie O’Neill, but almost everyone calls me Ash (unless I am in trouble). I am the child of a father in the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) and as a result, I have grown up in multiple locations mainly Adelaide and Sydney. As a kid, sometimes it was hard to move schools but lucky for me, I am a twin so I never had to do it alone and also as a result of moving so much (I have lived in more than 14 houses/apartments), home is not a physical place but the people in a place which made my life in Japan much easier.

Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Hata (Tottori, 2014-2017)

Hi everyone! My name is Ryan Hata. I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. I’ve also lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tottori. I currently live and work in New York City. Additionally, I loved my time on JET, so I volunteer as an alumni when I can. I currently help Steven Horowitz manage JETwit, am the JET Alumni Association New York Membership and Career Development Chair, and am also on the Board of Advisors for JETAA International.

Alumni Spotlight: Bahia Simons-Lane (Gunma, 2005-2007)

My name is Bahia Simons-Lane. I’m originally from Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, but I’ve moved around a lot, living in Japan, Texas, California, Florida, and now Virginia. After I returned from the JET program I worked in marketing for a software company in DC, then relocated to Florida and became a full-time student