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Randomgirl
January 25th, 2014, 04:33
I am getting ready for my interview and I am a bit stumped about what to expect. I did JET before, but that was over 10years ago. I imagine, as a second timer, they'll be asking different questions or wanting to know different things, but I haven't been able to find anything from second timers to help me figure out what that is. Any second timers on here want to help a girl out?

Thank you!

Shincantsen
January 25th, 2014, 08:13
As a second-time JET I would expect the interview to be focused in another direction and more rigorous. They already know that you have the experience and can live in Japan, but they will want to know WHY you are returning, and what you will bring fresh to the position.

Randomgirl
January 25th, 2014, 15:08
Thanks for that!! I second that those questions are on there. I'm not sure that'll fill the 30 minutes though! Which concerns me - what other doozies are they going to have waiting for me?!

AVN
January 25th, 2014, 15:52
They will want to know if you are aware of the difference you will encounter. They will ask you if you are sure you will be okay still being an assistant even with your prior experience. The BOE you will go to will be used to people who are new to this. They may treat you like you can't do anything or that you don't know how to take care of yourself. How will you deal with that etc?

Randomgirl
January 26th, 2014, 00:40
Ah, good questions!!! Thanks!

ihatefall
January 28th, 2014, 09:30
They may also be concerned that you might be expecting this to the same experience you had last time. Its crazy how different they can be, I had to move to a different city in the same prefecture while on JET because all the JHSs went private. So be prepared for that.
How long did you do JET last time?

The cartoonist Lars Martinson is currently here as a second time around JET. Graphic Novel: Tonoharu | Lars Martinson: Cartoonist (http://larsmartinson.com/category/comic-books/graphic-novel-tonoharu/)

I am here again, but not as an ALT.

Randomgirl
January 28th, 2014, 09:51
Thanks ihf! Interesting. That makes me think. I did it for 3 years, from 2001-2004. This time, I'll be coming back with my daughter. My husband is japanese (we met the first time around), but he didn't get a sabbatical and I did, so I am sure it will be very different!!!! How to express and explain that, and how to demonstrate that we'll be ok no matter what happens. I think that'll be key!!

RG

Gizmotech
January 28th, 2014, 10:59
Thanks ihf! Interesting. That makes me think. I did it for 3 years, from 2001-2004. This time, I'll be coming back with my daughter. My husband is japanese (we met the first time around), but he didn't get a sabbatical and I did, so I am sure it will be very different!!!! How to express and explain that, and how to demonstrate that we'll be ok no matter what happens. I think that'll be key!!

RG

This sounds like a friend of mine. He did JET back in the early 2000s, got married, lived in Canada for 7 or 8 years with his wife. He hated his job in Canada, so he applied for JET as married to a Japanese w/ a kid. He got in, has been at it for 3 years (I think he actually did 6 total at this point), and is now moving onto a private teaching position. His son is 6 or 7 now? (quite young) and seems to have adjusted relatively well to the system... but his English and French is going downhill in the public education system.

You should be pretty clear with your objectives for going back and what specifically you expect to accomplish this time that you didn't last time. They will grill you about it as they will know you are married and with dependents.

Randomgirl
January 28th, 2014, 11:31
Very true. I think I need to find a clear and concise way to express this. Thank you!

ihatefall
January 28th, 2014, 11:31
This sounds like a friend of mine. He did JET back in the early 2000s, got married, lived in Canada for 7 or 8 years with his wife. He hated his job in Canada, so he applied for JET as married to a Japanese w/ a kid. He got in, has been at it for 3 years


Do you think you could get him to pop on here and do a write up of his experiences? It would be really helpful for others.

I would also be prepare for questions about what is your husband going to do? What if you're in a backwater location and he can't find a job? Why do you need JET if you can just get a spousal visa?

Azrael
January 28th, 2014, 11:33
Her husband is going to stay at his job.

Randomgirl
January 28th, 2014, 12:17
Azrael is right. He'll stay here, while we go there. Ooo more good questions thanks!!!

ihatefall
January 28th, 2014, 12:26
So you're only going for a year?

Gizmotech
January 28th, 2014, 12:30
Do you think you could get him to pop on here and do a write up of his experiences? It would be really helpful for others.


Umm, I have asked him this before, but he has very little interest in assisting with the application process, or most of the ALT communities in general. He said I was free to talk about it, but he just can't be arsed.

He's not your typical ALT, in that he's in his mid thirties, married, has a son (and a new daughter), and is living in Japan rather than a tourist for a couple of years.

He's sort of like Ini, if Ini had a heart and or soul.

