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Special Events

The best times of the year!

On top of monthly group events, JETAA also hosts several events throughout the year. From parties and fun social events to study groups and career workshops, we have something nearly every month. Take a peek below to learn more about our events, or check our calendar here to see what new events are coming up! 

Iron Chef Competition

In May, JETAA Portland collaborates with Pacific Northwest JETAA from Seattle to host a friendly Iron Chef–style cooking contest and potluck party. Switching between cities every year, we gather together to enjoy some good food, fun people, and watching the best cooks from each chapter put their spin on the year's secret ingredient.

Time of year: May

Pre-departure Orientation

Every year, JETAA is responsible for arranging a pre-departure orientation for newly selected JETs before they head to Japan. JET alumni, whether they returned one year ago or twenty years ago, all come together to pass on wisdom and advice to the next generation of JETs.

Time of year: July

Sayonara BBQ

A few weeks before new JETs head out for Japan, we throw a BBQ party to send them off and wish them well on their new adventure. It's a great chance for new JETs to talk to alumni one-on-one and ask any last questions, and a great chance for alumni to talk about their experiences on the program. 

Time of year: July

JLPT Benkyoukai

In the US, The JLPT (Japanese Language Placement Test) is offered once a year in December, so many people start to study for the test in the fall. To help out alumni who want to take the test, JETAA arranges a weekly study group with a native Japanese teacher that starts around August or September and lasts through December. While the group was created for JLPT study, it is open to anyone who wants to study Japanese with others, regardless of whether they sign up for the test or not.

Time of year: August/September through December

Returnee Dinner / Okaeri-kai​

Soon after new JETs leave for Japan in August, returning JETs begin coming home from their adventures. So of course, we have to have a party to welcome them back! For returning JETs, It's a great opportunity to share their experiences, meet the community of JETs in Portland, and eat some amazing Japanese food. We usually spend the evening at our local Japanese Izakaya, Shigezo, and have a great time talking, laughing, and reminiscing about all of our experiences in Japan.

Time of year: September

Resume Workshop

Getting a job in Portland now is difficult, especially if you don't know how to translate your JET experiences into your resume. But we've got you covered. In the resume workshop, you will learn how those experience translate, get feedback on your resume, see other people's resumes and learn more about job searching and interviewing. 

Time of year: September


Just like in Japan, we have a Bounenkai (End of the Year) party to close out the year. Alumni and JETAA friends all come together to celebrate the year, have a good time, and look forward to the next year and the adventures it may bring.

Time of year: December

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