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lathe
September 15th, 2011, 03:41
I am a 2012 applicant currently enrolled in a Japanese class at a community college. I have no job and have been desperately trying to get one ever since I graduated. I essentially have a job offer but the company needs my schedule to be completely open.

Personally, I don't care how I go about learning basic Japanese. I'm fine with Rosetta Stoning it or just auditing the class. My question for you, seasoned JETs, is this: would dropping the class hurt my chances of getting in? I have very few things I can say on the application that will "prove" my interest in Japan (although I'm going to sit in on an ikebana class or two), so I was hoping that the Japanese class would be helpful in that aspect.

Thoughts? I desperately need this job so I'm leaning towards dropping the class, and I'm assuming having no job while applying to JET doesn't look good, either. :(

seanathan
September 15th, 2011, 05:45
I'm a 2012 applicant too, so this isn't a seasoned opinion, but I doubt this could effect your chances of getting in. For one thing, as you mention, it probably doesn't look too good to JET if you've been unemployed for a while. Even if you drop the class, you could mention the fact that you were taking a Japanese course but had to drop it to secure a job. I'm sure you can find other ways to prove you've got an interest in Japan other than just taking a Japanese course. Watch some Jidai-Geki films!

Ladama
September 15th, 2011, 07:13
Eh, when I applied to JET, I had been unemployed since May that year, and they didn't ask in the interview if I had found a job yet. In fact employment history never came up at all, they were far more interested in my major in school. Considering JET selects a lot of participants straight out of school, they surely don't expect applicants to have a lengthy employment history (the application only has space for two job listings, at least it use to).

That said, you gotta pay the bills, so you should probably take the job. No JET app reviewer or interviewer should fault you for choosing employment over a class. Plus if you audit a class, or just do self-study, you can list in on the application under "Japan Related Studies"*, just list it as "informal studies" (though if you audit, you probably can list it as "formal", just write n/a for the grade).

*I'm assuming here that they still have a "Japan Related Studies" section in the same format as when I applied.

Froren
September 15th, 2011, 14:23
I was in graduate school and trying to take Japanese for no credit and had to drop it because I needed to focus all my attention onto my thesis. I told them this directly during my interview and they were fine with it. They're humans too and some of the ones interviewing me were not that old, so they understand basic surviving needs (they were recent JET alums who were probably around the same age as I was and they had forgone finding a real job as well to help out with the JET program).

lathe
September 16th, 2011, 09:34
Thanks for the responses, everyone! Looks like I'll be dropping the class if the job requires it. It's not so bad; it means less driving for me (going to campus is a bit of a commute) and... well, a job. lol.


I'm a 2012 applicant too, so this isn't a seasoned opinion, but I doubt this could effect your chances of getting in. For one thing, as you mention, it probably doesn't look too good to JET if you've been unemployed for a while. Even if you drop the class, you could mention the fact that you were taking a Japanese course but had to drop it to secure a job. I'm sure you can find other ways to prove you've got an interest in Japan other than just taking a Japanese course. Watch some Jidai-Geki films!

Is it bad that I had to look up Jidai-Geki? Lol! Fortunately there is a community center not too far away that offers weekly classes/events for various activities (ikebana, tea ceremonies, and bonsai are a few things that come to mind), so I will certainly do some of those.


Eh, when I applied to JET, I had been unemployed since May that year, and they didn't ask in the interview if I had found a job yet. In fact employment history never came up at all, they were far more interested in my major in school. Considering JET selects a lot of participants straight out of school, they surely don't expect applicants to have a lengthy employment history (the application only has space for two job listings, at least it use to).

That said, you gotta pay the bills, so you should probably take the job. No JET app reviewer or interviewer should fault you for choosing employment over a class. Plus if you audit a class, or just do self-study, you can list in on the application under "Japan Related Studies"*, just list it as "informal studies" (though if you audit, you probably can list it as "formal", just write n/a for the grade).

*I'm assuming here that they still have a "Japan Related Studies" section in the same format as when I applied.

Good to know! I'll be sure to bring up the class even if I drop it. Yeah, hopefully employment won't be TOO big of an issue... if I get this job it will be my first job ever. No joke. :( My parents were the sort that insisted I never work before graduating from college (I know, I should have gone ahead and worked while in school anyway). Since I'm so woefully inexperienced I should probably prioritize the job over the class if only for that reason.


I was in graduate school and trying to take Japanese for no credit and had to drop it because I needed to focus all my attention onto my thesis. I told them this directly during my interview and they were fine with it. They're humans too and some of the ones interviewing me were not that old, so they understand basic surviving needs (they were recent JET alums who were probably around the same age as I was and they had forgone finding a real job as well to help out with the JET program).

Phew. Okay. That definitely gives me some peace of mind. It looks like the worst thing that'll happen out of dropping the class will be not getting the refund (I just missed the deadline, joy) but it's worth it if it doesn't really hurt my chances and I get to make some money during this crazy long application process.

Tyr
September 16th, 2011, 19:47
Totally go for the job.
The by far saner life choice, even if you're awesome its far from a sure thing you'll get into jet afterall.

patjs
September 19th, 2011, 00:40
I don't know how difficult the class is but my Japanese classes were extremely demanding and I made the mistake of taking intermediate Japanese with a full course-load and ended up with my only C in college because I had to focus on other classes at the time and couldn't keep up with the endless quizzes and homework.

miss_doitsu
September 21st, 2011, 19:33
1. Japanese classes - I started using Michel Thomas for German a few weeks ago. It's a really good method for learning, and they have a Japanese version too. Highly recommended.

2. My friend graduated with Japanese and business and was on the dole for 6 months then worked as a postman for a bit, and was accepted as a CIR last year. Don't give up.

lathe
October 2nd, 2011, 05:34
Totally go for the job.
The by far saner life choice, even if you're awesome its far from a sure thing you'll get into jet afterall.

Went for the job. Even if I get into JET I'd like to work before then.


I don't know how difficult the class is but my Japanese classes were extremely demanding and I made the mistake of taking intermediate Japanese with a full course-load and ended up with my only C in college because I had to focus on other classes at the time and couldn't keep up with the endless quizzes and homework.

Ack! I don't think my class was quite so difficult. I did really well on the first quiz and the homework was no problem, but then I was only about four weeks into the course before I dropped it.


1. Japanese classes - I started using Michel Thomas for German a few weeks ago. It's a really good method for learning, and they have a Japanese version too. Highly recommended.

2. My friend graduated with Japanese and business and was on the dole for 6 months then worked as a postman for a bit, and was accepted as a CIR last year. Don't give up.

I'd never heard of Michel Thomas before and just looked it up. It looks great. Thank you for the recommendation! Once I have some money I'll invest in it.

As for your friend, I'm glad to hear JET can be understanding. This job is nothing fancy, but hey, it's a job.