Jessica Biltz '15
Alumna Experience: Working for the JET Program
During my senior year at Mount Union, I applied to the Jet Program for the position of Coordinator of International Relations (CIR), and I was accepted to work in the following year. CIRs work in local government offices promoting internationalization efforts at the community level. CIR duties include organizing events, translating and interpreting for guests from abroad, and assisting with language instruction. This job requires proficiency in Japanese. The contract is for one year but is renewable for up to five years. The Jet Program requires that applicants possess a bachelor's degree (in any area), have an interest in Japan, and are healthy enough to travel and live abroad. Certain positions, such as the CIR position require Japanese language proficiency. I will be working as a Coordinator of International Relations in Miyazu, a city in Kyoto prefecture of Japan starting in August of 2015.
Student Experience: Passing the N1 Japanese Language Proficiency Test
When preparing to take the N1 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), I mostly focused on studying grammar because I anticipated this to be the hardest section. I also studied by taking practice exams in textbooks that I found in the library. In several classes that I took while studying abroad, passing the N1 exam was a major priority, so we often did listening exercises in class which were a great help when it came time to take the exam. There was also a class completely devoted to helping students pass the N1 exam though I did not take the course.
There are many textbooks available for passing all JLPT test levels including N1 grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading and Kanji. There are also many exam prep books which contain practice problems from all of these areas. When preparing to take any of the JLPT exams, I think it is the best to complete practice problems for each section of the test while also focusing on your weak areas in-depth.