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JETAA Chicago welcomes you! JET Alums located in the greater Chicago area will be happy to know there is a large and active community formed by our chapter. Greater Chicago is a vibrant area with plenty of fun things to do year-round, and we strive to take advantage of that. It certainly helps that more JETs are sent to Japan by the Consul General of Japan in Chicago than any other location in the world, and many of you return here afterward. As our namesake suggests, our chapter is located in Chicago, and covers the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana, with sub-chapters in Wisconsin and Indiana.

JETAA Chicago collaborates with the many Japan-related groups in the area–businesses, not-for-profits, restaurants and communities–so JETAA Chicago is not only a great place for you to meet up with fellow alums, but also to plug into the local Japanese community. We hold various events throughout the year and support members that have ideas they’d like to bring to life.

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We look forward to meeting fellow alums, whether you participated on JET in it’s inception year of 1987 or just returned recently. Over the last 25 years, the number of JET alums has grown to be a formidable group, and with recent recognition by former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton after the East Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster, it displays the difference we can make. We hope the Chicago Chapter continues to make a difference, whether it be by collecting and donating relief funds, helping you find the next step in your career, or putting on a fun event. We aim to harness our common experience and enduring relationship with Japan so that JET alums, and our family and friends, will take center-stage in defining and enriching the perception of this bond that defies geography, spanning the Pacific between Japan and each of us here in the Midwest.

Contact us at or visit our website for current information or to register as a JETAA Chicago member (look for “Join” in the menu bar). Our website has links to our monthly Webletter, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Wisconsin-based alums should contact Joette at, join their Yahoo group at, and join the Facebook Group JETAA Chicago Badger State Subchapter to keep abreast of their activities. Indiana-based alums can join the Facebook Group JETAA Chicago Hoosier Subchapter.

JETAA Chicago Regular Events

BingoAlumni read one hour of bingo at Heiwa Terrace retirement home/Japanese community3rd Thursday of every monthHeiwa Terrace, Chicago, IL
VolleyballRegular volleyball league, renewed each season, indoor and outdoorEvery TuesdayChicago, IL (seasonal venues)
Nihongo Dake DinnersInteracting in Japanese over a meal, using games and phrases prepared in a worksheetQuarterlyChicago, IL (various locations)
Board MeetingDiscuss current JETAA Chicago projects, issues and plan events. Dinner is served, and all are welcome. You don’t have to be a board member to attend. The occasional nijikai has been known to ensue.1st Wednesday of every month (contact for confirmation)JETRO Office in Chicago, IL or other designated location

JETAA Chicago Annual Events

New Year FestivalJapanese Culture Festival with calligraphy, painting, card game, etc.JanuaryJapan Information Center (JIC) in Chicago, IL
Nabe PartyJETAA community comes together to make “hot pot” nabe with the local Japanese communityFebruaryChicago, IL
Baseball GameOuting to see a Cubs game AprilWrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
Business Card ExchangeA “meishi exchange” held jointly with Japan America Society of ChicagoSummerChicago, IL
Job and Networking FairNetworking with fellow alumni, friends of JETAA, recruiters and companiesOctoberJapan Information Center (JIC) in Chicago, IL
Returnees’ PicnicAn event to welcome back returning JETsOctoberChicago, IL

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