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gibdaddyo
July 14th, 2012, 12:23
Hi everyone,

Pleased to find such a forum for the Jet Program(me). I know this may be a bit early to start talking about 2013 applications, but I figured that before I went through all of the trouble to apply I would consult the sages of this fair forum!

This is me in application form:

I'm currently finishing up my combined BA/MA at a SUNY school in NY. Both my bachelor's and master's will be in economics. My undergrad GPA is a 3.84, and my grad GPA is 3.75. I have taken 2 courses in Japanese (both A's), and studied abroad this past academic year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. My GPA there was only a 3.3, but I'm hoping that it will be forgivable, as it was study abroad. I studied Chinese while I was there, but this is probably a non-factor.

I also have experience teaching undergraduate courses in economics at my university. I have been a teaching assistant for two courses, and an instructor for two other courses.

My references come from professors at my school. I expect them to be strong, as they were for study abroad last year. However, they will both be from econ faculty, as I feel they know me better than my Japanese instructors do.

I know the program is fiercely competitive. What do you think, is it worth an application? Do you think I have a shot, or am I likely to be outdone?

Thanks in advance. Any replies are greatly appreciated.

Teishou
July 14th, 2012, 12:40
You'll always have a shot, but it's up to you how well you relate yourself to both the program and its needs.

uthinkimlost?
July 14th, 2012, 14:00
Your degree doesn't matter. No one really seems to care where they come from or if your university is accredited. Your gpa doesn't matter aside from being used to rattle you in-interview.

Merkypie
July 14th, 2012, 22:34
You're not getting to the JET Program just because you felt the need to blabber about your higher than average credentials.

Though, being nice and all jokes aside, it doesn't matter. None of it matters. What matters is your intentions on the program and what you're gonna do with it once it's over.

Why JET,
What are you going to do with JET,
When did you show an interest in JET and Japan, and
How are you going to combine your field with teaching in Japan

coop52
July 17th, 2012, 08:15
The requirements for the JET Program:
-a pulse
-being able to come off as a normal person in the interview
-college degree (this is just for the visa; JET doesn't care what kind of degree you have as long as it meets the visa requirements. In fact, if you have too high qualifications, they might get concerned that you would be bored quickly and want to come home)

Don't worry so much about your qualifications as much as about how you come off in your SOP and interview.

uthinkimlost?
July 18th, 2012, 19:45
wicket always delivers the best* in tangential and insulting commentary.

OP, just apply.

patjs
July 23rd, 2012, 00:42
OP, you run the risk of coming off as overqualified as well. If you have college teaching experience and a masters degree it's very possible they might feel you will become too frustrated being an ALT. You might want to look into what being an ALT is actually like, and be sure you are ready to go from academia to being a monkey tape recorder.

Anyway, like the others said, it's more about how you come off in the interview than your GPA and degrees.

wicket
July 24th, 2012, 09:45
complaining about your situation does nothing.

i wasn't happy with my first school in osaka. i worked hard to change the situation.

i'm fucking fed up with the attitude of self-entitlement of so many people here, who think japan in general owes them a living and that their ideal placement and job should just fall into their laps without them having to put in a consistent effort over a decent amount of time, employing heaps of patience, in order to at least make their situations workable, if not enjoyable.

OP, apply. the only people who are "overqualified" are the ones who think they are too good for the job.

patjs
July 26th, 2012, 08:31
Is that directed at me? Was I complaining? Who is self-entitled?? Where do you go from someone suggesting a person with a masters degree and some actual REAL teaching experience might be overqualified to me being "self-entitled?"

I don't think I'm stretching it to say that an intelligent person with an advanced degree and actual classroom teaching experience could have the potential for major frustration/problems.

Page
July 26th, 2012, 09:55
Nah, it was from some posts that were deleted from the thread.

Ini
July 26th, 2012, 10:04
haha, good one heartnana!

I bet she couldnt walk straight for a week after that! might want to get tested though if you know what I mean!!

Ini
July 26th, 2012, 10:04
hey! who keeps deleting posts?!?

patjs
July 27th, 2012, 10:21
wtf where are the posts going?

greengoo
July 30th, 2012, 14:56
RL mod-e-fied them to keep the thread on topic.

Page
July 30th, 2012, 17:20
I asked her to delete my posts because being rational on the internet is for suckahs.

wicket
July 30th, 2012, 20:57
Is that directed at me? Was I complaining? Who is self-entitled?? Where do you go from someone suggesting a person with a masters degree and some actual REAL teaching experience might be overqualified to me being "self-entitled?"

I don't think I'm stretching it to say that an intelligent person with an advanced degree and actual classroom teaching experience could have the potential for major frustration/problems.

absolutely had nothing to do with you, patjs - sorry it looked like that after some posts were deleted.
my first time on JET i had a masters and second time i had a ph.d and 13 years' teaching experience and i agree with you - the potential is there for frustration. however, it's just a different kind of frustration from those with no classroom experience; and in some ways having worked in a staffroom in any country will prepare you for the petty bullshit and politics that happens at schools in japan. to some extent it really is a case of "same shit, different arseholes", IMHO.

AshesTree
August 1st, 2012, 12:04
Hi there,
So I will be applying to JET this year for the first time and probably only time. I applied with AEON and got an interview, but upon further review of the company and the pay decided to not go forward. Not that it is wrong or horrible, it's just not for me. JET seems to be a much better fit for me.
I went to Japan this time last year to visit a few college friends who are natives to Japan. This was also to see if I could really live there for a year. I took sometime to really think about it and decided that this is something I should go for. If it doesn't work out, that's okay, but I really hope it does.
I have two tattoos. A big no no in Japan. Luckily, I can easily hide them, but is it something I should disclose? Especially considering the teacher that got in huge trouble for their hidden tattoos? I'm not an idiot, I know I will be representing the program and will take every precaution to keep them hidden.
Also, anything you would have done differently? Positive or negative?
Thanks for the help.

coop52
August 1st, 2012, 13:03
I think you have to disclose tattoos now. No one will care as long as you can cover them up.

Lianwen
August 1st, 2012, 16:29
You should be fine with tattoos. If you get an interview, you might be asked about them.

I personally know a few JETs who are inked up (one has a pretty extreme almost full side and shoulder deal) and they've been fine.

Page
August 1st, 2012, 17:39
Is it only the UK app that you have to disclose tattoos on?

If there's nothing on the US app then they don't need to know, simple as that.

wicket
August 1st, 2012, 17:59
the australian app. didn't ask, so i didn't tell. mine is also easily covered.
it's more of a problem in areas where staff onsen trips might be on the agenda.

flamingpriest
August 1st, 2012, 22:16
Is it only the UK app that you have to disclose tattoos on?

It seemed like that was the case last year, but I think that last year was actually the first time the UK app had included that question. The US application may well introduce it this year too, in which case, defo let them know. If they don't ask, don't go out of your way to tell them about it.

Page
August 2nd, 2012, 07:12
Yes, it was the first time. Somehow I doubt it'll be added to other countries but who knows!

Gizmotech
August 3rd, 2012, 12:48
What they can't see isn't their problem. If it asks if you have tattoos, and it's just your tramp stamp and that bad decision ankle-fly, then it doesn't matter. Now if you're rocking tribal art down your arms and face, well maybe you should own up to it.

Tyr
August 3rd, 2012, 21:24
I can't remember anything about tattoos when I applied. Wonder why they would change considering Japan is liberalising on that front, not.....conservatising(is that a word?). Maybe they're just trying to eliminate people they can post in Osaka where Mr Crazymoto is in charge.

And really, its just not a problem at all. Just left from my ken is a guy who was a CIR and had proper Yakuza style tattoos, done by a legit Japanese tattoo artist and nobody cared since he obviously wasn't a yak and he covered them up when in professional mode.

AshesTree
August 5th, 2012, 03:40
Thanks everybody. Another question: I know that I need professional recommendations, however, in college I was part of a cultural exchange where I hosted a Japanese 'sister'. She and I have maintained our friendship and our exchange was one of the biggest success of the program. I would like her to write a letter describing this process from her vantage point. I figure this would be helpful since JET is about cultural exchange.

Lianwen
August 5th, 2012, 10:31
A large part of the application is being able to follow directions.

Gizmotech
August 5th, 2012, 11:50
Word.

Do what you're told

Page
August 6th, 2012, 09:27
No. The SoP exists to expand on what your recs/app don't address, talk about it there.
Posted via Mobile Device

flamingpriest
August 6th, 2012, 21:23
While we're on the subject - is there anyone who wouldn't mind me PMing them a quick question about my references? It's not a big deal or anything, but I don't really want to blub all over the forum this early...

uthinkimlost?
August 9th, 2012, 12:15
I can handle that without a pm:

It should be someone that knows you well.
They should have been your boss or at least your superior in some manner.
The longer the letter, the better.
You should never, ever have screwed them over.


