FAQ

Board Members

Who are the current board members?


Excellent question! The see who’s currently on the board, check out this page on our website.




What is the term length for board members?


Board members have a one-year term, after which they are required to be reelected. The term begins in November and ends in October of the following year. The only exception is the position of the Treasurer, who serves a minimum term of two years. After their term is up, board members must re-run for their position. There is no cap on the consecutive terms that can be held.




Who elects board members?


Board members are elected by JETAA members.




How can I become a board member?


Any JETAA Chicago member can run to become a board member. Elections typically start in August. Reach out to info@jetaachicago.com for details about the election cycle and roles available.




Why is the Treasurer a two year term?


While all positions on the board are important, the Treasurer's main purpose is to take care of the funding received to accomplish the chapter's mission. The treasurer, with help from the board, proposes the budget for the fiscal year in June in February of the next year the treasurer puts together the report that shows how all the chapter's funding was spent. You can read more about funding guidelines and procedures here or in this general overview. If you have any questions pertaining to the treasurer position don't hesitate to reach to out at treasurer@jetaachicago.com





General Membership

How do I become a member of JETAA Chicago?


Simple! Once you as a fellow JET Alumni sign up for our newsletter and we receive your contact information, you are considered a member. In addition, we also receive information from CLAIR about returning JETs that signed up and wanted their information shared with their respective chapter. This information is used exclusively for JETAA Chicago and is not sold or given to any other organizations. We send a monthly email out about Japan-related events in and around Chicago to keep you connected with Japan, giving you opportunities to build a network while sharing experiences and skills. A few shorter emails may go out as well promoting Japan-related events and JET alumni opportunities.




What are the benefits of being a member?


JETAA Chicago’s mission is:

  • to provide a social and professional network for JET alumni;
  • to support the JET Program (promoting, recruiting, interviewing and preparing);
  • to serve as a resource for alumni seeking Japan-related education and employment Opportunities;
  • to promote Japan and its culture in our community.
Part of the way we fulfill the above is by providing our membership with the following benefits:
  • Monthly newsletters with information about Japan-related events in and around Chicago to keep you connected with Japan and the local Japanese community.
  • Access to discounts for events and career building services.
  • Information about social, cultural, and professional orientated events.
  • Opportunities to build a network while sharing experiences and skills with fellow alumni in Chicago and the surrounding area.





Open Board Meetings

What is an Open Board Meeting?


Previously known as Monthly Member Meetings, Open Board Meetings are held once a month where members of the board get together to discuss what is going on with the chapter. Topics include events from the past month, any upcoming in the near future, and news relevant to JETAA.

Meetings are also a chance for non-board members to share ideas and get involved in JETAA Chicago activities.




Who can attend Open Board Meetings?


Meetings are open to all members of JETAA Chicago! Let us know in advance if you’re coming so we can make food arrangements. For RSVPs, we are trying something a little different moving forward. In the interest of including those that do not use Facebook and other social media platforms, a Guestlist event will be made for each open board meeting. All alumni interested in attending are required to RSVP through that event. Facebook event pages will still be posted to promote the monthly open board meeting in the JETAA Chicago Facebook group, and questions can still be e-mailed to info@jetaachicago.com.




Why are the Open Board Meetings held during the week?


We understand that everyone’s work schedule is different and meeting during the week doesn’t work for everyone, however, with people going out of town on weekends and spending time with their families and friends, we have found weekday meetings the most successful. A reminder that Open Board Meetings are held the first Monday of every month, unless it falls on a holiday.
In the event that you cannot come in person, we also have the option for people to call in or join via Google Meets. Reach out to us at info@jetaachicago.com if you want to connect digitally.




Where can I find past Open Board Meeting minutes?


The minutes for past Open Board Meetings can be found here.





Events

Who decides what events are hosted each year and are they always the same?


Officers plan yearly events at the beginning of each term (November - October). A number are staple events and others are based on successful events held in the past. However, not all events are held yearly and we are always looking for new ideas. If you’ve enjoyed an event in the past or want to see something new, reach out to us! New ideas can be submitted via this form and feedback for past events can be sent to info@jetaachicago.com.




What events have been held in the past?


