W&L’s Wren Markley ’23 Selected for Prestigious JET Program Markley will start their role in the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program by early August 2023.
Washington and Lee University senior Wren Markley ’23 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, Markley is majoring in East Asian languages and literatures (Japanese). A native of New Berlin, Illinois, Markley graduated from New Berlin High School. They will leave for Japan by early August 2023.
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.
“I am thrilled to be awarded the opportunity to participate in the JET program,” Markley said. “I’ve been interested in Japan since elementary school. By the time I arrived at W&L, I was positive I wanted to major in Japanese, so this program seemed like the next logical step to immerse myself in the language and culture after graduation. It’s going to be an amazing learning experience.”
While at W&L, Markley was a member of Chanoyu Tea Society, which hosts numerous tea ceremony demonstrations in the university’s Senshin’an Tea Room. A QuestBridge Scholar, Markley was selected as a Japan America Student Conference (JASC) delegate, and then later elected to the JASC Executive Committee. They also participated in the Queer Liberation Alliance and the WLU Gaming organization.
“Wren Markley is a terrific example of a student who embraces the liberal arts wholeheartedly and meets each challenge with an inquisitive and curious mind. Ever since they arrived at W&L, Wren looked for every opportunity to study Japanese language, culture, literature and history,” said Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese at W&L. “With a deep understanding of Japan, a compassionate heart and wildly creative spirit, Wren will be an outstanding representative of W&L and the United States as a JET teacher.”
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