If they meet these requirements, then you're good to go. If you have more than two options, choose the ones that better satisfy the above criteria.

flamingpriest
August 10th, 2012, 18:48
Yeah, that stuff goes without saying. I've got it sorted now though, thanks.

AshesTree
August 11th, 2012, 23:21
Got it thanks. Does anyone know if being in JET counts towards student loan forgiveness?

Lianwen
August 11th, 2012, 23:49
Got it thanks. Does anyone know if being in JET counts towards student loan forgiveness?

No. That type of student loan forgiveness for Americans is only for TFA, Corps, or if you manage to score a gov't program that lets you work in high risk inner city schools in America or in bumblebum America.

You can actually eat on JET. So no loan forgiveness. I do know a few JETs that haven't had to pay their loans back yet after a few years because they're constantly taking online courses and fulfilling the criteria for deferment.

(I think this is also covered on the JET programme's page of FAQs.)

AshesTree
August 12th, 2012, 22:41
I know that you get credit for it if you work for a non-profit, so I wasn't sure. I couldn't find it on the faq and have been surprised about programs that count. I worked for a 501c3 Non-profit theatre which counts towards forgiveness.

mteacher80
August 19th, 2012, 12:45
JET program takes off with 850 youths

Japan will invite about 850 English-speaking youths from the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand for a one-year visit under the new Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), the Foreign Ministry said.

The youths will arrive in Japan by Aug. 2 and receive orientation from Aug. 3-8 before being sent to cities and towns throughout the nation.

They will work at public and private high schools, and assist education boards in helping Japanese students improve their English-language ability and promote international projects.

The youths will be paid 300,000 yen per month after taxes.

Ministry officials said a total of 4,495 youths applied for the program, 6.2 times more than the final number chosen, reflecting what the ministry believes is a growing interest in Japan and the program's attractive salary.

MJjunkie86
September 5th, 2012, 00:56
Hi, just throwing my name into the hat of hopeful first time applicants!

Merkypie
September 5th, 2012, 06:59
JET program takes off with 850 youths

Japan will invite about 850 English-speaking youths from the U.S., Britain, Australia and New Zealand for a one-year visit under the new Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), the Foreign Ministry said.

The youths will arrive in Japan by Aug. 2 and receive orientation from Aug. 3-8 before being sent to cities and towns throughout the nation.

They will work at public and private high schools, and assist education boards in helping Japanese students improve their English-language ability and promote international projects.

The youths will be paid 300,000 yen per month after taxes.

Ministry officials said a total of 4,495 youths applied for the program, 6.2 times more than the final number chosen, reflecting what the ministry believes is a growing interest in Japan and the program's attractive salary.

... The youths.... ok

dialogue
September 5th, 2012, 07:39
compared to japan's average age of 145, it makes sense

Jiggit
September 5th, 2012, 08:08
Old people* shouldn't come on the jet programme really. They're only going to disappoint everyone who was expecting a hot young fashionista.


*(the same goes for fatties and nerds)

Ini
September 5th, 2012, 08:23
what about skinny freaks with jew fros and ridiculous shoes?

Jiggit
September 5th, 2012, 08:26
Anyone who thinks other people are "skinny" just doesn't hate their body enough.

Jiggit
September 5th, 2012, 09:16
I just feel sorry for the poor kids who have to sit listening to people like wicket talk about stuff they've never heard of while the poor biddy remains happily convinced they can understand and are fascinated by her every word.

Prospective
September 6th, 2012, 21:13
Late reply, but on the tattoo issue. A guy in Shiga was originally going to be placed in Osaka. When his consulate called him to tell him his placement they first asked if he had any tattoos. Since he did, they actually had to give him a new placement instead.

Long story short: tattoos okay, but don't request Osaka.

Page
September 13th, 2012, 10:19
I'm not yet convinced that Hashimoto isn't batshit crazy.

Gezora
September 13th, 2012, 16:42
I'm not yet convinced that Hashimoto isn't batshit crazy.

I think he has daddy issues. And it's so much fun to say that about a man, not to mention the fact that it is most likely true.

UPGRAYEDD
September 13th, 2012, 17:57
I don't believe that tattoo story.

Page
September 14th, 2012, 14:34
I don't believe that tattoo story.

You should. Have you been keeping up with Japanese news? The new mayor of Osaka, Hashimoto (and creator of the new political party, Japan Restoration Party), made a big stink about tattoos on public servants this past spring. He sent out a survey asking people to specify placement and design, etc., and made subsequent comments to the effect that anyone who has decided to have tattoos should be looking for employment in the private sector. (and blocking people from job advancement if they didn't answer)

UPGRAYEDD
September 14th, 2012, 15:12
I don't believe the policy applies to ALTs or the JET program.

Page
September 14th, 2012, 15:53
While I agree with your point--it applied to all teachers in Osaka and with your time as an ALT I would assume you can imagine how general cluelessness about ALT-hood (where they're the same as teachers, where they're not) would lead them to talk to the consulates before the new guys came. Obviously there's no way to say if it happened or not but it isn't out of the question based on the amount of pressure Hashimoto was putting on BOEs and city offices alike.

mothy
September 14th, 2012, 23:40
As much as I hate to agree with Page, I absolutely believe the dumbasses in Osaka would do that.
Osaka= the Alabama of Japan.

UPGRAYEDD
September 15th, 2012, 00:38
The "official" forums would be kicking off if the tattoo policy covered ALTs. There's a crap ton of ALTs in Osaka and they must have a bunch of tattoos already.

It just reeks of the type of BS that a new guy, disgruntled about their shitty inaka placement, would try to tell people at the local gaijin bar.

"I was supposed to go to Osaka but they changed it a week before I got to Tokyo because I got MOM tattooed on my bicep here....I miss my mom, Japan sucks"

mothy
September 15th, 2012, 00:53
Great. Thanks for reminding me I miss my mom and Japan sucks.

Prospective
September 17th, 2012, 01:59
Actually even inaka Shiga is within 2 hours of Osaka. There's nothing to be complaining about.

ALTs are komuin and pretty sure it was for all public servants in Osaka, not just teachers. Perhaps there's a grace period or something for existing ALTs. But I don't see it as entirely implausible. Could be BS, I've only met the guy a few times, but I'm inclined to believe it unless you have evidence against it beyond how you feel.

Jolmer
September 17th, 2012, 13:00
Hey guys, I was referred to this program by a professor at my school who I had done teaching assistant work for, and further referred to this website by a current JET I know who said it helped him a lot.

Just wanted to say hello, introduce myself basically and ask if anyone knows when the information for 2013 apps will be available.

Been reading around the site for a few hours, and Ill definitely be coming back here for advice at some point. Again just saying hello.

flamingpriest
September 17th, 2012, 19:29
It does say on the first page of the US JET website that "information regarding the 2013 JET Program will be available in September 2012". The application itself will probably open in October.

toad
September 19th, 2012, 10:05
Hi ITIL, I'm also applying this year. The advice on this site is really helpful - what daily life is like as a JET, what makes a convincing personal essay, Japanese study tips - so thank you for taking the time to help new applicants. It was also nice to get some perspective & see that not all JETs are like the hopeless virgins on Official.

I'm Australian, did a BA in French & have worked in newspaper production & university administration for the last five years. If I get in, would look at JET as a one or two year thing before trying for work in the foreign service.

Looking forward to shooting the shit with you if I get shortlisted.

Toad

Lianwen
September 19th, 2012, 10:33
Hello new people! We're all pretty awesome around here, so don't be afraid to ask questions. The applying forums are meant to be a safe place for all applicants <3

Seimore
September 23rd, 2012, 10:32
Hey everyone, long time lurker and now beginning my own application journey decided that I'll become more active. I'm from Australia and just finished university, wanting to do some field research in Japan and decided that as an anthropologist the best way to study a culture is to be part of it, I see JET as a great entry-way to this.

I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket and have two other companies I'm sending in applications for, but like most JET does offer the better deal at this time. I'll see how it all goes and hopefully get to know everyone.

I'm a huge forum nut and will most definitely be on here way too much from now until forever and ever. Hope to get to know you and thanks for any advice and ass-kicking on my SOP that you can give me! If anyone is a fan of literature, movies or games I'm sure we can get along jolly good!

pekkles
September 25th, 2012, 15:18
I am another emerging lurker! I'm from the US and graduated uni this spring. I was a linguistics major so one of my ulterior motives for wanting to sneak into English classrooms is to collect all sorts of wonderful speech errors.


I'm a huge forum nut and will most definitely be on here way too much from now until forever and ever. Hope to get to know you and thanks for any advice and ass-kicking on my SOP that you can give me! If anyone is a fan of literature, movies or games I'm sure we can get along jolly good!