Although events we hold can vary from year to year, here are some noteworthy staples:

  • Career Development Workshop: Keynote speaker plus JET alumni guest speakers provide professional advice and guidance to recently returned JETs.
  • Happy Hour: Alumni grab a drink and chat with outgoing JETs after their Japanese class.
  • Last Call Q&A: Alumni offer last minute advice and tips before outgoing JETs leave for Japan through an online video chat.
  • Mitsuwa Supermarket Sweep: Alumni and outgoing JETs go on a scavenger hunt to help outgoing JETs navigate a Japanese supermarket.
  • Monkey Meet and Greet: Alumni meet outgoing JETs and see the snow monkeys to kick off the Survival Series at Lincoln Park Zoo.
  • Nihngo Dake: Quarterly event for Japanese speakers to practice their skills with a native speaker to help facilitate conversation.
  • Shinnenkai: Annual New Year's fundraiser and event that honors Japanese New Year's traditions and introduces Chicagoans to Japanese culture.
  • Sushi Reception: Alumni mingle with outgoing JETs after the JIC’s Outgoing JET Q&A Panel.
  • White Day: Alumni congregate to celebrate White Day together over BBQ and Karaoke.




My event would require funding. Is that a problem?


If you have an idea for an event or activity that supports our mission that would require funding, fill out an event form or contact us at info@jetaachicago.com. We’ll reach out to you about the idea and see how we can support it. We do our best to hold events that have worked in the past, but we're excited to hear what our members are interested in or want to help with.




Where can I find ideas for events to help me brainstorm ideas?


JETAA USA has an excellent archive of past NatCon presentations, which touch on events chapters across the US and Canada have held over the years. Something there is sure to inspire you!





Getting Involved

What are JETAA Chicago subchapters?


JETAA Chicago has two sub chapters: one in Wisconsin and one in Indiana. If you reside in one of those states, please reach out to info@jetaachicago.com and we can connect you with your respective subchapter.

Subchapter members are simply counted as members of the main local chapter even though they can function as a separate group most of the time. They have all the rights and responsibilities of regular chapter members, including voting for officers, joining meetings, hosting events and more. Subchapter members are included in the chapter membership list submitted along with the chapter's GiA request (please link to GiA portion).

Additionally, subchapter funding comes through the main chapter, and needs to be coordinated with the Treasurer ( treasurer@jetaachicago.com) of the main chapter in order to apply and receive the funds as CLAIR does not fund subchapters directly.
JETAA Chicago subchapters include:




What if I was never a JET? Can I still be involved with JETAA Chicago?


While JETAA Chicago focuses on JET alumni, we often have events that are also open to “Friends of JETs”. Sign up for our newsletter to find out when we’re holding events or looking for volunteers to help out.




How can I help if I don’t live in Chicago, but a neighboring state?


We are always looking for members within our network, but not necessarily the city, to help out! Have an event idea? Submit it using our form and we’ll help support you in any way we can. Activity outside of the Chicagoland is always encouraged. Helping isn’t limited to in-person events either. We often hold online-only events, such as the Last Call Q&A, a question and answer session aimed at those heading off to Japan for the first time. Keep in touch via our newsletter and join our Facebook group to stay up to date on all of our volunteer opportunities.




I have a post I’d like JETAA Chicago to share, but whom do I contact?


If you’d like to JETAA Chicago to share some Japan-related information, we have a form you can fill out. Someone from the board will get the information posted across our social media channels as soon as possible. Remember, posts need to be Japan- or JET-related, but can be anything from an event to a job posting to general news that might interest the larger community.





Other

Where does our budget come from and how much is it?


Our annual budget is provided a grant-in-aid (GiA) program sponsored by CLAIR. This money comes from the Japanese government, which is essentially collected as taxes from the Japanese citizens. The amount we get is loosely based on the number of members that we have and varies slightly from year to year depending on exchange rates. It amounts to somewhere between $4,500-5,000 per year. We propose our budget in June for the next fiscal year.




What if my question wasn’t answered here?


Reach out to JETAA Chicago at info@jetaachicago.com with your question and we’ll do our best to answer it!




Why am I not receiving emails from JETAA Chicago?


When in doubt, check your spam folder for our emails. We tend to preface all subject lines with “JETAA Chicago” and they’ll come from info@jetaachicago.com. Add the info account to your address book as well to help prevent emails from being flagged as spam. If you still aren’t receiving emails, reach out to us at info@jetaachicago.com.





JETAA CHICAGO

Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Alumni Association of Chicago
Connecting JET alumni in the Midwest - Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana