Francesca Abbondanza-Bergeron was an ALT in Niigata Prefecture for two years, from 2016 to 2018. During this time, she taught at elementary and junior high school levels, she gave a class on French Canadian cooking, took part in the Niigata AJET Musical for the promotion of English through the arts, and worked with her town of Tokamachi to create a promotional video for their International Basketball Tournament. During her free time, Francesca loved to explore her area and enjoy local festivals such as the Kimono Matsuri and Snow Festival.
Catherine was an English Language Teacher in Miyagi prefecture for four years, from 2010 to 2014. She taught at a junior high school, an elementary school and participated in local English classes. She was there during the tsunami and earthquake in 2011. During her free time she enjoyed visiting onsen, temples and shrines, hiking, carrying mikoshi, yosakoi, togei, and muddling through the local dialect.
Japanese community liaison
Violaine Roussel-Bongiovanni was an ALT for two years and lived in Kagoshima Prefecture with her husband and son from 2015 to 2017. She taught all school levels and went to more than 13 schools! During her free time, Violaine drew her intercultural experience threw Manga. She loved being part of the Japanese community and going camping all around Japan.
Will spent 4 years in a sleepy mountain village in Niigata Prefecture. He worked in elementary and junior high schools, living that inaka life in some of the smallest schools in the region. He was elected to the position of RA, participated and ran English and culture camps, and regularly helped with the local international community. In his free time he explored the country, played video games with friends, studied Japanese, read manga, and dabbled in DIY projects.
Nessa was an ALT in Niigata Prefecture from 2015 to 2019, where she taught at one junior high school and one elementary school. Over the course of these four years, Nessa travelled from Hokkaido to Okinawa, sampling the local specialties (but mostly gyoza). Her free time was spent rehearsing for the Niigata Charity Musical, performing taiko with her troupe, and immersing herself in the local rock scene, where she also sang in a band.
Mental Health and Wellness Advisor
Bianca worked as an English Language Teacher in Nagahama, Shiga for 3 years (2012-2015). She taught at two elementary schools (grades 1 to 6 as well as special needs classes). During her stay in Japan, Bianca travelled to many different places, from Aomori to Okinawa. She also had a wonderful time taking Japanese Sign Language classes and participating in cultural events such as Kimono Matsuri.
Mental Health and Wellness Advisor
Iustina Banu was an ALT for one year in Saitama prefecture, from 2018 to 2019. She went on this adventure with Thomas Lundy, her partner. She loved spending too much time in onsens and attempting to make ikebana in the ikebana club which she participated in. She worked in 3 senior high schools and loved her teaching experience. During her stay, she managed to keep her artistic life alive by participating in an exhibition in Tokyo along with 25 other artists.
Pierre-Adrien was in Kesennuma (Miyagi) from 2012-2014 and in Suzaka (Nagano) in 2015-2016. During his stay, he did some volunteer work, by participating in English Camp for orphan kids and helping the population clean their rice fields after the 2011 tsunami. A long-time fan of video games, he is currently working at the Quebec’s Ministry of Economy as the video game industry expert/advisor.
Magalie Caouette was an ALT in Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture from 2018 to 2019. During that time, she worked at two elementary schools and one junior high school. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, playing video games and drinking craft beer with friends. She had the opportunity to participate in Aso’s Fire Festival (Hifuri) as a member of the Taiko club.
Thomas was an ALT in Saitama-ken for 1 year, and returned to Montreal in 2019. During his time in Japan he taught at two senior high schools, as well as occasionally visiting a special-needs junior high school. Throughout the year Thomas thoroughly enjoyed immersing himself in Japanese culture alongside his fiancee Iustina, also on the JET programme, exploring the country, and eating delicious Japanese cuisine. He now works as a consultant to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, developing training materials on marine ecology.
Sara Couture was in Shiga Prefecture for two years, from 2013 to 2015. During that time, she worked as an English Language Teacher in Nagahama and taught grades 1, 2, 5 & 6 in two elementary schools as well as special needs classes. She fell in love with Japanese cuisine, onsen and Urasenke tea ceremony. She participated in many cultural events and enjoyed many camping-biking trips around Japan. Since coming back to Canada, she is an active member of the Montreal Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai & practices tea every week.
Atlantic Subchapter Vice-Representative
Emma was an ALT in Hyogo Prefecture from 2015 to 2016. There she worked at a “Super Science” high school where she taught grammar classes, as well as English-based research and presentation skills classes to the advanced science classes. During her time there, Emma enjoyed hiking, rafting, and other outdoor activities, visiting temples and shrines, practicing tea ceremony with the school club, and fawning over the deer in Nara and Miyajima. Since returning, she now works in enrollment services at a Halifax university.
Atlantic Subchapter Secretary
Erika was a CIR in Mie Prefecture between 2015 and 2017 for the Diversity Promotion Division. She went to
schools to teach lessons in diversity and multiculturalism for human rights education. During her free time,
Erika traveled within Mie Prefecture to become a tourism brochure translation expert. She harvested bamboo,
ate oysters, planted rice, and hiked in the beautiful inaka of Mie.
Atlantic Subchapter Support
Sarah was an ALT in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, for five years (2010-2015). She taught Oral Communication and English Expression at an academic high school and a commercial high school, and started her Masters in TESOL while teaching there. In Matsue, Sarah joined a community drum group and studied shigin, a form of traditional Japanese singing. She was also a member of a winning rowing team, the World Wide Wonders, which was made up of ALTs and local community members. She enjoyed photographing the Japanese countryside and the cultural treasures of Shimane. Since returning home and completing her Masters, she has been an English for Academic Purposes instructor at Dalhousie University.
Atlantic Subchapter Wildcard
Riley was an ALT from 2011 to 2014 in the small fishing village of Furubira in Hokkaido Prefecture. Riley taught at all levels, but primarily spent time at Junior High School. During their time in Hokaido, Riley did a lot of camping in the beautiful wilderness of Edo and hosted a podcast called Hokkaibros. They also spent time studying the use of Japanese Naginata. Riley’s favourite foods are Katsukare and Seicomart spaghetti.
Atlantic Subchapter Representative
Gina was an ALT from 2010 to 2012 in the small coastal town of Sanpoku in northern Niigata prefecture. There she taught at a junior high school, two elementary schools and two kindergartens. She spent the majority of her weekends traveling up and down Niigata rehearsing and performing with an ALT-led charity musical group that raised money to build schools in Papua New Guinea and for the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Other likes included: mastering the art of okonomiyaki, doing Yosakoi, and rice harvesting.
Frédérick Canuel – Weekend Orientation Advisor
Sylvie Cornibert – Matsuri Advisor