SPO alum Erik Maritz ’17 selected for Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020

Erik Maritz ’17 has been selected to be an Assistant Language Teacher for the JET Program.

Maritz was inspired to apply for the program following 27 months in the Dominican Republic as a Peace Corps volunteer focusing on Spanish literacy. “I wanted to keep living abroad and learning new languages in a completely different cultural context. I enjoy exploring new places, working with children, learning new languages, and expanding my horizons — JET seemed like a perfect way to combine these interests.”

Assistant Language Teachers will be assigned to an elementary, junior high, or senior high school to teach alongside an English teacher. They may also assist in forming English conversation clubs, language competitions and other extracurricular activities to foster grassroots internationalization within their Japanese community by sharing their home culture. Aside from English language instruction, Erik hopes to participate in opportunities for Spanish or Portuguese language instruction. 

“I've been itching to go to Japan for a very long time, and if Peace Corps taught me anything it's that the tourist lens can be very superficial,” says Maritz. “If you really want to experience a place you've got to put down roots and participate in some sort of cultural exchange, so I'm hoping this experience will prove fruitful, much like Peace Corps.”