Hi! I’m Christina – an Atlantic Canadian university graduate who was an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme from 2013-2015! As an ALT, I taught English to elementary and junior high school students in my little corner of Japan.

I started this blog in September 2012 to record my progress through the JET Programme application. In April 2013, I found out I was shortlisted, and I finally made the move to Japan in August 2013! I had an incredible two years living in Akita Prefecture, during which I used this blog as a journal of my experiences and as a way to keep in touch with my family and friends back home.

Akita Prefecture, Japan (source: Wikipedia)

The title of this blog, “Falling for Japan,” was actually inspired by the kanji for the prefecture where I live: 秋田 (Akita), literally “autumn rice paddy.” From autumn, I got fall, then Falling… And I’ve found that Japan managed to make me fall a little bit more in love with it with (almost) every passing day. ;)

To learn more about the JET Programme, you can check out the following links:
JET Programme Official Website
JET Programme Canada


18 thoughts on “About

  1. Caz David says:

    Hi! I am a Filipino, and currently studying Japanese as a third language. I hope to see you when I visit Akita (though that would be a year from now.) Have fun there, and more Arashi posts please! Arigatou~ ^^

    • Christina says:

      Hey! Thanks for the comments! ^_^

      Akita is a wonderful place – I hope you’ll like it here when you visit!

      I’ll do my best to write more Arashi posts in the future. ;)

  2. jihuiyishi says:

    Hi Christina,

    I am trying to increase awareness of the opportunities available for young people.

    So I have started a blog where the aim is for people who are currently on or have completed one of our identified opportunities to write an article about their experience in order to encourage other people to participate in the opportunities available to them .

    As such based on what you have been able to achieve, would you be interested in submitting an article to jihuiyishi.wordpress.com ?

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

  3. barefootjon says:

    Hey fellow JET!

    Just found your blog and love it and your stories. I’m a JET from Nara and am excited to hear about others stories beyond the facebook posts and tumbler memes haha. I actually have a friend this year who went to Akita for JET. I hear nothing but good things!

    • Christina says:

      Hey there, fellow JET! Thanks for the comment! I’m happy to hear that you like my blog. :)

      Akita is a wonderful prefecture. I hope your friend is enjoying it here!
      Nara must be a wonderful placement, too! It was beautiful there when I visited last year. And you guys probably have a nicer, milder winter than we do – haha!

  4. Ada Wilkinson says:

    Hello Christina,

    I’m also an ALT but to Senior High School students and just moved here in Japan last year. I haven’t been to Akita Prefecture, but I hope to visit the place someday. I live in Kanagawa. I am looking forward to seeing more blog posts about your adventures and life in Japan!


  5. munu says:

    Hello Christina,
    i am a Nepali and currently working as an ALT in Aichi prefecture. i really enjoyed your experiences in Japan. Hope to read some more series of your experiences.

  6. Kristin says:

    Hi Christina!
    I am applying to the Jet Programme and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving me some tips/advice for writing my Essay. I have no previous teaching experience and I am worried that this may hinder me. I am hoping you could give me some ideas to make my Essay shine!

    • Christina says:

      Hi, Kristin!
      It’s okay that you don’t have any previous teaching experience! I know some ALTs who didn’t have any, either, and still got in! What you need to do in your essay now is to highlight what YOU can do for JET and why you are a good fit, despite not having taught before. Talk about any clubs you may have been an active member of, any leadership opportunities you’ve had, any classes you’ve taken that are linked to an interest in Japan and/or education, etc. Don’t forget to state how excited you are to grow, adapt, and learn! Make sure you get as many people as possible to check it over for you, too – the more feedback, the better! Good luck writing your essay and let me know if you have any more questions! :)

  7. Antoni says:

    Hi Christina,

    Thx for sharing your experience about teaching in Japan.

    I’m thinking about applying for ALT position as well.

    The problem is, although I’m confidence with my english skills and have bachelor degree, I’m non-nonnative speaker with almost no teachig experience. (I’m Indonesian citizen)

    From your experience, have you meet any Indonesian citizen that works as an ALT or eikawa teacher? Do you havw any tips for me?

    Thanks before!

    • Christina says:

      Hi Antoni,

      That’s great that you want to apply for JET!

      I didn’t meet any Indonesian citizens who were ALTs or eikaiwa teachers, but I did meet several people who spoke English as their second language and they got into the Programme, no problem! I checked for you ( http://jetprogramme.org/en/countries/ ) and Indonesia does participate in the JET Programme, so you’re in luck there. They currently don’t have any ALTs, only two CIRs, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t be one!

      If you don’t have any teaching experience, try to get some – the next application period doesn’t start until this fall, so you have time. You can tutor someone, be a conversation partner, or even volunteer to work with children in some capacity, be a sports coach – anything will help!

      Let me know if you have any other questions!


  8. katieclarkex says:

    Hey im moving to akita to go to the university there for four months! Im just wondering if you happen to know if theres like any international bars ?? Im actually just trying to see if i can find a source of income while i go to school there. Or maybe even as a tourism employee..

    Thanks, katie :)

    • Christina says:

      Hey Katie,

      That’s so exciting! AIU (I’m assuming that’s the university you’re going to!) is a great university. I hope you’ll have a wonderful experience!

      As for a source of income, I’m not really sure. Most of the other foreigners I met worked as English teachers, although some with very high proficiency in Japanese and who had lived in Akita for many years did other work (e.g., at TDK in Nikaho). I never went to an international bar (besides Heaven’s Dragon in Yurihonjo, owned by a Canadian and his wife), so I’m not sure how easy it would be to find a job at one, and I didn’t have any experience with official tourism there.

      You might also have to check what your visa allows and doesn’t allow – I’m not sure if student visas will let you work? Definitely double check on that!

      I hope this helps! Good luck!


  9. Sumire says:

    My name is Sumire.Do you remember?I was Honjo kita junior highschool student.I graduated in this year of March 12.And I was leaned English form you! Thanks to you I had a good time. I hope you’re happy now! Take care^_^

  10. Jose says:

    Hi Christina,
    My name is Jose and I’m very sorry to intrude in your blog like this, but I couldn’t find a contact form or email address. I’m interested in your experience as an ALT. I’m an ALT myself and I’m running a survey about communication (or lack thereof) between ALTs (current of former) and JTEs. It is part of an assignment of a module in an MA in applied linguistics. I was wondering if you would be so nice as to give it ten minutes of your time to fill it in yourself, and also if you could give me some advice on how to reach as many ALTs as possible in a short period of time to get plenty of responses. Let me know if that would be okay, please. Thanks a lot for your help, Jose

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