I like this place too! Hopefully we'll both get in and haunt ITIL happily ever after :lol:

Teishou
September 25th, 2012, 16:32
...I think you'll have more than your fair share of speech errors your first day here, if you get here.

wicket
September 25th, 2012, 18:23
i always back a fellow aussie, but beware of thinking about, and especially writing about, JET as a "company". CLAIR really really hates that and it's almost guaranteed to lose you points in the application process.
Good luck!

Hey everyone, long time lurker and now beginning my own application journey decided that I'll become more active. I'm from Australia and just finished university, wanting to do some field research in Japan and decided that as an anthropologist the best way to study a culture is to be part of it, I see JET as a great entry-way to this.

I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket and have two other companies I'm sending in applications for, but like most JET does offer the better deal at this time. I'll see how it all goes and hopefully get to know everyone.

I'm a huge forum nut and will most definitely be on here way too much from now until forever and ever. Hope to get to know you and thanks for any advice and ass-kicking on my SOP that you can give me! If anyone is a fan of literature, movies or games I'm sure we can get along jolly good!

Seimore
September 25th, 2012, 18:27
Thanks for the tip, duly noted! Just wondering how I can refer to JET in an appropriate manner?

hunterofpeace
September 25th, 2012, 19:21
Erm... program? (Probably programme for you.) It's in the name, after all.

wicket
September 25th, 2012, 19:43
yeah, 'programme' or 'program' - either is fine for australians, just be consistent.
or 'exchange opportunity' or any of the other euphemisms.

Seimore
September 25th, 2012, 22:06
Sounds good. Thanks for the advice!

Gizmotech
September 26th, 2012, 05:31
I recommend holiday, or scheme.... but programme is the official wording.

flamingpriest
September 28th, 2012, 01:49
The Australian application is open already... are they always this early? http://serve.mysmiley.net/confused/confused0025.gif

Seimore
September 28th, 2012, 07:36
Do you suppose being first in Australia gets you some special consideration? I'll take any of the help I can get. :roll:

Jiggit
September 28th, 2012, 09:30
Do you suppose being first in Australia gets you some special consideration? I'll take any of the help I can get. :roll:

Unlikely. I handed my application in literally an hour before the deadline.

coop52
September 28th, 2012, 09:38
They don't care when you hand it in as long as it's before the deadline.

Seimore
September 28th, 2012, 09:57
Was worth a shot. I'll just take my leisurely time with it and make sure it's up to scratch. With some helpful advice from here I'm sure I can do fine! You guys seem to have an impressive track record for people getting in! Bribery, perhaps?

Antonath
September 28th, 2012, 10:44
More like common sense, I suspect. Official has rose-tinted glasses about applications, as well as the occasional reality-disconnect. We give advice based on what the role actually needs, rather than what the brochure suggests.

Jiggit
September 28th, 2012, 12:43
Well official is full of hopefuls who are convincing each other that their SoP needs to be a thrilling epic which will captivate the reader into believing that their fascination with Japan is ultimate in its knowledge and dedication. Plus the ALTs who frequent official are too nice and polite to give blunt or sharp criticism.

Seimore
September 28th, 2012, 12:47
I agree with that, it kind of felt like a ciclejerk of making sure everyone feels all warm and fuzzy inside. I almost threw up in my mouth a little, then I found this cesspool and never looked back.

MJjunkie86
September 30th, 2012, 18:51
Do applications usually open on the 1st Oct or some random date in Oct?

wicket
September 30th, 2012, 19:37
relax - they can open any time from late september to mid october and are usually due in the first week of december.
plenty of time, plenty of time.

MJjunkie86
October 1st, 2012, 05:01
Thanks! Am slightly worried, but no more ;)

Big Innes
October 1st, 2012, 07:31
I'm reapplying. I've done various things since then and now and I'm in a better position to apply this time round.

Cytrix
October 1st, 2012, 10:29
NZ just announced applications are open today. Yours will be very soon, if not now!

Hexi
October 2nd, 2012, 02:32
yay first post!
First time hopeful over here!
I'm so excited that it's october now and the first lot of waiting is almost finally over. Thing is, so far it's been a busy wait what with preparing it all but after my application is posted off it's just twiddling thumbs. ugh i hate waiting! XD
Good luck to everyone! :)

lilaclavenderblue
October 2nd, 2012, 07:53
If they ever open up the US application I'm going to be doing so this year. I had a rather iffy experience with INTERAC (applying) a little over a year ago, so let's try this route. Though, from what I hear I may have lucked out not making it into INTERAC..?

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 08:27
Well official is full of hopefuls who are convincing each other that their SoP needs to be a thrilling epic which will captivate the reader into believing that their fascination with Japan is ultimate in its knowledge and dedication. Plus the ALTs who frequent official are too nice and polite to give blunt or sharp criticism.

I can see your point, as I am someone who frequents the officials. I think much of what makes the environment is outlook, as has already been stated. Something I learned about my application process from last year (of which I was unsuccessful) is that I did have rose-colored glasses on. I was so excited that I didn't fully understand what it was that JET wanted. I still care this year, but I have taken off those glasses and realized what this opportunity is: a very awesome job opportunity.

As to the OP, the app will be out soon enough. They have email updates this year around if you are that anxious about knowing when the app is ready. Also, they usually have required docs and info made available 1 to 2 weeks prior. Those should be made available any day now.

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 08:38
If it's anything like last year, the application did not come out until November 2 and was due exactly one month later. But from what I understand of previous years, the app seems to usually come out sometime in mid to late October.

Gizmotech
October 2nd, 2012, 08:41
I can see your point, as I am someone who frequents the officials. I think much of what makes the environment is outlook, as has already been stated. Something I learned about my application process from last year (of which I was unsuccessful) is that I did have rose-colored glasses on. I was so excited that I didn't fully understand what it was that JET wanted. I still care this year, but I have taken off those glasses and realized what this opportunity is: a very awesome job opportunity.


THIS. If only every applicant could realize this one important fact life would be better. The ALTs over here who realize this tend to be more stable than those out for the adventure, IE they don't get so bummed out when there are no events to do, or when people just want to chill out.

General note to all applying:
This isn't an exchange, it's a job. The exchange is of culture, IE, we trade in our foreignness at the door along w/ our dignity, and when we leave we might get it back.

coop52
October 2nd, 2012, 08:54
There will also be a lot of exchange of currency. You can make sweet profits thanks to the crappy economy.

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 08:59
General note to all applying:
This isn't an exchange, it's a job. The exchange is of culture, IE, we trade in our foreignness at the door along w/ our dignity, and when we leave we might get it back.

Haha, leave our foreignness and dignity out the door. If you don't mind me picking your brain, I have a couple questions. 1.) If it's not a cultural exchange in its essence, what aspect of SoP do you harp on if not the ability to adapt well to foreign cultures and the interest in exchanging your culture for theirs? I just always thought that was the main essence of the Program (job) itself. 2.) What is one example of an instance where you've had to trade in your foreignness out the door? I think it would be interesting to get an insider perspective.

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 09:01
There will also be a lot of exchange of currency. You can make sweet profits thanks to the crappy economy.

Ha! Yes, there is one pro to the crappy US economy: the return upon arrival will be beautiful.

Gizmotech
October 2nd, 2012, 09:11
Haha, leave our foreignness and dignity out the door. If you don't mind me picking your brain, I have a couple questions. 1.) If it's not a cultural exchange in its essence, what aspect of SoP do you harp on if not the ability to adapt well to foreign cultures and the interest in exchanging your culture for theirs? I just always thought that was the main essence of the Program (job) itself. 2.) What is one example of an instance where you've had to trade in your foreignness out the door? I think it would be interesting to get an insider perspective.

Of course you are going to mention your ability to adapt to situations, that's a key thing. Not to the exchange side, but to the ability to live in an ethnocentric culture. Adaptability, Flexibility, Patience, Perseverance, these are the things you need to survive in this country, and obviously need to be mentioned. More importantly, emphasize your desire to TEACH. Instruction, teaching, guidance are keys to the program, and through them you can "Internationalize" people by exposing them to other cultures (not necessarily your own)

As for it being the main part of your job? That really depends. Most ALT positions don't really require anything more than your ability to speak English in a native accent and the ability to breathe without assistance. Some of them require you to actively teach English as well. I have not been required to "internationalize" in any meaningful way, other than to exist in a smallish city. The program would LOVE you to be out showing your culture to the world, but today Wikipedia can summarize your culture FAR more effectively (and in Japanese) than you could ever hope to accomplish.

Lets see.... when have I traded in my dignity.... every time I visit the mentally disabled school I go to. I do not teach English, I do not internationalize, I am merely in the room for the entertainment of the children as an object. If my job can be accomplished by a pet dog as effectively (or more likely more so) than me, then what was the point? It would be like going to an all white high-school somewhere and throwing a black kid in and calling it internationalization... nah, it's really racial sensitivity training.