Azrael
January 28th, 2014, 12:31
have you never seen a japanese marriage? she could go for 10 years and he'd barely notice.

ihatefall
January 28th, 2014, 14:05
Umm, I have asked him this before, but he has very little interest in assisting with the application process, or most of the ALT communities in general. He said I was free to talk about it, but he just can't be arsed.

He's not your typical ALT, in that he's in his mid thirties, married, has a son (and a new daughter), and is living in Japan rather than a tourist for a couple of years.



Sucks. He could provide some real insight because second time around JETs are pretty rare. (Its way I started using this forum)

I relate though. I am in my early 30's basically married (6+ years already) but no kids. I am living here and this no longer feels exotic or new. We don't want to stay here forever but we'll be here awhile at least. Lucky I don't work in a normal office (we can wear jeans, shorts, etc.) and a lot of people think outside of the box*.



*for Japanese people

Randomgirl
January 28th, 2014, 15:04
Lol! Yah, we've been married for 10 years, so Skype and a few visits will be fine ;) The plan is to take things one year at a time. If we decide to stay, my husband will likely be a part of that decision, as it will likely be long term (at lease elementary school), and at that point it would be worth it for him to quit his job and join us.
I relate to your friend. It will be very different this time, as I'll probably have less support from other ALT's than I did last time (no more invites to house parties when your plus 1 is only 5, I imagine!). But I have way more language and I have a greater ability to make Japanese friends. I still have many from my first stint, as well as former students from when I taught ESL here in Canada, so I think it will be fine. It will be a whole new experience though, that's for sure!!!

BeckyJones
January 28th, 2014, 15:17
ex JET back doing private while I raise my kiddos ( at least until they are old enough to be moved). It actually isn't that bad. I am not a party animal by any stretch of the means, but I get to the city to see old coworkers/friends etc every now and then. Trust me, the JETs won't have anything to do with you, and you likely will want nothing to do with them as there is a huge age/maturity gap

Abrahamandcheese
February 2nd, 2014, 08:50
2nd-time-attempt-er here,

I did JET back in the early 2000's, for 2 years. One of my big regrets from my experience, during that time in my life, was not putting more effort into studying/learning Japanese while I was there. I was much younger (I am 35 now), with much less foresight, and never imagined I would ever end up in Japan again or doing anything international-education related.

Now, lo, I find myself wanting to go back and I am interested in putting-right things. If I am accepted I intend to go whole-hog in committing myself to the language and stay the whole 5 years. I have a professional background in Volunteer Coordination and extensive experience working for non-profits. Part of my rationale for going back is that I really do think that Japan is going to need to make it easier for foreigner's to volunteer there, for the same reason that they will need to warm to the idea of more foreign workers outside the JET Program paradigm--especially in the area of healthcare and elder-care.

My notion is that allowing more volunteers into the country is a stepping-stone to normalizing the idea of allowing more foreign workers. I would argue (and will in my interview--well, not 'argue', persay :) ) that international-volunteer-programming is going to be critical for Japan's long-term internationalization needs.


I would love to work (with a CIR, since my Japanese will be horrid for quite a while) to promote volunteer-projects to the JETs, in the shorter term, as well as volunteer myself, of course.


What do you all think of these ideas? Do they seem in any way sensible, or a viable rationale to offer in an interview?


I do appreciate the absurd obstacles to all of this, logistically, bureaucratically, culturally, so no need to knock the rose-colored glasses off my nose.

ihatefall
February 2nd, 2014, 09:48
Nice Abraham good luck. Be prepared to have them play the devils advocate and don't lose your cool. Let us know how it goes! There is a lack of info for 2nd timers


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Abrahamandcheese
February 2nd, 2014, 11:46
Thanks man. Yeah no sweat, they won't knock me off my game. I've got propranolol on my side, as well.

I will be sure to post on the for forum again, with a little re-dux.

ihatefall
February 3rd, 2014, 10:33
I was thinking about this some more, I think you should focus less on that volunteer stuff and more on how your experiences in the last 10 years will really help you be a better teacher. It would be like walking into a interview for a marketing position and talking about how the free time on that job would allow you to learn C++ and how you really want to change the justice system in America.


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MJN
February 3rd, 2014, 10:39
He's sort of like Ini, if Ini had a heart and or soul.

So not like Ini at all, then?

