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not_vitaliy
January 1st, 2013, 12:31
Hello ITIL. I want to apply for JET, but I've had a lot of difficulty finding information online because my situation is a bit unusual. I was hoping someone here could help.

I'm a Russian citizen who spent the vast majority of his life in Turkey. Dissatisfied with my initial career choice (science), I decided I'd enjoy being an ALT more. I was encouraged by how there so few participants from Russia, so I thought maybe there won't be much competition.

Some general questions about the Russian program:
1) I hear some people say that the Russian JET is only for children of important officials in practice. Is this true?
2) Do you have to live in certain cities to be eligible?

Some questions about me:
1) I don't actually want to be a Russian ALT. I want to teach English. Is this a silly thing to want? Will they let me do the interview in English?
2) As far as Russian culture goes, I'm quite aloof. My Russian isn't very good and if they ask me to explain, eg, how the Russian parliament works or who the famous Russian authors are, the best I could manage is a vague sentence or two. This is not the case for Turkey (because I've lived there so long and couldn't escape exposure) or the United States (because of my interests) - I can rattle off trivia about these countries long enough to make anyone's eyes roll. Am I out of luck?

Apologies for the lengthy and overly specific wall of text. tl;dr: Russian who is poorly qualified to be a Russian ALT but better qualified to be an English ALT. Is it worth applying?

SPR_255
January 1st, 2013, 13:50
You're pretty much out of luck. The JET Program hires people who speak the native language of the country they're applying from.

not_vitaliy
January 1st, 2013, 21:36
So do they usually ask for an essay in English, even when taking non-English ALTs?

Page
January 2nd, 2013, 00:27
I'd go for it, it's not 100%. I've met plenty of people from different countries teaching English and not their native tongue. I'd call the consulate to get a real idea of your chances being the program there is so small!

Gizmotech
January 2nd, 2013, 12:06
Page is right. Your consulate is your best bet for determining if there is a public application system for JET in Russia, and if they are hiring you to be ALTs or Russian CIRs.

The reason I mention the last one is I've met a few non-English CIR people before via the JET Program but they are brought over for their translating ability between Japanese and X rather than being English teachers.

Tyr
January 10th, 2013, 10:00
Yeah, I:ve met rather a lot of Jets from e.g. France, Italy, Brazil. They do need English skills and end up using a lot more English than they generally expected but the reason they were initially hired is for their native language:Japanese skills.
They:re all CIRs too, not ALTs, I hear mutterings that some CIRs end up doing a lot of ALTing anyway but its not their official job.

As for needing to live in certain cities- no. Though being from/living in a city which has a sister city relationship with a Japanese city really boosts your chances with them.

It's certainly worth trying though TBH I don't rate your chances too much. You should contact the Japanese embassy in Russia to find out what the deal is.

madeleine
January 10th, 2013, 11:37
Tyr is right, almost all of the JETs from countries whose first language isn't English are hired for their Japanese skills on top of English plus their native language.

If you have native-level English though, it might be worth trying to establish residency in the UK and applying through London. Though it seems a lot of effort for an ALT job.

Cytrix
January 15th, 2013, 10:17
In saying that, my specific area only employs ALTs with English as a second language, and some came here with very limited (if non-existent) Japanese. We had a guy from France, one from Holland and a girl from India, last year.