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 10:19
I just figure if they're gonna ask about tattoos, I'll be glad to tell them. Until then, I will assume it's not important enough to bring up. I learned in the Navy that you shut up unless you're asked. There is an art to not freaking out/ incriminating yourself (as if tattoos were a crime...)

P.S. I have tattoos on both arms. I hear you can buy long-sleeve button-up shirts...

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 10:42
Of course you are going to mention your ability to adapt to situations, that's a key thing. Not to the exchange side, but to the ability to live in an ethnocentric culture. Adaptability, Flexibility, Patience, Perseverance, these are the things you need to survive in this country, and obviously need to be mentioned. More importantly, emphasize your desire to TEACH. Instruction, teaching, guidance are keys to the program, and through them you can "Internationalize" people by exposing them to other cultures (not necessarily your own)

Lets see.... when have I traded in my dignity.... every time I visit the mentally disabled school I go to. I do not teach English, I do not internationalize, I am merely in the room for the entertainment of the children as an object.

Good points. I will try to keep the "exchange" in check with the larger purpose of being adaptable, flexible, and over-all, awesome. I have heard different schools-of-thought on what people think is the most important to emphasize, but I think you make good points. Being a balanced and well-rounded candidate seems to be the best way to go...

Okay, I'll start working on my dog tricks: I've been told I make a very good, if not cute, and trainable, canine.

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 10:51
Don't worry so much about your qualifications as much as about how you come off in your SOP and interview.

THIS. Seriously. See, I know I'm awesome, but I've never been to Japan, have a near-useless degree, and have only taken Japanese in HS. But I am adaptable, curious, love to work with students, love to teach, know what I want to do for the rest of my life, and am patient and dependable.

Oh, and you wouldn't be able to tell this, but I am short. And we all know that short people are going to take over the world.

Page
October 2nd, 2012, 13:06
Having 4 threads under slightly different names feels kind of redundant

Samurai_Steve
October 2nd, 2012, 13:17
I can merge them if people promise not to make another!

That might be a good thing. I always like to have information centralized if it makes sense to do so. This might be one of those times.

Takoyaki
October 2nd, 2012, 14:55
To hopefuls, let this inspire you, JET can be more than a dream!

https://nihonomnom.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/to-aspiring-jet-program-applicants/

MJjunkie86
October 2nd, 2012, 18:26
I can merge them if people promise not to make another!

Promise!

Prospective
October 2nd, 2012, 20:13
The job is definitely just a job. I'm two months in and while I'm enjoying my time here, it's definitely not like a 2 week holiday visiting the sights of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. It's also a job you may well enter feeling underqualified and underprepared for.

Harp on about exchange and internationalisation to get the job, but once you're here that generally isn't something you're paid to do. As far as your schools go you're a quasi-teacher and they only care about you performing your school related duties. The JET Programme and CLAIR care about "grassroots internationalisation" and that's necessary to talk about to get the job, but you're not working for CLAIR, you're working for a Board of Education. Any internationalisation you do will mostly be in your own time, on your own dime. And lot of ALTs, especially at the SHS level, are too tired to do too much internationalising after work. I'd rather crash in my apartment, eat dinner and screw around online, especially if I'm staying late at school with the debate club/ ESS.

And weekends? Well there's some opportunities there, but your time might also be spent catching up with other JETs (they're your kin and can understand what you're going through) or doing AJET or school activities.

That said, I've never turned down an invitation that I could afford and I talk to my teachers and students inside and outside of school whenever I can. I'm building relationships with people from my base school, especially, I'm not an ALT that only does their classes then runs out the door. I think getting to know people more personally in many ways is the best kind of internationalisation. It's not doing a cultural workshop or festival, but it's providing a real living, breathing example of what just one Australian (in my case) is like. I'm not a stereotype, nor am I typical, but I'm just one individual person. And in conversation I can contrast myself with some of my friends or other Australians. I can talk about immigration in Australia, etc. Just talking to people socially, just existing in my town provides something it may not otherwise have- a reason to think outside of itself.

That said, your job is your main responsibility. And that involves making X number of lesson plans, showing up at X number of classes and some of the other duties that teachers at your schools have (may include clubs, grading, etc). I think the internationalisation stuff is a more passive benefit that we bring just by being here. Apart from JET a lot of other foreigners are only in the big cities working for Eikaiwa. Even now JET still has a fairly large share of rural area contracts. So compared to a big city job JET does allow for internationalisation. I guess it just depends on what you think that means.

tatsuko
October 3rd, 2012, 08:04
I can merge them if people promise not to make another!

Darn... I really wanted to make another thread about applying for 2013 :\ Now my dreams are crushed...

Anyhow, even more good advice has cropped up. And I have to say I agree very much with Steve about the second time being much more realistic. I had wanted to do JET for so long that it was a dream and not a reality, I had totally warped it into what I wanted it to be. Now I look at it as an interesting job opportunity, a chance to do something exciting before I start having kids, and job experience before moving home and establishing my family life... It's much easier applying for it as a job because applying for a dream is stupid.

Samurai_Steve
October 3rd, 2012, 08:46
Prospective, those are some seriously great points. It is interesting that, if you read the JET website (USA edition), they seem to really harp on internationalization. But hearing from your firsthand experiences, I find it interesting that it is as passive as it is. Though, as you said at the end, it depends on how you define the term. Seems to me that pretty much all the activities you do, even the one for which you are simply paid to do, could be classified as internationalization. Thanks for the post: interesting and informative.

Tatsuko, I am with you. Dreams are certainly great, but you can never get to your dreams if your head is in the clouds. Feet have to be on the ground to get there. Best of luck!

Stoke
October 3rd, 2012, 09:31
I think I'll be applying this year, though it's more of a "see what happens" thing than a lifelong dream. In highschool I would have killed to do the program, then college and reality smacked me upside the head and knocked off my rose colored glasses and my unrealistic view of Japan.

Now, I have a decent job with coworkers I like and the potential to rise through the ranks if I stay here but I can't shake the feeling that I'll regret it in the future if I don't attempt to get in at least once. So I plan to apply and see how far it takes me. I look forward to being a part of the anticipation I've only watched from afar for the past few years.

Gizmotech
October 3rd, 2012, 10:00
Prospectives proespective is really similar to my own.

therealwindycity
October 3rd, 2012, 10:18
It's much easier applying for it as a job because applying for a dream is stupid.

:D

I think this should be the ITIL 2013 Application Season Motto. (Now who wants to propose some suuuper kawaiiii mascots that we can vote on?)

Samurai_Steve
October 3rd, 2012, 10:56
I think I'll be applying this year, though it's more of a "see what happens" thing than a lifelong dream. In highschool I would have killed to do the program, then college and reality smacked me upside the head and knocked off my rose colored glasses and my unrealistic view of Japan.

Now, I have a decent job with coworkers I like and the potential to rise through the ranks if I stay here but I can't shake the feeling that I'll regret it in the future if I don't attempt to get in at least once. So I plan to apply and see how far it takes me. I look forward to being a part of the anticipation I've only watched from afar for the past few years.

Good for you for giving it a try. You have nothing to lose, right? Only everything to gain. And doesn't it feel nice with those glasses off? They were starting to give me a headache...

Word, Gizmotech: it's a good perspective.

I definitely agree, therealwindycity, and RL, you are freaking awesome! So awesome...

Samurai_Steve
October 3rd, 2012, 10:57
Geno, Frankie, Bento, Kraken, Nostradamus...

Seimore
October 3rd, 2012, 12:43
I've just started my planning process for organizing when to get all of this application underway. I do have a question, I had a knee reconstruction at 17 and now it's all fully healed. The medical report said any major hospitalizations in the last 5 years. Being 25 I don't know if I should just mention this or not. It doesn't affect me in any way anymore except for having some cool stories and a funny looking bulge on my knee that makes kids laugh or go eww.

Secondly, for my references I'm giving it to two of my lecturers that know me best. One of the 1-5 ratios is "teaching ability." I'm not sure how they'll judge that, maybe through the times I've run tutorials for them (but they weren't present) so does it matter too much if they sort of guess? Seems like an odd question to give someone who is referring you and usually not one of your students.

coop52
October 3rd, 2012, 12:47
You'll probably be ok without mentioning the knee thing since it was long time ago.

hunterofpeace
October 3rd, 2012, 13:57
Carl (Can't Ameliorate Real Life)

tatsuko
October 4th, 2012, 00:40
Glad that I made the perfect motto for the year ^^;

Also, US required docs are now out. So we US peoplez can get going on our paperwork/references/blahblahblah for real.

coop52
October 4th, 2012, 06:15
Willie Mac after our favorite (former) Official forum poster.

Samurai_Steve
October 4th, 2012, 06:23
You mean, the Willie Mac?