Abrahamandcheese
February 3rd, 2014, 10:59
Point well taken. I think, however, that they really want JETs to know that teaching is just one vehicle, among others, for internationalization----the latter being as important as language education. I think I have already established I can do the teaching part of it, or that this will be somewhat implicit. Sure, the 10 years brought me enhanced public speaking skills, and my Masters in Counseling allows me to engage people (and groups) more sensitively, but I really think it is important to introduce the idea that I think volunteering is a viable vehicle for internationalization efforts. When I did JET before I do not ever remember JETs getting together in the prefecture and actually volunteering anywhere together, and it's rather odd we we did not, now that I come to think of it. I do not, for example, remember the musicians among us, or artists, rocking up to a care-home and doing art-therapy/music therapy activities---something that could have an immediate impact on the quality of life of those citizens and which would go a long way towards normalizing the presence of foreigners outside of the classroom---something which will be critical for Japan's future. I think the J-government knows that they need internationalization beyond just the context of the classroom, but they are massively expanding the JET program because it is a safe/known element-- but I do not think will not be enough to pry the doors open more widely, and on some level they know it too. Fresh ideas are needed, even if those things are not always well-received in Japan. :)


But yes, I do appreciate your reminder that I should keep the past 10 years and the skills I accrued in mind and allow them to speak to an enhanced ability to teach. That notwithstanding, they want JETs to not only promote internationalization more broadly but they also want people who may contribute to that internationalization after they leave the program, too.

In any case, I appreciate the feedback!

:kaosotndouga25:

p.s.

Am curious as to what kind of work you have found there, post-JET?

ihatefall
February 3rd, 2014, 11:46
I think it really helps that your focusing on volunteering in Japan, so many other groups focus on other places (peppy in Cambodia for example).

My prefecture had us doing a bunch of different things. The biggest was that they had us have talks on topics to adults, I guess similar to TED talks. (I did one of racism and poverty in urban America).

My town had us do a bunch of community out reach programs, like cultural events and cooking lessons, etc open to the community. The best part was the parents of children came as well.

I work for a fashion house, I was hired post-JET for my language skills. When they found out I was applying to come back last year they offered me a position here. I am in HR doing training but I do a million other things too



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Abrahamandcheese
February 3rd, 2014, 12:37
Very interesting work! Nice one. :kaosotnpblob6:

Gizmotech
February 3rd, 2014, 13:13
While I appreciate your efforts to try and volunteer, I'll say this.... Please keep those efforts to yourself. Don't organize large groups to do this, do it in small groups to accomplish real efforts. There is nothing worse than hearing about 20 ALTs who got together to volunteer to play with the kids at the orphanage, when the orphanage only has 5 kids in it. Or When those 20 ALTs all of a sudden become self-righteous to the rest of us because we didn't give away our weekends, every fucking weekend, to whatever random cause of the moment they need to wank about later on Facebook. It creates a really negative community among the ALTs because you have some ALTs who have internationalization as part of their every day work, or actually have gone out of their way to internationalize in their own avenues, which they do not e-wank about constantly.

Also, for your interview, I would ask you to seriously think about what internationalization means today. Especially because you were probably here 10 years ago, and frankly, nothing has changed as far as ALTs are doing. Japanese people seem to have no more interest in the outside world today than they did 10 years ago, so what are we doing and why are we doing it? What can they get from you that they can't get from the internet, television, or through ALTs which arrive. Why should they bother bringing back a cultural ambassador who has already done their job as far as they are concerned? Remember our job is also to export culture, so been in Japan and gone home is most of the job done.

Abrahamandcheese
February 3rd, 2014, 13:31
This is excellent advice, also, thank you. When I was there last there of course was no FB, so that whole viritual social-context was moot. I left FB over 8 months ago (one of the best self-care decisions I have made in a long time) due in large part to my aversion to e-wanking.

When you wrote "It creates a really negative community among the ALTs because you have some ALTs who have internationalization as part of their every day work, or actually have gone out of their way to internationalize in their own avenues, which they do not e-wank about constantly", are you speaking as one of those who has internationalization as part of their everyday work, and who has gone out of their way to do it in their own venue?



Is your feeling that both my motivation and the potential pay-off for going back is misplaced and redundant, respectively speaking?

Ini
February 3rd, 2014, 15:15
from personal experience large groups of foreign volunteers are painful and annoying. they tend to have no real grasp on what needs to be done and just show up expecting the world to revolve around them for the 4 hours they are there. When they finally disappear into the sunset high fiving each other the people left behind have to clean up their mess.

Abrahamandcheese
February 3rd, 2014, 15:30
The Fatuousness of Cynicism / Theses Against Cynicism (Pleasure Tendency, Leeds, 1987) | slackbastard (http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=30586)

Ini
February 3rd, 2014, 15:35
nice american chap who gave me a coat and a sweatshirt - good volunteer

the huge group of god botherers handing out bibles/the ALTs who just hung around in a group talking to each other and getting in the way - bad volunteer

Gizmotech
February 3rd, 2014, 15:39
My personal experience is I don't like to volunteer. Period. I do my own brand of internationalizing, which has been quite successful. I go downtown, get drunk in the bars, make friends, have some good conversations and bad about abroad and Japan, then do it all over again the next weekend. I've done more for changing general impressions of foreigners in Japan than any other ALT in my town before me, by going out, being a decent human being, learning tons of people names, and paying my bill. Ohh, and not being a colossal shit disturber like some other people have been helps. Lets just say I think community integration as a relatively normal person is somewhat more of an achievement than I went and fondled the kiddies at the orphanage for an hour or two.

