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W&L’s Chelsea Adotey ’24 Awarded Slot in Highly Regarded JET Program Adotey will start her role in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in early August 2024.

Chelsea-Adotey-scaled-600x400 W&L’s Chelsea Adotey ’24 Awarded Slot in Highly Regarded JET Program

Washington and Lee University senior Chelsea Adotey ’24 has been selected for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and will spend the coming year in Japan as an assistant language teacher in a private or public school. At W&L, Adotey is double majoring in neuroscience and East Asian languages and literatures, with a focus on Japanese. A native of Stafford, Virginia, Adotey graduated from Colonial Forge High School. She will leave for Japan by early August 2024.

Founded in 1987, JET has sent more than 70,000 participants from around the world to work in schools, boards of education and government offices throughout Japan. The program is unique in that it is the only teaching exchange program managed by the government of Japan. Most JET participants work as assistant language teachers at one or several local elementary, junior high and/or high schools.

“Being awarded this opportunity is a recognition of my qualifications and willingness to engage in cultural exchange by the Japanese government, and I am honored to embark on this cultural experience while also developing my professional skills,” said Adotey, who is looking forward to applying her studies in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. “This opportunity will provide invaluable firsthand experience in teaching Japanese students English as a second language, as well as provide opportunities for me to share my own cultural background while immersing myself in Japan’s culture.”

At W&L, Adotey is a QuestBridge Scholar and is involved in the African Society, the Student Association for Black Unity (S.A.B.U.), the Burish Service Program, and the Chanoyu Tea Society. She is the women’s basketball team manager and conducts research in the sleep and stress lab, directed by Ryan Brindle, assistant professor of cognitive and behavioral science.

Adotey is looking forward to returning to Japan after spending Spring Term 2023 in Tokyo, an experience that taught her the importance of stepping out of her comfort zone and embracing a different culture. Her time in Japan confirmed her desire to live abroad following graduation and led her to volunteer this academic year with Languages for Rockbridge, teaching elementary school students about Japanese language and culture.

Following the JET Program, Adotey plans to attend graduate school to earn her doctorate in psycholinguistics or complete a post-baccalaureate program before attending medical school.

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