ChasingTheSun
October 4th, 2012, 11:25
Hi everyone. These seems to be the place to emerge from the shadows of lurker-dom. I am applying for the first time, but this has been my goal since high school. I am a little afraid that I am building more hype around this than I need to, but, at the same time, it seems like the JETs who make it are the ones who worked their butts off to get to the interview.

I feel like if I can just get an interview, I can get the job, but my SOP is causing me major anxiety. I thought I had a good SOP that answered all the required prompts, but I had friends shoot it down because it was too boring. One friend compared it to the tea cup ride at Disney and told me it needed to be more like space mountain. Regardless, I've been spending hours on here reading other people's opinions of the application process and trying to absorb as much advice as I can. I thought it was probably time to actually get involved here and participate in the conversation.

coop52
October 4th, 2012, 13:00
Don't worry about making it exciting; concentrate on answering the questions they want in the length that you have. The essays are going to be read by non-native speakers who won't notice your totally awesome fun style anyway. Use BS to make yourself sound better if required, but don't go overboard.

Antonath
October 4th, 2012, 13:09
You're applying for a civil service job, and your application will be read by civil servants. Exciting is ok, but answering the questions with care, attention, and something more than "OMG I wanna go to JAPAN!!!1! I love Japanese culture - I watch anime!" will score far more points.

Page
October 4th, 2012, 15:38
Don't worry about making it exciting; concentrate on answering the questions they want in the length that you have. The essays are going to be read by non-native speakers who won't notice your totally awesome fun style anyway. Use BS to make yourself sound better if required, but don't go overboard.

Really? I thought it was the staff at the embassy (maybe some non-native) that go through the essays initially.

Gizmotech
October 4th, 2012, 15:53
That was my impression. The SOP needs to sell the local embassy, which gets you the recommendation for the interview. Whether it is read again after that I dunno....

ChasingTheSun
October 4th, 2012, 21:47
My biggest issue was that previous drafts of my SOP had no "hook." My friend told me it was well written, but that he was almost forcing himself to continue reading. THen again, he isn't the one I'm trying to impress. I have a former JET looking at both drafts in hopes that he can shine some light on the decision.

uthinkimlost?
October 5th, 2012, 00:26
My biggest issue was that previous drafts of my SOP had no "hook." My friend told me it was well written, but that he was almost forcing himself to continue reading. THen again, he isn't the one I'm trying to impress. I have a former JET looking at both drafts in hopes that he can shine some light on the decision.

Fair warning: most JETs have no real idea as to why they were hired. My running theory for myself is my dynamite gams.

Have a writing/hr specialist look at it. Try people who (successfully) apply for grants. Follow the K.I.S.S./bikini rules.

flamingpriest
October 5th, 2012, 04:50
You're applying for a civil service job, and your application will be read by civil servants. Exciting is ok, but answering the questions with care, attention, and something more than "OMG I wanna go to JAPAN!!!1! I love Japanese culture - I watch anime!" will score far more points.
I know a current JET who apparently spent a good chunk their SOP going on about anime, cosplay and their Akihabara dreams. They got shortlisted first try as well.

ChasingTheSun
October 5th, 2012, 06:51
So I know the KISS rule, but would you be so kind as to enlighten me about the "bikini rule"?

coop52
October 5th, 2012, 07:17
Really? I thought it was the staff at the embassy (maybe some non-native) that go through the essays initially.

That's what I meant, that they'll be read by non-native speakers as well as native speakers. I'm not sure who all reads them in Tokyo though since they have a couple native English speakers around.

flamingpriest
October 5th, 2012, 09:39
So I know the KISS rule, but would you be so kind as to enlighten me about the "bikini rule"?
I think it's about not waffling on about something so much that you end up not including the really important stuff, i.e. what the 'bikini' covers.

Might be wrong though.

hunterofpeace
October 5th, 2012, 19:09
I think it's about not waffling on about something so much that you end up not including the really important stuff, i.e. what the 'bikini' covers.

Might be wrong though.

Yep. Cover the important stuff.

MJjunkie86
October 6th, 2012, 19:29
Questions:
Just been looking at the Irish application form (which I assume will be similar to the English one) and it says reason for wanting a particular place, then it mentions medical reasons or partner being a current JET there. Would it be enough if I said I'd had a school placement there in the summer and wanted to go back as I have good links with teachers in the area?

Also, it asks martial status (I have a bf but we are not married or anything) so I would be single. But my bf is also applying to JET. Is there any way we can be placed together/close?
I mean, we both want JET regardless of the other one doing it and if we are placed far apart we are realistic in knowing it will either work our for us or it wont, but it would still be nice to be placed close :) Plus i know he loves the city I love in Japan coz we both did our placement there :) Should we just put that place as our preferred place and not mention to JET we know each other?!

I'm rambling.

wicket
October 6th, 2012, 20:03
I'm not sure your reason is good enough as it doesn't show that you are open to new things - sounds like you want to go back and have the same Japan experience you've already had, because it's 'safe' and 'known'.
If, however, you could discuss plans you had already made with teachers in that area for things like sister-school arrangements, or pen-pal links or something, that would help more.

Be honest about your BF applying and the fact that you would like to be placed near one another; however recognise that unless you are engaged or married your relationship doesn't count for much in their eyes. So make it clear that even if you get in and he doesn't, you would still go, etc. etc. etc.

MJjunkie86
October 6th, 2012, 20:16
Hmmm ok I wont mention that reason then lol. Although the school is an international school so the children all speak English, so maybe I should look into that avenue...
Dont really care where I'm placed, though I do have a few preferred places.

Also, what are chances of being placed in Yokohama? Do they even take JETs? (Is there a list of places that do/don't take JETs?) (That's not my original preferred city, I am just curious!)

Hmmm, I'll have to really make sure I stress to them that I'm a heartless cow and will go with or without him haha! That, or convince him we should get engaged ;)

Now, should I try and get in my personal statement that I've climbed Fuji?? Japanese love that shiz...

wicket
October 6th, 2012, 20:20
do a search on here - there is a list somewhere of places that are no longer using JET as a means of finding ALTs [they've gone over to private dispatchers].
99% sure yokohama does not use JET.

MJjunkie86
October 6th, 2012, 20:28
Aaah ok. Well that sucks.

Samurai_Steve
October 7th, 2012, 05:16
do a search on here - there is a list somewhere of places that are no longer using JET as a means of finding ALTs [they've gone over to private dispatchers].
99% sure yokohama does not use JET.

This could be useful. Places like Aichi-ken didn't even seem to have incoming JETs last year, so I'm curious if they've discontinued having JETs there, too.

Researching...

Edit: silly Steve, just cuz Official says there are not Aichi JETs last year, doesn't mean there are no Aichi JETs. Ma-bad.

Paper Moon
October 13th, 2012, 03:53
After rejection last year and a generous portion of the proverbial humble pie, I have decided to apply again this year. I am not quite certain why I was not given an interview (it was probably a poor SOP or a minor applicaton mistake), but I figured that I am now an expert on rejection, so I can learn from my mistakes and become better. And if I get rejected again then I will take the hint that they just don't want me and move on. Probably to a cardboard box at the rate I'm going. But it will be a nice cardboard... maybe a refrigerator box so it's nice and roomy.

Anyway, I greatly valued the advice that I found here last year and I will probably seek out advice again. My SOP was not my best piece of writing and I would like to improve it perhaps by answering the questions more directly and focusing more on what I can offer the program. It's difficult because I am not sure why I was rejected, so I am not certain what I can focus on fixing, other than the SOP.

Hexi
October 13th, 2012, 06:34
better references aswell maybe?
I read somewhere that references and the application form together are like 40 of the 100 points your application is scored on?

star-shaped stitches
October 13th, 2012, 09:20
After rejection last year and a generous portion of the proverbial humble pie, I have decided to apply again this year. I am not quite certain why I was not given an interview (it was probably a poor SOP or a minor applicaton mistake), but I figured that I am now an expert on rejection, so I can learn from my mistakes and become better. And if I get rejected again then I will take the hint that they just don't want me and move on.
I can very much relate to this so I'm rooting for you! hopefully we can both get interviews this time!
woo! experience!

Paper Moon
October 13th, 2012, 09:42
I can very much relate to this so I'm rooting for you! hopefully we can both get interviews this time!
woo! experience!

:^_^: I'm rooting for you too! I hope that we can both make it to Japan this time! Hopefully we'll both meet at the Tokyo orientation and be able to give a sigh of relief that we've finally made it.


better references aswell maybe?
I read somewhere that references and the application form together are like 40 of the 100 points your application is scored on?