As for your motivations... I'm not making any comments because I'll be honest, I didn't read that much into it. They were just generic responses to the idea of internationalization as a job goal, especially coming back after 10 years with little to no change in Japan. Basically every ALT who was here when you were failed at internationalization, which is why the program is still going. What are you going to do better this time? What are you going to take home this time?

Abrahamandcheese
February 3rd, 2014, 15:40
I see.


During my first year on JET I used to spend a lot of time on Big Daikon. And then I stopped. Now I am remembering why.

Ini
February 3rd, 2014, 15:45
ALTs who go pull up the weeds outside the station in their home made radiation suits/roundeyed gaijin who root through peoples abandoned houses while posting pictures on facebook - bad volunteer

NPO who worked with the local government to raise funding and help construct a new playground for the temporary orphanage - good volunteers

Gizmotech
February 3rd, 2014, 17:00
I see.


During my first year on JET I used to spend a lot of time on Big Daikon. And then I stopped. Now I am remembering why.

I hope Ini and I aren't offending you. What we're highlighting (as far as volunteers are concerned) is from first hand experience dealing with the effects and after effects of volunteer work. Ini, more so than myself given he lived through the tohoku earthquake in a way many foreigners did not experience. I'm just dealing with the fallout of an over ambitious group of young do gooders who stopped being do gooders and left me with the mess to clean up (because it's somehow my responsibility being the longest JET in the area, and every ALT is a philanthropist apparently).

What's of more importance are your comments towards the internationalization element and job effectiveness. Seriously, it's something they are talking about in Japan at the local level, to the point that "if ALTs are actually helpful, why has Japan's English score slid down consistently year after year on the OECD rankings since starting the JET programme" was the question being tossed around at my Mid Year Seminar when the BoE guy presented stuff for us. So be prepared for the Embassy people to be looking for answers along those lines as well.

Page
February 4th, 2014, 09:55
It comes down to the fact that the majority of people coming in are fresh grads with no handles on how the real world works, let alone how the real world works in a foreign country like Japan. If there was someone heading the group with experience in leadership and working in the Japanese system it would go wonderfully but without that kind of leader it just turns into a headache. With your typical pool of JETs it usually turns into the latter, a well-intentioned headache.

You've done JET before so I'm sure they won't worry too much but as for


I think, however, that they really want JETs to know that teaching is just one vehicle, among others, for internationalization----the latter being as important as language education.

As lovely as the sentiment is for us (I still dream of it), they're hiring ALTs to become teachers first and foremost. So I would be wary of leading them to believe that you've forgotten about that bit.

uthinkimlost?
February 4th, 2014, 10:20
As lovely as the sentiment is for us (I still dream of it), they're hiring ALTs to become teachers first and foremost. So I would be wary of leading them to believe that you've forgotten about that bit.[/COLOR]

Wait, my TOC and MYC lied to me?

Randomgirl
February 17th, 2014, 13:55
Well, the interview was tough, but fair. They completely tossed out the interview questions and really wanted me to speak about what the teachers that I worked with got from me the last time I was there, what more I have to give if I go again (how will it be different/similar), and how doing JET again will benefit me in my career when I get back, in ways that my previous jet experience didn't. It was tough, but fair. Tough, because one of the interviewers was a uni professor, and wouldn't accept my first answer he kept pushing and pushing for a different answer - like he was hoping I'd find my PhD thesis there or something! In the end I was told that it is a special and rare thing to be chosen a second time for the program, but that he thought it was wise to bring my daughter over for elementary school. I have no clue how the interview went in the end. Only time will tell!!

AVN
February 17th, 2014, 19:34
If you don't mind me asking, what would the other option for your daughter be? Also, how old is she?

Randomgirl
February 18th, 2014, 00:06
She's 5, and half Japanese. We could just stay here and have her go to school in canada. The interviewer and panel knew, of course, that my main reason for going now is for her to go to school there, but I think they were really pushing for me to find solid reasons for me to go there.

AVN
February 18th, 2014, 20:23
Sounds like you handled yourself well.

Randomgirl
February 19th, 2014, 00:15
Thank you! Crossing fingers that it did go well. I really felt like I worked hard in that interview room!!