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View Full Version : Current Student (Senior) Considering Applying, Would Like Advice Please~



Valkerion
October 18th, 2013, 09:28
First off, Hi all! First post since I've only been lurking about 20 mins haha.

Anyway like the title says, currently a 25 year old senior in university in GA.

Just skip this part if you don't like background/story time. Found out about JET about 2 years ago from the internet and various youtubes with people complaining about stuff any normal not spoiled person would (you guys know exactly what I mean I'm sure) and thought "hmm this looks like an interesting program, get to live in Japan for at least a year, potentially learn a language, AND get paid!" seems like a decent deal. Look up info on it ect. and what not. At the time I had left college after not being satisfied in it after 2 and a half years (that and I got suspended for half a semester for low GPA, which was in part of a pretty bad break up at the time psh women) I set out and traveled a bit, and it was out of my mind for awhile then I randomly got in contact with an English teacher over in Japan and we just began talking about all kinds of things and got my mind on the subject of JET again. Fast forward a bit and I get the resolve to go back to college to get my degree. Got a horrible retail job for awhile, saved enough money for pay for 3 semesters of school and here I am finishing my second to last semester (graduating in Spring hopefully) with a full load of classes to finish on time. At the moment I'm going to be finishing with a Bachelors in Liberal Arts/Studies w/e you want to call it, and a minor in Sociology (would be the other way around but the Soci program just got accredited to be a major at the school and would require an extra year+ to get that degree, NO THX)

ANYWAY.

This last year is jam packed with classes, papers, and events for the club I'm in/partly run (Japanese Culture & Appreciation Club... which was turned into the anime club I'm sad to say since I'm not the president... but if I was -shakesfist-) and I remembered randomly to look at the JET program page for info since I wanted to see the actual applications and requirements again. Then it kinda hit me, wow this is a lot closer than I realized and it all kinda "became real" all of a sudden. So I am currently considering applying now, since I should be done by April if all goes to plan and the school does not F it up some how (and they have a track record of F'ing a lot of stuff up at the admin level) but was wondering If I should probably push it to next year's 2015 session. A part of me wants to at least try to apply, get a feel for it, and just get the experience of getting all the info together and a kind of "practice run." The other part of me wants to apply seriously now and hope I get in. It's like if I get in "this is all moving insanely fast" if I wait its a long wait for a what would be 26 year old to see if he got a job or not.

I don't really know what to do. That is a pretty ranty post with not a lot of info lol, but just looking for some "motherly" advice at the moment.

Teishou
October 18th, 2013, 09:41
Just apply. Why go back and forth about it? One way or another, you'd like to try anyway.

Antonath
October 18th, 2013, 09:47
I'd consider what would happen if you apply as a "practice run" and get selected. If you turn down a placement past a certain point in the process (and I can't remember where), you're barred from applying again the next year.

You should also consider your finances. The JET salary is more than enough to live on, but you will have to survive around a month in Japan before you're paid, and there's a lot of potential set-up costs in that period, from rent and deposit/"key money" to cars, furniture, phones, and other utilities. Not to mention food! The ball-park figure is $2000 on hand to cover everything but an absolute worst-case scenario. The chances are good you would need less than that, but it's not advisable to take the risk.

Valkerion
October 18th, 2013, 09:54
I'd consider what would happen if you apply as a "practice run" and get selected. If you turn down a placement past a certain point in the process (and I can't remember where), you're barred from applying again the next year.

You should also consider your finances. The JET salary is more than enough to live on, but you will have to survive around a month in Japan before you're paid, and there's a lot of potential set-up costs in that period, from rent and deposit/"key money" to cars, furniture, phones, and other utilities. Not to mention food! The ball-park figure is $2000 on hand to cover everything but an absolute worst-case scenario. The chances are good you would need less than that, but it's not advisable to take the risk.

That right there is about 90% of my apprehensions with apply now. Had a whole paragraph I cut about it.

My family isn't super well to do, takes a good amount of planning to just pay for a semester of college which is awesomely enough, a similar cost to the $2-5k start up estimate. I would no doubt have to borrow the money which may or may not be a problem... Guess I have no choice but to actually bring it up with the family.

That and start gauging who will be the best people to ask for a letter of recommendation... which will be a whole other can of worms.

word
October 18th, 2013, 10:05
I was dirt f*cking poor and I managed just fine. I will say that it was incredibly intimidating for me--I felt very much "out of my league" when dealing with the application process, other applicants, the consulate folks, etc. They all seemed very "high class," and I was most definitely low class. I made it, though, and during the course of the process I realized that most of those folks were just faking it all, anyway.