If that's true, I wonder what about the references is most important (prestige or a welll written letter). I think my references were the best part of my application last time. One letter was written by the head of my exchange program with whom I have volunteered for over 5 years to help exchange students and the other was my professor who was an ambassador. True, I don't know what they wrote, but I know them well enough to know they wrote something nice and personal. So I imagine that if I wasn't given an interview that must mean that: 1. My SOP was truly horrible, which I don't think it was. It wasn't my best piece of writing, but I answered the questions in a straightforward and concise way. or 2. I made an error that was big enough to disqualify me. Now, having applied for othe programs, I realize that dual enrollment credits (university credits that I earned while in high school) require a separate transcript if the name of the class does not appear on my university transcript. It wasn't something I thought about last year because I have only ever attended one university, but looking back at the rules I am kicking myself for making that error. I've already graduate as well, so I don't have to worry whether my "letter of enrollment" is correct or not, I can just make copies of my diploma. Looking back, there were so many small mistakes that I might have made last time that I will make certain not to make this time.

It's also possible that applications are scored differently in the UK than they are in the US. I read on the official JET forums that most of the people who are not given an interview are rejected due to mistakes such as the one I made.

But I will definitely keep what you said in mind! :)

hunterofpeace
October 13th, 2012, 11:08
I feel like the SOP help I got here plus the significant improvement in one of my references made all the difference. If you know your references well enough, you may want to ask them for an additional copy of your references. My boss just kind of... gave me one without asking this year. When I saw how terrible the one tiny, generic paragraph he had written was and noticed that he hadn't even bothered to change the date (meaning that was the one JET got last year) I knew that contributed a lot to my rejection without interview. Length of time is not always a good indicator of a good reference. I'd known the man over 4 years. Personal growth is a big thing too. If you can demonstrate that you have learned and accomplished a lot, it means more than if you have worked the same cruddy retail job for the last year.

tatsuko
October 13th, 2012, 13:27
I was super pleased when I got both my references today ^_^ Both references offered to show me the reference once it was completed and all my envelopes were done correctly so I didn't need to cry in frustration. I think between my new awesome references and my much better SoP (courtesy of some help from some people here on ITIL) that I have increased my chances considerably for this year.

Hexi
October 13th, 2012, 17:55
uhm i was lurking on the jet forums and i think the miami co-ordinator said that if they suspect you have seen the references and that they weren't strictly confidential then that could hurt your application. o.0 not get you disqualified but could deduct points. so dont say anything about that. haha!

i gave my referees all the correct guidelines and trust them to do it right. :)

I'm curious to know how many applicants this year are 2nd-timers. ive spoken to so many i feel like i'm a: in-experienced and b: not going to make it to interview.... ;__;

hunterofpeace
October 13th, 2012, 18:07
*shrugs*

Made it here somehow...

word
October 13th, 2012, 18:31
word

I typed up one of my reference letters while it was being dictated, printed it out, and handed it to the dean to sign. I remember I actually had to edit it and get him to sign another one for me 'cause I forgot some part that was supposed to be in there. I'd typed up hundreds of other reference letters for him; the fact that this one was mine was relatively inconsequential.

Samurai_Steve
October 14th, 2012, 07:19
I'm curious to know how many applicants this year are 2nd-timers. ive spoken to so many i feel like i'm a: in-experienced and b: not going to make it to interview.... ;__;

Hey there Hexi, I'm a second-timer. I'm with you: there are times that I have immense self-doubt, and other times I am confident in the changes I've made to be a better candidate. At the end of the day. I know I still have no idea what my chances are of getting in. However, I've decided it's better to be confident and be ready for whatever outcome. So here goes nothing. Best of luck to ya!

@Hunterofpeace: if I get in, I feel that would be my response, too.

@tatsuko, Paper Moon, and star-shaped stitches: best of luck to you guys and I hope ya'll kick some butt on your apps this time around. Hopefully we can all share some sake on the other side...

@word: you're an enigma, man. I don't have the opportunity, nor the balls, to do that...

abbajen
October 14th, 2012, 07:25
Is anyone here a re-applying JET? I was on JET before, and I am eligible to re-enter, so I am going for it this year. I just wondered if anyone had any insight: Are they more/less likely to give you an interview? Or, is it another one of JET's great mysteries? If you *do* get an interview, are the interviewers even more harsh than the first time around?

Paper Moon
October 14th, 2012, 09:15
@tatsuko, Paper Moon, and star-shaped stitches: best of luck to you guys and I hope ya'll kick some butt on your apps this time around. Hopefully we can all share some sake on the other side...



Thank you Samurai_Steve. I wish the same to you too! :)

Hexi, try not too worry too much about the fact that this is your first time applying. Many people apply their first time and get in. Just focus on writing a SOP and making certain that you have everything that you need for your application and that it follows JET's specifications. Honestly, looking back, my biggest mistake was that I decided fairly last minute to apply for JET and so I didn't have time to ask questions about the application or have people read over my SOP. I rushed while trying to finish my undergrad degree and applying for a lot of other programs. You are already a part of the community before the application has even been posted on the website (in the US at least). Yes, I have experience with applying, but it's mostly learning from my own mistakes. You are in a good position because you can learn from other people's mistakes instead of having to make them yourself. :)

wicket
October 14th, 2012, 11:01
hexi, i am still working on your SoP.
it's the toughest one i've gotten this year, sorry to say.
it's not necessarily your writing, i think it's structure. doing my best!

Hexi
October 14th, 2012, 19:12
thanks for all the comforting words guys! ^_^ Right now i feel like no-one in the whole world wants this more than me. haha. I've been writing my SoP for months.

sorry wicket! i find it so hard to represent myself on paper and get whats in my head down fast enough before it flies away that i get muddled a lot! XD I've actually re-written it again since i emailed you hexi2. haha. i chopped up a lot of the long winded sentences, deleted a whole tonne of blah blah blah and re-written my intro. I've also tried to link all my experience back to what i can offer jet.
sorry it's so much hassle for you! ^_^;

wicket
October 14th, 2012, 19:37
i don't mind, i just don't know why people don't plan it all out BEFORE they start writing. i did exactly ONE draft of my SoP and ONE "good copy" [fixing typos, mostly]. but i spent AGES brainstorming and planning. actual SoP took less than an hour to write.

Hexi
October 14th, 2012, 20:00
i planned it a bit. bullet pointed all i wanted to write. made sure i wrote down the experiance i wanted to include.
i just then decided it was all wrong and horrible sounding after i wrote it. :/ like i said its hard to get what i want to say out of my head and onto the paper/keyboard before i forget it. i feel like i can improve it more if i have actual sentences and paragraphs to work on too. but yeah, then the structure suffers.
you can always just not do it if you like. i don't mind. i feel bad taking up your time. ><;

tatsuko
October 16th, 2012, 01:26
I'm applying for my second time after not even getting an interview last year. I am in the same boat as others in that my "experience" is knowing things I messed up last year and have improved, like my absurd obsession with my references not being God-awful. And yes, we are technically not supposed to see it, but I am not changing my references anyhow and I hadn't asked for it to be sent, so oh well. I am glad I got to read it though because it was really nice to see.

On a similar note, I now have my references all in my hands and just need to get my Physician's Form done. I need to make copies of things and I need the main app, but I feel well put together at this point ^_^

Paper Moon
October 16th, 2012, 11:21
I have a few questions regarding the health form. Is a Physician's Form necessary for an allergy? Last year, because I thought that an allergy did not count as a "physical condition," I did not fill out a Physician's Form. I worry that not having a Physician's Form might have disqualified me.

My allergy is a hazelnut allergy-- just in case it matters.


I also have a very minor bladder condition called "Interstitial Cystitis (IC)." I take an over-the-counter pain killer called "Azo" for it sometimes... I know that pain killers in Japan will probably work just fine if for some reason Azo is illegal. Do I need a Physicians form for this condition? As I said, it is minor and will just cause me to have to excuse myself to the bathroom when it acts up. Since it's minor, should I just not mention it at all?

Thank you to anyone who might have an answer!

Gizmotech
October 16th, 2012, 11:26
The physician's form is for the IC. You will want to get that filled out and signed so you can be placed somewhere where you can get medication that will actually do something. Over the counter pain medication in Japan is spectacularly weak, and likely won't cover it for ya.

The allergy is a non-issue I think. I'm pretty sure I haven't eaten hazelnut since coming here.

tatsuko
October 16th, 2012, 11:29
Is the hazelnut allergy severe? If you carry an epi-pen, you need to get the PF for that. I am supposed to carry two epi-pens, in case I accidentally eat the things I'm allergic to, but mine are more common than hazelnuts (peanuts, apples, cherries).

Paper Moon
October 16th, 2012, 12:14
The physician's form is for the IC. You will want to get that filled out and signed so you can be placed somewhere where you can get medication that will actually do something. Over the counter pain medication in Japan is spectacularly weak, and likely won't cover it for ya.

The allergy is a non-issue I think. I'm pretty sure I haven't eaten hazelnut since coming here.

