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alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 13:02
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Teishou
January 16th, 2013, 13:06
You won't make many friends here until you show up and post more often. Pretty much all of your questions could be answered by searching every forum with JET Program(me) pasted all over it.

As for getting in, you have about as much chance as all the other people who apply.

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 13:15
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coop52
January 16th, 2013, 13:31
Generally, if you request a big city or the area immediately around it, you stand less of a chance of getting it. If you request somewhere in the country, especially areas in Tohoku, Shikoku, or Chugoku, you have a pretty good chance of getting what you want.

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 13:35
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UPGRAYEDD
January 16th, 2013, 13:45
Do your research about the different regions of Japan and make your requests (and talk about them in your interview) but be mentally prepared to NOT get placed anywhere near your preferred location.

There's also a PDF somewhere on the official site that lists the numbers of JETs in different prefectures and cities. Take a look at that to get a feel of where JETs are located and so you don't waste your time requesting Tokyo or Yokohama.

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2013, 13:45
For the record, there is no one here that can tell you your odds. In spite of our bluster, not a damn one of us has any idea how we got here. As far as I can remember I delivered a pizza to the consulate, caught a whiff of chloroform and woke up in a classroom repeating the conjugations of 'to be'.

Realistically, don't worry about it. If you don't get in JET, there are tons of other routes for you to come to Japan and bring shame to your nation like the rest of us.

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 13:55
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alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 13:57
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Tyr
January 16th, 2013, 13:58
Japan is a huge country. It:ll be easier for people to tell you how somewhere is if you say where you:re interested in

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 14:07
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word
January 16th, 2013, 14:30
You need to do some reading. The "how often do you get your placement request" question comes up all the time. The answer is "sometimes." It depends on a lot of stuff--where you requested (Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka/FAIL) (apologies; I wrote all this before coop's nice answer), where openings are, etc.

Teishou is right, you need to post more. Join us in the Lounge sometime.

We're not going to post a bunch of links to specific threads for you. You need to use the search function or just browse. There is a wealth of information here; this site holds years' worth of information from ALTs living all over Japan.

You sound really odd. This is probably just because you haven't figured out how the social dynamic around here works, but try to picture this scenario: You're at a small social gathering. BBQ is being served, most folks are holding a beer, and laughter, joking, ranting, and swearing abound. You walk up to a small circle of friends who are enjoying a light-hearted conversation and say exactly what you said in your first post.

How do you think the circle of friends is going to react to you?

There is no need for weird formal introductions. We don't care about your life history (unless it's just really interesting), where you went to school, what your grades were like, how much you like anime, or anything of the sort. This isn't the sort of place where you introduce yourself in that manner (you'll get plenty of that at TO and the neverending series of awkward JET meetings). This is a small party. Introduce yourself by making fun smalltalk. If you need information, search for it first, then ask if you can't find it.

Edit: I'll post a bit of "how I got here" in a minute; I'm at work atm and it's cleaning time.

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 14:39
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UPGRAYEDD
January 16th, 2013, 14:52
I requested urban, Kyoto or Nara. Ended up in rural Ehime. I had to google Ehime because I never heard of the place. I was ridiculously nervous about going to my village but I wanted the adventure and to my surprise I ended up having ridiculous fun and signed up for an extra year twice. Even married a local girl and learned the language :)

The truth is that JET placements are a real dice roll and the whole program is slanted towards the Japanese countryside. If you are not at least a little open to the idea of going to Okinawa when you requested Hokkaido, you should look at other programs.

If you have any questions about Ehime you can hit me up anytime.

madeleine
January 16th, 2013, 14:56
lol, even though there is no way of telling if you will get your requests, I am going to guess if you get accepted and put down Fukushima, there's a high chance you'll be placed there.


however, i've been finding that often the forums/wikis/blogs/youtubes i access come back with just general kind of stuff like if there are bars or supermarkets or if the person is lonely or not (although there are certainly some good youtube videos exhibiting daily life) - OR, really specific stuff necessary to know while living there, which obviously isn't of much use to me at this point in time.


It may seem general, but whether or not your supermarket is 10 minutes away or 2 hours away may be really important to your life in Japan once you get here. Definitely if you have a range of shops in your town (a foreign food store!), variety of restaurants, gyms... this will totally change your experience in Japan compared to other people's.

What is awesome for one person isn't going to be great for everyone. For instance if you get sent to Tohoku/Hokkaido, you could potentially be looking at 4 - 5 months of solid winter, snowing almost every day. If you are not into winter sports it can be really long and depressing. Even in one prefecture the climate/culture/facilities can be really different. I live in a village that gets about 3 metres of snow, but other people in the prefecture get hardly any all winter. I live in the super inaka with no combini/supermarket, but other people have large foreign food stores, bars, clubs, restaurants, etc. right at their doorstep.

I think you have a better chance of being placed somewhere if your reasons are solid. I have noticed people who put down certain preferences (like wanting to board/ski, dive, surf, don't like winter/summer) tend to get placed somewhere equivocal than those who cite cultural or more abstract reasons.

uthinkimlost?
January 16th, 2013, 15:19
lol, even though there is no way of telling if you will get your requests, I am going to guess if you get accepted and put down Fukushima, there's a high chance you'll be placed there.

Horse hockey. It was one of my requests, 'n I ain't there.

word
January 16th, 2013, 15:32
...the typical answer I see is, "Don't expect to get ANYWHERE near your request." Not saying that's a bad response, just was looking for a different one.