Lianwen
October 18th, 2013, 10:33
^This.

Everyone has ESID in start-up costs in Japan, but if you are selected, and you state up front with your BOE any issues you have financially if the rare thing happens and you have to pay 10man in key money or something, it'll be easier for them to work with you to make it a possibility. Especially if your BOE turns out to be some BFI area one that can't deal with the chances they may or may not get an alternate upgraded to them if the shortlisted one decides to backout because of finances on their end. Local town the year before I came is so rural, the ALT they ended up getting was their 4th alternate.

Valkerion
October 18th, 2013, 10:34
I was dirt f*cking poor and I managed just fine. I will say that it was incredibly intimidating for me--I felt very much "out of my league" when dealing with the application process, other applicants, the consulate folks, etc. They all seemed very "high class," and I was most definitely low class. I made it, though, and during the course of the process I realized that most of those folks were just faking it all, anyway.

That was amazingly reassuring, thank you!

This is my first real job application (I don't consider retail and random side jobs for friends/family over the years real jobs since they required no effort) so I am just completely nervous out of the perception of not being good enough and blah blah. Either way it works out, decided to at least make some moves toward this goal, because if I don't now, I figure it will only make it worse in the future. After mid-terms going to start drafting up my SOP and try to get some feed back from you guys and the school lit center.

Thankfully my American History prof is one of those unnecessarily and brutally helpful cheery people that will no doubt give me some good advice, which is rare at my school since its a research school and has a revolving door of professors and doctors looking for funding.

Yeah, thinking about it more... I'm going for it!

coop52
October 18th, 2013, 10:53
Just do it. I managed to save up a couple of thousand bucks working part time at a grocery store for a while before coming. As long as you aren't blowing your paychecks on hookers and meth between when you apply and when you leave, you should be fine.

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2013, 11:05
Chiming in:

Just do it.

Worst thing that happens, they say no and you're out... 200$ (stupid medical forms).

Best thing that happens, you come to Japan.

Seems pretty simple to me. Like Antonath said though, if you make it to the interview stage and decline an interview it'll look bad, and if you pass the interview and turn it down you will be barred for a year from the program. Like everyone else said, don't worry about the money problem until it's actually a problem. If you can start putting a small amount of cash aside, do it, but don't feel stupidly pressured into needing boat loads of money.

wicket
October 19th, 2013, 22:06
just do it. you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Valkerion
October 24th, 2013, 06:50
So I had a talk with my Sociology of Sex and Society professor today, and it randomly turned into a talk about JET and going to Japan. She totally ninja'd me into talking to her about it now that I think about it...

Anyway shes totally down for writing my recommendation letter and is super excited at the prospect of me going, but since we only have known each other for a few months she wants some more details, from either the SoP or a Resume. Since I've never really written a resume (I have but I had no direction with it so not sure if I did it right, and the job it was for hired me without looking at it (Best Buy lol)) I was going to work on the SoP this week/weekend and let her look at it. Question is, what exactly should the SoP essay look like? I know its pretty much about me and why I want to go, but what else. Are there any examples I could look at as a jumping off point?

coop52
October 24th, 2013, 08:02
Just write about why you want to go to Japan and why you'd be a good ALT; don't overthink it. I wrote mine while high on cold medicine and got in, if that helps.

Valkerion
October 24th, 2013, 10:11
Yeah that's what I was thinking about doing, then hoping someone here would look at it and tell me what to keep and add lol. Honestly that's how I do my best writing (do random creative writing when I'm bored/over stressed) just write out all my jumbled thoughts and see what happens.

K, i'll give that a go :)

mrcharisma
October 24th, 2013, 11:14
I was dirt f*cking poor and I managed just fine. I will say that it was incredibly intimidating for me--I felt very much "out of my league" when dealing with the application process, other applicants, the consulate folks, etc. They all seemed very "high class," and I was most definitely low class. I made it, though, and during the course of the process I realized that most of those folks were just faking it all, anyway.

I remember thinking a bit like this back in the day, as before you get to Japan Jet can seem quite elitist.

Then when you arrive, you end up stuck next to some bottom-feeder at a conference who assumes that because you're British you give a shite about what happened on Doctor Who last week.

Ini
October 24th, 2013, 11:15
its not creative writing, its a cover letter for a job interview. just write the damn thing and stop making a mountain out of a molehill.