Are common pain killers from the US allowed in Japan if I place a note from my doctor with the medication in my luggage?

I thought hazelnuts might not be an issue in Japan.



Is the hazelnut allergy severe? If you carry an epi-pen, you need to get the PF for that. I am supposed to carry two epi-pens, in case I accidentally eat the things I'm allergic to, but mine are more common than hazelnuts (peanuts, apples, cherries).


It is severe and I do have an epi-pen, but I never carry the thing with me because hazelnuts aren't really common here and I can easily avoid them. Actually, I think my epi-pen's been expired for a few years now...

Thank you both for your help. What I've garnered from this is that I should fill out the Physician's Form just in case...

hunterofpeace
October 16th, 2012, 16:09
Yeah couldn't hurt. And when it comes to bringing medicine over, for more than a month's supply you'd need a particular form that you fill out later (like when you've been accepted). Forget the name. Too lazy to look it up, haha.

Paper Moon
October 16th, 2012, 23:16
I think that someone on the official JET forums called it a "yakkan shomei," but it's possible that they were refering to something else.

I was going to ask my question on the official forum, but I think the answers on this forum are more candid, which I like. :)

peanut
October 17th, 2012, 02:30
So... I think I'm actually going to apply this year. I've started my SOP, but have no idea who to ask for my second reference. I'm torn between asking a second professor or a previous boss. I have a feeling the second professor will be more articulate than the boss, so I'm leaning that way. No idea which would look better, though. Any thoughts?

Hexi
October 17th, 2012, 03:28
probably better to go for a second professor who knows you better than an ex boss i'd imagine... but what do i know? if you're a recent graduate it's ok to do either. :)

peanut
October 17th, 2012, 03:49
probably better to go for a second professor who knows you better than an ex boss i'd imagine... but what do i know? if you're a recent graduate it's ok to do either. :)

Well, I graduated in March '11, and the job in question was this time last year. Neither are exactly recent. My problem is that I'm self-employed. I'm a freelance photographer, so I have clients rather than a boss. I was really close with several of my professors, but was also close with my supervisors at my retouching job. Because I graduated a bit ago, didn't know if the boss or prof route would be better.

Hexi
October 17th, 2012, 15:45
i think JET consider up to 2 years "recent"? but the supervisor sounds like a good one to go for. or if you know they'll both do good ones, ask both and then do eeny meeny miny mo. XD

wicket
October 17th, 2012, 18:43
Is anyone here a re-applying JET? I was on JET before, and I am eligible to re-enter, so I am going for it this year. I just wondered if anyone had any insight: Are they more/less likely to give you an interview? Or, is it another one of JET's great mysteries? If you *do* get an interview, are the interviewers even more harsh than the first time around?

not sure how i missed this, but i've done JET twice.

you are almost a shoe-in for an interview, unless you've done nothing with your first JET experience in terms of cultural exchange [I'd done a fair bit - teaching Japanese, contributing to JETAA, talking up the prefecture I'd been in etc.]

the interview is definitely harder second time around. i had had a ten year break and gotten married in the interim. they wanted to know how it would affect my career [teaching], how i would go amongst younger JETs, how my husband would cope as a non-JET in Japan, whether or not we were planning to have kids in Japan and on JET etc. etc. etc.

probably the question they most wanted answered was 'why do JET a second time when you have the qualifications, experience and references to get a job in japan independently?'

also, i would advise not asking to go back to the same or similar placement. or if you do, have a really good reason. my interviewers were impressed with the fact that i listed the prefecture i had my first placement in as my third choice - i.e. i'd be more than happy to go back there, but i'm also up for a new experience. they don't want people who think they can just do the same thing again. and they don't want people who can't prove they haven't used their first experience after leaving JET.

basically, think about what you wrote in your SoP the first time you did JET, with regard to how you would use the experience of being an ALT after you went home. have you done that? fantastic, they'll want you back. If you haven't, why would they trust your second SoP?

abbajen
October 18th, 2012, 08:04
not sure how i missed this, but i've done JET twice.

you are almost a shoe-in for an interview, unless you've done nothing with your first JET experience in terms of cultural exchange [I'd done a fair bit - teaching Japanese, contributing to JETAA, talking up the prefecture I'd been in etc.]

the interview is definitely harder second time around. i had had a ten year break and gotten married in the interim. they wanted to know how it would affect my career [teaching], how i would go amongst younger JETs, how my husband would cope as a non-JET in Japan, whether or not we were planning to have kids in Japan and on JET etc. etc. etc.

probably the question they most wanted answered was 'why do JET a second time when you have the qualifications, experience and references to get a job in japan independently?'

also, i would advise not asking to go back to the same or similar placement. or if you do, have a really good reason. my interviewers were impressed with the fact that i listed the prefecture i had my first placement in as my third choice - i.e. i'd be more than happy to go back there, but i'm also up for a new experience. they don't want people who think they can just do the same thing again. and they don't want people who can't prove they haven't used their first experience after leaving JET.

basically, think about what you wrote in your SoP the first time you did JET, with regard to how you would use the experience of being an ALT after you went home. have you done that? fantastic, they'll want you back. If you haven't, why would they trust your second SoP?

Well, I wrote how I wanted to become a Japanese teacher. I managed that through seriously ridiculous luck (I was not even certified to teach it, but marked that I could speak it when applying to a district, and they got me my emergency cert, which I have since upgraded to a real one). So, I'm in my 3rd year, and I've taught 3rd-12th grade. Actually, I taught 3rd-5th and 9th-12th every single day last year - I totally traveled between schools each day super-JET style. I'm also the co-chair of Pittsburgh JETAA, so I think I might be golden there.

The first time I went, I was married (we got married at 23), and my husband's job was house-husband - so if we went back, he would be used to that Japan experience of being jobless. We do not want kids - if they asked me having kids, would it be bad to tell the truth? I feel like people think you hate kids if you don't want your own - obviously, I like kids since I spend my whole day with them willingly. We have been home for 5 years, so I'll be 29 at the leave date.

When we were placed before, we could get food we could eat easily (we're vegetarians) and now, I have a thyroid condition, and while I obviously speak Japanese fairly well, I don't know medical Japanese. I had English doctors where I was placed before, and I don't know if it's common in other areas. (We were in Northern Kyoto City) Are those "good" reasons for wanting to be placed around the same area? Or do I need to come up with something better?

star-shaped stitches
October 18th, 2012, 10:57
abbajen, does your thyroid condition require regular access to a doctor? I ask because I'm hypothyroid and so this is relevant to my interests. =) Maybe your case is similar to mine and it'll be ok?
I just see my doc once a year for blood work and I'm hoping to have my pharmacy ship my meds to me in Japan. If that is ok by the Japanese government, then I'm golden, but if I need to see a Japanese doctor, that's a different story. xD

abbajen
October 18th, 2012, 12:51
My concern is that I was told to keep my soy intake very regular or I'd have to be adjusted (get a higher dose since soy blocks the absorption). In my experience, I eat tofu and miso, etc a lot in Japan, therefore, I feel like I'd have to be on the "beginner's" schedule of every three months for a little bit to see how my body reacted. I did fine for 1 summer in Japan after starting meds, but really, that was only 2 months, so I think it hardly counts. It was SUPER expensive when I yakkan shomei'ed a whole year of BC pills (cause I had to pay out of pocket- insurance will only cover 3 months and I needed 1 year). So, I don't really want to pay that much out of pocket for levothyroxine. I'm thinking of bringing 3 months, getting the yakkan shomei for it, and then finding a doctor in those months to check my levels and get me going. I'm also thinking an IUD for BC purposes, so I don't have to play around with that craziness.

star-shaped stitches
October 19th, 2012, 08:23
I didn't even think about soy; I was just worried the near-daily alcohol consumption will mess with my levels. =o
Something to keep in mind, for sure.

abbajen
October 19th, 2012, 09:54
Any extreme change in diet can cause your levels to change, so if you don't drink daily now, and expect to in Japan, you may want to try to see a doctor about your levels within the first couple months. It's also nice to do that cause if you do have an issue, you technically are a patient of a doctor.

tatsuko
October 23rd, 2012, 09:20
US app is out in case anyone didn't know

Paper Moon
October 23rd, 2012, 09:47
US app is out in case anyone didn't know

Thank you! ^_^

tatsuko
October 23rd, 2012, 09:49
Glad to help.

hunterofpeace
October 23rd, 2012, 22:43
US app is live, guys.

Wow, 30 minutes later. I should read before posting...