Asking a question because you don't like the answer everyone else is getting (to the same question) is kinda silly. People aren't being dishonest with you. As UPGRAYEDD mentioned, you should definitely be very prepared to be placed somewhere far from and completely unrelated to any of your placement requests. The people who do receive their placement requests seem to just be lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be (LOL Tokyo)). There are a variety of tactics one may employ in order to be placed near a certain area, but these are by no means a "sure thing." The "sister city" thing is often suggested, but I requested one of my sister cities and wasn't placed anywhere near it.

My own story:

I requested all southern locations. I'm from Texas. I don't like the cold. I wanted to be somewhere warm, preferably close to a nice beach (LOL shows how much I knew about Japan before I got here). I used a "sister city" (for a city near my hometown), I requested a very specific, lesser-known area in the hopes that it would be unusual enough to garner some attention/interest. I requested a lesser-known, less-populated prefecture for my third request.

I also requested rural placement as I am from a rural area back home and don't care much for city life.

I wasn't placed anywhere near any of those requests, with one exception. I was placed in the middle of Japan, in one of the most rural placements in existence (short of being put on an island). They did, apparently, listen to my rural request. I am farther out in the inaka than anyone I know.

If I felt any disappointment at being placed so far from my requests, it was completely obliterated by my thrill at making it through the process.

Once I'd been there for a few months (and once I'd met some of my fellow JETs (believe it or not, we are not the best and brightest of the applicants)), reality sank in and I felt pretty down. I forced myself to recontract. By the time late spring/early summer rolled around, I was feeling pretty good about it. My placement wasn't what I'd envisioned, but the more I came to understand Japan, the more I realized that nothing that I'd envisioned bore any resemblance to reality. I came to appreciate my placement a lot more, and, though it wasn't ideal, worked to improve my life here. Three and a half years in, things are pretty awesome.



What I didn't realize before I came here:

Most people who think they're in the inaka are actually in suburban areas. Most people don't have any idea what true inaka life is like.

Japan is not divided into towns the way the US is. Driving through most of it is like driving through a neverending suburb with occasional city centers popping up. You have to really, really drive if you really wanna go to the inaka. Some prefectures just don't have any inaka, period.

Japan is one of the most homogeneous places in existence. I don't mean in terms of race; I mean that you could walk into any shop at one end of the country and find exactly the same sh*t you would find in a shop at the other end of the country. There is very little that is unique to any region in Japan, aside from some old, traditional stuff or incredibly trivial, mundane stuff, both of which are heavily emphasized to set one region apart from another, but don't actually result in truly substantial differences of any kind.

Japanese food is all about "subtlety"--read: Japanese food is bland.

Aside from the physical setting, Japan is absolutely nothing like anything that exists in manga, anime, or japanimation of any kind. Absolutely. Nothing. Like. That.

Japan is not a technological wonderland. When it comes to tech, Japan is one of the most backward places in the world. Vietnam is more tech-savvy than much of Japan. Significantly moreso. Hell, one of my JTEs just got back from Ghana and she mentioned that she was surprised how many wifi access points were available (nonexistent in Japan) and how many people asked her for her Facebook info.

Japanese people are some of the most nationalistic people to walk the face of the earth. Not in a "let's invade" kinda way, but in a "everyone else is uncivilized and dangerous" kinda way.

Japanese politeness is a social standard, not an indication of kindness or good will.

The people who make it through the screening process are not inherently more qualified, nicer, more likely to succeed, more emotionally stable, better teachers, more capable, or anything of the sort. Any such delusions one has after being accepted will quickly be destroyed once you arrive at TO.

You don't need to speak Japanese to live well here. I know plenty of people who do quite well for themselves with minimal/nonexistent Japanese. That said, your life will be significantly more pleasant if you can communicate at least a little.

There's probably more, but I've written too much already.

UPGRAYEDD
January 16th, 2013, 15:46
I work for a Japanese tech company :p

Dick

word
January 16th, 2013, 15:51
I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I'm a whale biologist.

That said, I hope more Japanese tech companies hire more foreigners, because Japan desperately needs a few good folks to drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Gizmotech
January 16th, 2013, 16:23
I work for a Japanese tech company :p

Dick

Just because you use a calculator does not make it a tech company. Now get back to your fax machine!

mothy
January 16th, 2013, 16:55
Is this guy a real person?

word
January 16th, 2013, 16:58
At least as real as kendolover from Official!

Edit: Although, I must admit, it's quite possible that they're both just unusually well-programmed spambots.

Teishou
January 16th, 2013, 18:26
Man, these two guys remind of Bejma...

MJjunkie86
January 16th, 2013, 18:44
I calls 'em like I sees 'em. I'm a whale biologist..

This made me happy :)

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 21:00
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word
January 16th, 2013, 23:10
http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/33472861.jpg

alexicrawford
January 16th, 2013, 23:27
...

alexicrawford
January 17th, 2013, 07:44
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alexicrawford
January 17th, 2013, 07:45
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coop52
January 17th, 2013, 08:01
i always just put my name as my username for stuff so people just know who i am and can look me up wherever if they for some reason feel the need to.


Just FYI, this is probably a bad idea. Don't want anything that could potentially get you in trouble with your employer/JET nor do you want stalkers.

alexicrawford
January 17th, 2013, 08:17
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Antonath
January 17th, 2013, 08:47
Well, that escalated quickly. Buh-bye now.