Kirsten Iverson is honored guest of Japanese government

Kirsten Iverson is honored guest of Japanese government This June, Kirsten Iverson departed for Tokyo as a participant in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program. Iverson is a 1996 graduate of Vermillion High School and a 2000 graduate of The University of South Dakota. Iverson has taught the last four years at the Canton Middle School in Canton and will be teaching fifth and sixth grade science and English this fall in Freeman.

Iverson was selected by a panel of educators from a national pool of over 2,500 applicants to earn this honor. This program allows distinguished primary and secondary school educators in the U.S. to travel to Japan for three weeks in an effort to promote greater intercultural understanding between two nations.

Iverson was among 200 educators visiting Japan in June. They began their visit in Tokyo with a practical orientation on Japanese life and culture and attended meetings with Japanese government officials and educators.

They then traveled in groups of 20 to host cities outside of Tokyo where they had direct contact with Japanese teachers and students during their visits to primary and secondary schools, as well as a teachers college. The teachers chosen also visited cultural sites and local industries in addition to a brief homestay with a Japanese family.

The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, based in Tokyo, oversees all aspect of the Teacher Program. The program is sponsored by the Government of Japan and was launched in 1997 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. government Fulbright Program, which has enabled more than 6,000 Japanese citizens to study in the U.S. on Fulbright fellowships for graduate education and research.

The Institute of International Education acts as the agency for the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund to coordinate the recruitment and pre-departure activities of the Teacher Program in the United States.

To date, more than 4,600 primary and secondary educators have visited Japan through the JFMF Teacher Program. Upon their return, program participants share what they have learned about Japan with their students and communities through a variety of outreach projects.

Primary and secondary school educators throughout the United States can apply to take part in one of the three trips to Japan scheduled for 2006, as guests of the Japanese government. Teachers of all disciplines, including art, physical education, English, ESL, history, geography, math, science, and special education, from every region of the United States are encouraged to apply.

Applicants are not required or expected to have previous knowledge of Japanese or Japan. The application deadline for all 2006 trips is Dec. 10.

For more information about the 2006 competition, please refer to or contact1-888-527-2636 (1-888-Japan-FMF) or All applications must be completed online.

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