Wasabi
October 24th, 2012, 10:19
abbajen - I thought about the IUD too, however on the official JET Forum I read something about how you have to do a 1 year IUD check up to make sure everything is ok. I don't know how hard it would be to get to the lady doctor in Japan, and possibly having a translator from your school there for something of that nature could be pretty embarrassing :x

abbajen
October 24th, 2012, 11:32
Speaking of embarrassing... I failed my health check the last time I was on JET because there was blood in my urine. Because of my period. I had checked the box for currently menstruating on the urine analysis form (my teacher showed me which to check) and I guess they ignored it. My male principal, male supervisor, male JTE, and female JTE took me aside and said that I was suspected of having a serious kidney infection. Then, the female JTE asked "Were you physiology that day?" I looked at her dictionary, realize she meant "on my period", said "yes" and it was hilarious to observe the awkwardness that ensued. I didn't know about the IUD year check-up, but I think I might not be able to get more embarrassed than that time... :D

coop52
October 24th, 2012, 13:24
I went to a clinic for a cold once, and the nurse came over to me right when I walked in. She pulled me aside, pointed down to my lady business, and whispered that the gynecologist wasn't in that day. She understood why I was there when I coughed in her face.

Teishou
October 24th, 2012, 13:51
lol... Why the hell did she assume you needed to see the gynecologist?

coop52
October 24th, 2012, 14:11
Because white lady=Russian=hooker

Paper Moon
October 27th, 2012, 10:40
Haha, my family actually is of Russian origin, but I don't think that I am going to mention that if I end up going to Japan...

Page
October 30th, 2012, 11:40
Can't be worse than being Phillipino. If you're a lady you're a snack mama and if you're a dude you're a bastard of a snack mama.

Paper Moon
October 31st, 2012, 01:40
Haha, Page your avatar looks so much like one of my friends. Everytime I see it I crack up with laughter.:lol: I can imagine my friend posing like that too...

vikings603
October 31st, 2012, 03:24
Hey guys! I'm new to the forum and just started filling out my application. I have a question about the background check. I have a possession of paraphernalia charge that happened when I was a minor, which has been expunged. I also have 3 charges related to a fake ID, all of which have been dismissed. I was just wondering if anyone might know how my record might effect my chances of getting an interview. Thanks!

abbajen
October 31st, 2012, 07:37
Hey guys! I'm new to the forum and just started filling out my application. I have a question about the background check. I have a possession of paraphernalia charge that happened when I was a minor, which has been expunged. I also have 3 charges related to a fake ID, all of which have been dismissed. I was just wondering if anyone might know how my record might effect my chances of getting an interview. Thanks!

I would join the official JET Programme Forums and ask in the "Applying for 2013" thread. The Miami Coordinator is really helpful and answers all kinds of specific questions over there. I do remember that the coordinator said that some charges don't matter, while others do. Maybe they have insight into categories of offenses?

Page
November 1st, 2012, 09:22
Hey guys! I'm new to the forum and just started filling out my application. I have a question about the background check. I have a possession of paraphernalia charge that happened when I was a minor, which has been expunged. I also have 3 charges related to a fake ID, all of which have been dismissed. I was just wondering if anyone might know how my record might effect my chances of getting an interview. Thanks!

If you're really worried the easiest way is to get a copy of your FBI record (the one you'll have to submit if you get in) and see if it's clean. If it is, no need to mention it. But if you don't wanna pay for that, asking a coordinator over on official is probably the best way to find out what to do.

Also, thanks PM! If only you could see the rest of the picture.

flamingpriest
November 4th, 2012, 01:07
Nooo I wasn't gonna admit to being a member of my uni's Sci-Fi society in my application but my tutor included it in their reference so now I have to

MJjunkie86
November 4th, 2012, 20:17
Nooo I wasn't gonna admit to being a member of my uni's Sci-Fi society in my application but my tutor included it in their reference so now I have to

:')

LittleBlueDragonfly
November 4th, 2012, 22:31
Haha, I had a similar problem, where one of my reference letters is being written by someone I volunteer for, they know I used to be VP of the university's anime society.... and I know they'll mention it, because it's how I met them.

Wasabi
November 5th, 2012, 05:35
I was involved with my University's geek club (covered the whole gamut from anime to sci fi to Dungeons and Dragons and more), but I removed all mention of it from my resume and neither of my references knew that I took part in the club. Even so, it was called 'Alternative Entertainment' and was founded on the principle of providing an alternative to Thirsty Thursdays.

My second reference just asked for my SOP so that she could write a better reference for me, so I was up late last night refining it more so it was presentable. My first reference also e-mailed me what she wrote and asked if it sounded good to me, which I was not expecting at all.

coop52
November 5th, 2012, 09:11
It's not a big deal. Just don't be a weirdo about it, and you'll be ok.

peanut
November 6th, 2012, 04:07
Ack. I've been super busy with work...and now the application date is sneaking up on me. I've barely looked at my SOP and only just asked my references for letters. At least I'm on top of transcript requests, and I did make an appointment so my doctor can fill out the medical form. Anyone else procrastinating and starting to feel slightly stressed? (I'm mostly just grumpy that I might have to pay $18 to mail it express if I can't get it out early enough.)

jjstrand
November 6th, 2012, 05:27
Yeah, I guess I'm with you there. I asked my referees about a month ago, but still waiting on them. In the meantime, I've written and re-written my SoP twice. I'm hoping to have everything all together by the end of the week.. I hope that's not just wishful thinking. Still chasing up loose ends.

abbajen
November 6th, 2012, 06:08
Ack. I've been super busy with work...and now the application date is sneaking up on me. I've barely looked at my SOP and only just asked my references for letters. At least I'm on top of transcript requests, and I did make an appointment so my doctor can fill out the medical form. Anyone else procrastinating and starting to feel slightly stressed? (I'm mostly just grumpy that I might have to pay $18 to mail it express if I can't get it out early enough.)

$18 sounds cheap. I sent it normal registered mail, and the packet weighed over a POUND, so it was almost $9 to send from Pittsburgh to DC. Crazy.

peanut
November 6th, 2012, 07:07
It's not expensive, but I'm miserly. Still, it does make me feel less grumpy if it's going to cost half as much to mail it registered. What's another $9? (Though it might be more—I checked the USPS website for costs/time. There's a good chance I'm wrong.)

Everything else should be okay as long as my references are super awesome and fast with the letter writing.

LittleBlueDragonfly
November 6th, 2012, 08:21
I was pretty stressed at first, but it was only because I didn't have the time to actually spend on my app/sop. Everything's good now. I don't think it's good to stress on it :(

peanut
November 6th, 2012, 08:51
That's good that things are going well for you.

I'm not exactly stressing...more mildly concerned things won't get done. Still, I'll just apply next year if I can't get the app in on time. I want a change but love what I do.

I think I was just frustrated earlier when the deadline changed for a proofreading assignment I accepted. Now I have two days instead of seven to do 360+ pages. Life makes it hard to get anything done early, but that's life.

Hexi
November 7th, 2012, 02:54
maybe if you haven't heard from them in a week give them a gentle "OI! where's my reference?" phone call. :D

jjstrand
November 8th, 2012, 06:30
Yeah, I've sent a few emails- Monday I'll just make a trip over (as I'm not too far from the Uni).

Once I have those, just need a JET to check my (finally) finished SoP, and I can relax and properly focus on my Japanese lessons! Time is flying past these days- with any luck, next thing I know it'll be Tokyo orientation!

scimredopyh
November 8th, 2012, 17:30
Any advice for a current alternate applying again? I applied for the first time last year and almost made it! Unsure of how to rework my SOP... I've had a year to reflect and this is still something that I want (though a little more realistically). I attended the workshops and Japanese class the Consulate General in my city offered over the summer and just finished a TEFL certification course this month. Other than that, I spent my time job hunting and preparing for both scenarios. Limbo.

flamingpriest
November 10th, 2012, 08:26
I'm currently enrolled on a Japanese course until the summer, so in the Japanese Language section of the app, should I put the dates as '[start date]-[expected end date]' or just '[start date] - present'?

Hexi
November 10th, 2012, 18:47
anything i am still doing/studying/whatevering i put [date started] - present.

Maninguenice
November 15th, 2012, 22:54
Ack. I've been super busy with work...and now the application date is sneaking up on me. I've barely looked at my SOP and only just asked my references for letters. At least I'm on top of transcript requests, and I did make an appointment so my doctor can fill out the medical form. Anyone else procrastinating and starting to feel slightly stressed? (I'm mostly just grumpy that I might have to pay $18 to mail it express if I can't get it out early enough.)

Very,very stressed, right up until this morning when I got word that my friend who's carrying my recommendation back stateside for me definitely got it into the mail. The Mozambican mail service leaving something to be desired, I have about five envelops converging from all over on a good friend back home who will collate everything for me, and get a very nice おみやげ. Can't wait to be back in a developed country!

Shodanicron
December 5th, 2012, 07:16
Got mine sent off today. I must have checked it was in order about 10 times.
Should be in dublin by tomorrow evening. Time to start the seemingly endless waiting game